This just reminded me that we’re nearly 1/4 of the way through the 2016 CFL season.
That went fast
Surprises? How much teams are winning on the road. That starting QBs are getting hurt frequently for the second consecutive season. That the Tiger-Cats and the Argos haven’t been better. That the Lions have been quite a bit better. That teams aren’t bothering to run the ball anymore.
Duhs? The Bombers continue to suck. The Riders’ defence is taking some time to come together. The REDBLACKS’ (YUCK) offence has been as good as it has – except for last week. That the referees continue to be inconsistent, that Command Centre has no clue what ‘conclusive evidence’ means, and that the ‘eye in the sky’ has been useless.
And so it goes.
Week 6 features a couple of rematches from the first couple weeks of the season:
Let’s see what how the teams match up.
WINNIPEG AT EDMONTON
I blame Paul LaPolice for the Bombers’ offensive woes.
Poor LaPo. He’s now contradicting himself in consecutive sentences. (We believe in what we’re doing, but we need to put people in places to make them successful. So is what you’re doing working or not?) He never seemed to recover after the Riders lost the 2009 Grey Cup. That was – by far – his finest season as an Offensive Coordinator.
What’s the deal this year?
If I was Andrew Harris, I’d be more than a little annoyed that I wasn’t been utilized more, as I left BC for the exact. same. reason.
If I was Drew Willy, I’d be frustrated with my offensive line, along with my performance.
If I was MATTY ICE, I’d think: IT’S FINALLY MY TURN!!
(He is much easier to look at with an actual goatee now, non?)
The bell tolled for Drew Willy during last week’s game, so it’s up to Matt Nichols to get the Bombers on a winning streak.
As for the Eskimos, they’re probably still asking themselves what the hell went wrong went last week in their devastating loss to the Tiger-Cats.
Now you know how it feels, eh Eskies?
Mike Benevides’ defence has really struggled this season. I’d venture a guess that it’s near the bottom of the league in points and yards allowed. For a defence that was ranked #1 throughout most of the 2015 season, that must sting a bit.
Mike Reilly had a meltdown on the sidelines last week, as he threw his helmet down and berated his offensive line. He needs to be careful, though, as he’s the Eskimos’ de facto leader; if he gets frustrated, so will the team.
Interestingly, both LaPo and Benevides left their TSN jobs this off season to get back into coaching. Do you think they’re having regrets?
If not, the Bombers and Eskimos may be.
PREDICTION: Edmonton by 7
SASKATCHEWAN AT MONTREAL
Darian Durant shouldn’t play this week. After Mitchell Gale’s performance last week, and the Riders’ win, Jonesy should feel he has a bit more breathing room and give Durant another week of rest. Plus, the Riders have a home-and-home series with the Stampeders coming up starting next week, and I’d rather have a healthy and rested Durant for two games against a Western rival than rush him back for a game against a team that’s playing shorthanded on a very short week.
But I wouldn’t announce that until right before game time.
The football scheduling gods have provided the Riders with a great opportunity. The Alouettes just played on Monday and will have to gear up again on Friday to play the visiting Riders.
As for the Alouettes, Jim Popp leads the league in trying to challenge play that aren’t challengeable (I just made that a word). Duron Carter has been throwing OC Anthony Calvillo under the bus. Nik Lewis beaked off last week and it didn’t seem to motivate his teammates at all.
The Alouettes are vulnerable. The Riders have to – and should – take advantage.
PREDICTION: Saskatchewan by 5
BC AT CALGARY
This is a Week 1 rematch, where the Stampeders made too many mistakes and let the Lions hang around.
Don’t expect the Stampeders to make the same mistake this week.
Early season predictions by many panelists, minus moi, figured the Eskimos would be the team to beat in the West. I don’t know if the Stampeders took that personally, but they’ve quietly put together a solid start to the 2016 season.
The Lions have played surprisingly well thus far. There have been a few games where it looked like Travis Lulay might replace the young Jonathon Jennings – and he did in one – but such ups and downs are par for the course with a young quarterback.
Except if you’re Bo Levi Mitchell.
Mr. Consistency – which used to be Ricky Ray’s claim to fame – just keep putting up TDs and winning games.
He just needs to shave that terrible Hutterite beard.
The Lions had a bye last week, and the Stampeders only needed to play a half to beat the Bombers last Thursday. Both teams should be rested, but the Stamps always play well at home – they’re one of the few teams to win a home game this season – and I think Bo Levi’s experience will beat out Jenning’s inexperience.
PREDICTION: Calgary by 4
TORONTO AT OTTAWA
I was really hoping he’d be out for another week or two so that the REDBLACKS (YUCK) could feel what many other teams are feeling: the loss of their starting QB.
That pain will definitely be felt by the Argos this week, as Logan Kilgore will likely get the start in place of the injured Ricky Ray.
How’s that Mitchell Gale for Shawn Lemon trade looking now, Jim Barker? It’s about time we won a trade after you snookered us the last couple of times.
(Yes, ‘snookered’ is a word. And yes, it’s probably a little early for me to start crowing about winning a trade after Mitchell Gale has won one whole game.)
The Argos have been more than underwhelming this year, while the REDBLACKS (YUCK) – minus last week – have been better than advertised.
As such, I’m going with the more consistent team – and the more experienced QB.
PREDICTION: Ottawa by 10