2016 CFL Picks – Week 2

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Now the REAL CFL season begins!

While football was back last week, it just didn’t feel right.

Something was missing.

THIS.

Here are the Week 2 match ups:

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Let’s see what the storylines are this week.

OTTAWA AT MONTREAL

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Henry Burris hurts his pinky.  Trevor Harris comes in and plays lights out.  The REDBLACKS win in overtime, resulting in an Ottawa football team winning in Edmonton for the first time since 1983.

Yeah.  1983.

And an Ottawa football team hadn’t won against the Eskimos since 1995.

Yeah.  1995.

The REDBLACKS then announce that Burris will miss this week’s game.

Trevor is happy.  REDBLACKS’ GM Marcel Desjardins hurts his own hand from patting himself on the back so many times for signing Harris in the off season.

And then?  Henry Burris goes on the six game injured list.

Coincidence or conspiracy?

You decide.

Anyway, there isn’t much question now that the REDBLACKS are a good football team. While I’d give it a few more games to be sure, they’re not what I’d call a ‘one-year wonder’.

The Alouettes?  Well, they were rather impressive last week.  Kevin Glenn had a great outing, and the defence was solid.

But the Alouettes were playing Winnipeg.

So the question is this: Was Winnipeg that bad, or was Montreal that good?

I think this week will go a long way to answering that.

ASIDE:

Dear Media:

Anthony Calvillo is a Hall of Fame quarterback.  I get that.  But it was Kevin Glenn who went out and executed the Montreal Alouettes’ offence last week, not Anthony Calvillo.  So please give credit where credit is due.  To Kevin Glenn.

Thank you.

P.S. STOP TALKING ABOUT ANTHONY CALVILLO’S GLASSES.  He wears glasses now.  We get it.  Millions of people do.  And NOBODY CARES.

While I think Montreal will play well at home, you can’t look past the fact that the REDBLACKS went into Edmonton last week and went toe-to-toe with 2015’s best defence. So I’m going with the REDBLACKS.

PREDICTION: Ottawa by 9

TORONTO AT SASKATCHEWAN

LET’S GO!

It’s been an interminably long off season for Rider fans.  After a 3-15 season, a complete overhaul of the roster and coaching staff, it’s time to see what the new-look Roughriders can do.

Trivia question: How many defensive starters return from the 2015 season?

Answer: NONE.

NOT.  A.  ONE.

Has that ever happened before?  I don’t know, but I doubt it.

One of the Riders’ biggest hurdles in this game will be dealing with expectations.  To some fans, Head Coach Chris Jones is an other-worldly football genius who should be able to lead the Riders to the Grey Cup NOW.  To others, he’s a complete jerk, the guy who put his own ego above the team; a guy who ‘thinks he knows better’.  These fans are beyond bitter that Weston Dressler and John Chick were released and are just waiting for Jones to fail.

I like to think I fall into a different camp.

Are the Riders going to fire on all cylinders right out of the gate?  No.  Darian Durant hasn’t played a full game in nearly two years, the entire defensive line up is new – as is the majority of the team – and there are a lot of players who are not only new to the Riders, but to the CFL as well.

So have patience, my Rider fan friends.  It’ll take awhile for the all of the pieces to come together.

Now, Ricky Ray had one of his worst outings in recent memory in the Argos’ season opener against the Ti-Cats last week.  It’s highly unlikely that he’ll repeat that performance.

Then there’s the fact that the biggest adjustments in the CFL happen between Week 1 and Week 2.

On the other hand, the Argos had no tape on the Riders, while the Riders have a week of tape on the Argos.

Yet Chris Jones was Scott Milanovich’s defensive coordinator in Toronto before becoming the Eskimos’ head coach.  So Milanovich might have an idea about Jones’ tendencies.

But Jones would have been privy to Milanovich’s offensive schemes as well.  And judging by your hairline, Ricky, you’ve clearly been around for awhile, too.

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, I really have no idea what to think about this game.  So, I’m going to go with the Riders, and mostly because it’ll be a great story if they pull out a win.

Plus, there’s this:

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In Jones I trust.

PREDICTION: Saskatchewan by 2

BC AT HAMILTON

LOL.  Oh, Wally.  One win and suddenly you’re acting like the CFL’s all-time winning coach or something.

Did Wally not catch the Ti-Cats’ win last week?  They absolutely dominated the Argos from the opening kickoff.

And what about this guy, Wally?

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Do you have a plan for him?

I can guarantee you that the Ti-Cats will not be as inept as the Stampeders were last week.

Hold on a sec.  Let’s just take a moment to recognize that I wrote the words ‘inept’ and ‘Stampeders’ in the same sentence and it wasn’t out of bitterness; it was actually accurate.

Huh.

My point is this: BC got lucky last week.  BC got lucky enough to play the Stampeders the one time that Rene Paredes misses two field goals in one game.  BC was lucky enough to catch Bo Levi Mitchell on a day when he forgets to throw the ball to his own team.

But don’t get me wrong: I will ALWAYS enjoy a Stampeder loss, even if it messes up my picks.  Especially if Drew Tate fails in some way.

Speaking of which, let’s watch Tate get stuffed at the one yard line again:

Beautiful.

I think Hamilton will dominate BC in this game, mostly because I don’t think BC’s o-line will be able to handle Hamilton’s d-line.  Plus, this game is Hamilton’s home opener.  And the Ti-Cats play well at home.

And I really want Wally to have to eat his words.

PREDICTION: Hamilton by 12

WINNIPEG AT CALGARY

Oh, Winnipeg.  Did you seriously not have a defensive backs coach until now?  If not, that might explain the numerous long balls given up to the Alouettes’ receivers last week.  And that’s not even counting the plays that got called back due to penalties!

The biggest problem for the Bombers, though – aside from the fact that their o-line sucks and is likely going to get Drew Willy killed in the near future – is that Weston Dressler won’t play this week.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise given that he could barely sit up after he got his bell rung last week.  More concerning was the announcement earlier this week that he might be able to play.

Weston Dressler is a franchise player.  You do not want him playing hurt – especially after sustaining a concussion, which has not been confirmed but is pretty apparent given what happened – when the season has barely started.  You make him sit and get healthy, regardless of his desire to play.  So I endorse this move by the Bombers.

As for the Stampeders, I like to think that rookie Head Coach Dave Dickenson got called into the principal’s office this week.

This principal’s office.

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I think Huffer, i.e. Stamps’ GM John Hufnagel, chewed on one his markers as he always does (see the above picture), sized up Dickenson – who trembled in fear, I imagine – and then boomed:

What the f*@) happened??

In this imaginary meeting, Dickenson then said, “I don’t know My Lord…I mean, Coach.”

“WELL GET OUT OF MY OFFICE, FIND OUT AND FIX IT!” huffed Huffer.  And then Dickenson scampered out of his office, mumbling, “Yes, Coach.  I’ll fix it.  I’ll figure it out. Please don’t fire me.”

Maybe I should write CFL fan fiction.  Hmmm…

I would be very surprised if the Stampeders turned in the same type of performance they did in Week 1 in Week 2.  Especially at home.  Particularly against the Blue Bombers.

Even if Huffer didn’t call Dickenson into his office and nearly scare the life out of him, I suspect he got his message across somehow this week.  Huffer doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

PREDICTION: Calgary by 7

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