The last atoms of cockiness left my system on Saturday night when the Calgary Stampeders annihilated the Roughriders and left me 1-3 on my weekend predictions. I better turn things around with my Week 5 predictions.
Thursday night kicks things off with a match-up between the 3-1 Montreal Alouettes and the 3-1 Toronto Argonauts in Montreal. Even a minimal fingernail grip on reality would suggest that Montreal should blow the Argonauts right out of the Als’ newly renovated park.
The skinny on this game is the cold hard fact that the Argonauts are not a legitimate winner — unlike the Alouettes. But the 2010 CFL season has been a huge surprise thus far and the Argos lead the parade in this department. So I am going to let fear and common sense take a back seat and pick Toronto in a big upset.
The Argonauts have not given me enough reasons to make this prediction beyond the superb play of their defence and the running talent of tailback Cory Boyd. Argo pivot Cleo Lemon is an NFL-style pocket passer with questionable CFL skills, but he has done enough to justify further starts at quarterback.
The next game on the schedule is the Desperation Bowl between the Lions and the Eskimos in Edmonton on Friday night. The Eskimos looked absolutely brutal in Winnipeg. The Bomber defence destroyed Eskimo quarterback Ricky Ray early in the game and things headed downhill in a warp drive kind of hurry.
Did Eskimo receiver Kelly Campbell return from the NFL or Stephen King’s pet cemetery? This guy is not the same player and his season has been a horror story for the Eskimos.
I am not sure that Richie Hall will make the season as head coach in Edmonton, but a win against B.C. would keep him around a little longer. Unfortunately, a win won’t happen for the likeable little guy on Friday night.
The Lions are not a great team but they are better than the Eskimos at this point. The Eskimos look unprepared and unmotivated against Winnipeg. Eskimo general manager Danny Macciocia had that dead man walking look during the game and I fear that Eric Tillman may figure in this mess as a future saviour for the Eskimos. Tillman could turn the Eskimos around in a hurry.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders got slapped around good by the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday night. It was a coming-out party for a few team weaknesses. The inside guys on the ’Rider defence are small men in big men’s jobs. Both tackles are under 300 pounds and some of the odder schemes include 225-pound Kitwana Jones as a quasi-tackle. The CFL probably hasn’t had tackles that light since the Depression, when food was pretty scarce.
Calgary figured that out and ran over and around the ’Rider defence. It was not pretty in an Elephant Man kind of way.
But home cooking has been good for the Roughriders. This week, cat is on the menu and I suspect that Hamilton will feel the wrath of the ’Riders on Saturday. Look for a big ’Rider victory in this one.
Last game of Week 5 is Winnipeg at Calgary. Winnipeg wins this one. They actually do have big inside guys on defence and they like to hurt people.
Jim Sutherland is a local freelance columnist whose CFL column appears Tuesdays and Fridays. See more at mystarcollectorcar.com