It was a tough week for quarterbacks in the CFL because two starters went down with season-ending injuries last weekend. The future looks very cloudy for B.C. Lions starter Travis Lulay after he re-injured his surgically-repaired throwing shoulder and now the Kevin Glenn trade looks very smart for the Leos.
The quarterback situation will be part of the equation for the 7-3 Eskimos when they host 3-7 Montreal in the first game of Week 12. Injured Eskimo pivot Mike Reilly wants to assume his role as a starter, but Matt Nichols had a monster game against the Stamps last weekend.
Either Eskimo quarterback will be enough to win this game. Montreal has enjoyed some success with former Edmonton quarterback Jonathan Crompton as their starter pro tem, but the Alouettes will not win this game. The East is most definitely least, so expect a cranky Eskimo team to dominate a weak East Division opponent in the game.
The beat-down goes on in Saturday’s game when the 9-1 Stampeders host the 3-7 Toronto Argonauts. The Argos are tied with the Als for the dubious honor of first place in the East, even though both squads have lost more games than they have won this year.
The Stamps are a well-balanced football machine and they will annihilate the Argos in this game. Toronto will need a prayer book — not a playbook — to win against the Stamps.
The biggest game of Week 12 is the B.C.-Winnipeg clash on Saturday night in Vancouver. The 6-4 Lions will face the 6-5 Bombers and ride the arm of newly designated B.C. starter Kevin Glenn for the rest of the season.
The Bombers have been weak against the run and can expect a steady diet of Lion tailback Andrew Harris in the game. Winnipeg also has discipline issues on defence and may need to park linebacker EJ Kuale if he continues to take bonehead roughing penalties. Glenn has always been a quick release quarterback and his greatest success has always been his ability to get the ball into his receivers’ hands in a hurry.
B.C. has a poor home record this year, but that record will improve against the Bombers.
The Lions will win because they are a better team than the Bombers in all three phases of the game.
The final game of Week 12 pits the 8-2 Riders against the 2-7 Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Tabbies’ new Timmy stadium. Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant is gone for the season and now the team will start Tino Sunseri in this game.
The loss of Durant has been viewed by some fans as the end of the road for the Riders’ 2014 Grey Cup hopes, but consider this fact: the team is dead last in passing yards and first in rushing yards. The Springsteen lyrics ”Baby we were born to run” is the foundation for Rider offensive coordinator George Cortez’s 2014 playbook.
Durant performed well within a system that did not require him to carry the team on his passing arm this year and it is a perfect scenario for the unproven Sunseri to build his game as a quarterback. A run-oriented offence straight out of the high school football playbook is a great set of quarterback training wheels for a young pivot like Sunseri. It worked well for Durant and there is every reason to believe it will work for Sunseri.
My final pick of the week is a Rider win in Hamilton.