And then there were three. Three games left in the season and many unanswered CFL playoff questions in desperate search of an answer. Let’s have a look at this weekend’s match-ups and run a few ideas up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes. Try to resist the urge to burn the flag after you read my picks.
The first game of the weekend is tonight’s game where Hamilton visits Toronto at Rogers Center, scene of horrific train wrecks like the Argonauts and Blue Jays. Any ghosts of championships past by either team have long since left the building because even ghosts can’t take this kind of horror show.
Hamilton needs a victory in this one and Toronto just needs somebody to pull the plug on their clinically dead football team.
The ‘Cats made a late season quarterback change and elevated journeyman Kevin Glenn to first string quarterback. The result has been spectacular at times for the Ticats, including last weekend when Glenn shredded the Montreal defense for over 500 passing yards. Toronto played a better game against Edmonton last weekend but I expect that the Tiger Cats will blow the Argonauts out in this one.
Calgary hosts Edmonton tonight in the late game and both teams are motivated to win. The Eskimos are only three points out of first place and they are currently last in the West. The Stampeders are tied for first, but it is a short fall into the basement in the West Division.
It would appear that Calgary has found its offense after last weekend’s shootout with the Roughriders, but the main reason for Calgary’s success was the outstanding play of tailback Joffrey Reynolds. He owned the Riders in that game, but I believe that Eskimo linebacker Mo Lloyd has different plans for Reynolds. Lloyd played his best game of the season against Toronto and he will slow Mr. Reynolds down in this battle.
The Stampeders could conceivably ride the arm of Henry Burris to a victory because Hank has had some amazing success against the Eskimos this year. But the Eskimos have added some veterans like cornerback Byron Parker and linebacker T.J. Hill into the mix and they have gotten better over the past few weeks.
I believe that Edmonton will win tonight’s game because Ricky Ray has found some chemistry with receiver Fred Stamps and the Eskimos finally have a run threat with tailback Arkee Whitlock. It is easier for Ray to sell play action now that teams have to respect the Eskimo run game instead of bursting out in laughter at it.
Montreal’s greatest concern is the health of Anthony Calvillo and preservation of same in a series of nothing games. They do not want to injure Calvillo, but they also want to keep him sharp and motivated for the playoffs. This only a tune up game for the Als, but they should feast on the erratic play of Bomber quarterback Michael Bishop. Alouettes win with or without a complete Calvillo appearance in this game.
B.C. plays Saskatchewan in the final game of the weekend. This won’t be pretty- Riders destroy the Lions in a prairie blowout.
Jim Sutherland may be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com