Reach For the Top! The CFL Predictor Is Looking To Bounce Back:

Mediocrity was again the name of the game for the predictor in week two!

Two wrong and two right in week three saw my overall record move to 5-and-7 through 12 games. Undeterred, here are my week four thoughts.

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Edmonton Eskimos (3-1 T1st in West) LW: 27-11 win vs. Ottawa
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Winnipeg BlueBombers (3-0 T1st in West) LW: 34-33 win at Montreal

Three Keys:

Willy-Peg: Drew Willy has been nothing short of a revelation in Winnipeg. The Bombers showed faith in Darian Durant’s understudy in the off season and Willy has responded. He has made great decisions, managed games well and executed at key times. Willy will need to continue to do more of the same.

J.C. and The ‘D’: J.C. Sherrit is arguably the best defensive player in the Canadian Football League. His ability to take over a game and almost singlehandedly quash a running is incredible. He along with the rest of the defence will need to get put on the pressure and make the Winnipeg offence one dimensional.

The Great Grigsby: Nick Grigsby has been given an opportunity to literally run with it in the Peg. His agility and burst are making him invaluable to the Bombers. So much so, that he unseated all-star Will Forde. If he can continue to move the ball the Bombers should continue to roll.

THE PREDICITION: Home field will definitely be a factor in this contest between the two teams that have gone from first to worst. This game will come down to turnovers and possibly even who has the ball last. I think playing this game in the Manitoba capital will give the Bombers a huge advantage. That’s why I’m going with Winnipeg to win 38-31.

Toronto Argonauts (1-2 T1st in East) LW: 34-15 loss vs. Calgary
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Ottawa REDBLACKS (0-2 T3rd in East) LW: 27-11 loss at Edmonton

Three Keys:

Ray Day: With Chad Owens and Andre Durie out for the Argos can Ricky Ray have faith in the rest of his receiving corp to get the job done against a struggling secondary.

Welcome Home? The Ottawa REDBLACKS will play their first home game of the season tonight after opening the season out west. Can the emotion that will be inside the new TD Place translate to the upstart team and propel them to victory? I don’t see why not.
Walker this way! Chevon Walker has big play capability and has produced this season albeit in a limited role as the REDBLACKS have had to abandon their running game due to game situation early this year. If he can carry the mail he could carry the team to a victory.

THE PREDICITION: This may be the toughest game of the week to call as the Jekyll and Hyde Toronto Argonauts are black and blue while the REDBLACKS will have momentum on their side from an excited fan base ready to welcome them back to the league. The Argos are favored by 2-and-a-half points entering the game but I am going to go with the upset and take Ottawa to win by the slimest of margins, 17-14.

Hamilton Tiger Cats (0-2 T3rd in East) LW: Bye
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Calgary Stampeders (2-0 2nd in West) LW: 34-15 win at Toronto

Three Keys:

Bo Knows how to win: The Stampeders are looking ingenius in their decision to hand the reigns of the offence to Bo Levi Mitchell. He has been outstanding in executing the game plan and I would expect nothing less against a beleaguerd Hamilton defence.

The QB Whisperer: Kent Austin will need to work his magic once again when it comes to mentoring young pivots, mind you a lot sooner than he would want. Jerimiah Masoli will get the start in place of Zach Collaros and he will have to navigate a young offensive group against a veteran laden Calgary defence. The return of Andy Fantuz should help and more commitment to running the ball will help.

Headed For New Depths: The Calgary Stampeders for my money have assembled the best depth chart in the Canadian Football League. That depth will be put to the test with a number of injuries against the Tabbies or just another opportunity for John Huffnagel’s scouts to shine.

THE PREDICITION: Will a bye week help Hamilton figure out all their ailed them in two loses in the West in as many weeks to open the season? Will Calgary’s injuries finally catch up to them? I say no to both and am going with Calgary to top the Tabbies 27-10.

Montreal Alouettes (1-2 T1st in East) LW: 34-33 loss vs. Winnipeg
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B.C. Lions (1-2 T4th in West) LW: 26-13 win at Saskatchewan

Three Keys:

Can’t keep Kevin Down: Kevin Glenn and the B.C. offence returned to form, at least in part, in their first win of the season in Regina last week. The catalyst to their success was Andrew Harris and the ability to move the ball on the ground. That will be equally important this week as Glenn and his receivers continue to develop chemistry.

Troy on the mark: Last week quarterback Troy Smith was motivated by criticism over his lack of accuracy throwing the ball. That attention to detail made for the most productive game offensively for the Alouettes thus far this season. Smith will need to be just as good against the hungry, ball hawking secondary of the Lions.

Don’t Poke The Bear: The Lions felt that Montreal disrespected them in their week two win by kicking them while they were down and continuing to pile up the points. The Lions will use this for motivation this week as they look to climb back to .500 and out of the West Division basement.

THE PREDICITION: This has the potential to be an ugly game. Montreal hasn’t won in Vancouver in more than a decade. Throw in that last key and I could see the Lions mauling the Alouettes. I will take B.C. hands down 38-6.

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