The back nine of the CFL season is upon us and the stakes are now higher for everyone, with the possible exception of the Montreal Auto-pilots. All other teams face varying degrees of uncertainty in the second half of the season. On the other hand, Montreal will be served a steady diet of Blue Bomber on their schedule, so the road to first place has fewer hills for Montreal.
Tonight, Toronto plays a late game against the B.C. Lions, where the likelihood of a late-night coastal victory would appear to be a long shot for the Boatmen. Can the Argos put enough oars in the water on the West Coast to win this game? Maybe I’m crazy from the recent heat wave, but I think that they can pull off a victory.
The B.C. Lions have lost their bite this year both offensively and defensively and they are now a team without the killer instincts necessary for survival of large predators.
Time seems to have caught up to Geroy Simon, who can no longer count on other talented receivers to take the pressure off him for cover schemes. Paris Jackson does what he can, but it is an open audition for decent Lion receivers. I pick the Argos in an upset.
Calgary visits Hamilton today and the obvious conclusion is a Calgary victory. The Ticats appear to have settled into a routine with Kevin Glenn at quarterback and he has managed to deliver at a competent level.
The biggest drawback to Glenn is that he is a pocket passer who is too short to be a pocket passer. He bases his game on a quick release but he wears down over the course of a game.
Glenn will face big pressure from Calgary’s defence, so only his veteran skills will save this game for Hamilton. I still believe that the Ticats will win this game because Calgary has a lot of trouble at Ivor Wynne. Hamilton will need a big performance from their receivers as well as a solid game from their defence to pull off this win.
The easiest game to assess is the early game on Sunday when Montreal hosts the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They should call this game on account of incompetence because Winnipeg is that bad. The entire season has been based upon damage and damage control all delivered by the same guy: coach Mike Kelly.
I would have to possess a seriously damaged cerebral cortex to pick Winnipeg in this game. At last look, my noggin still appears to function at a modest level so I will stick with the Alouettes in this massacre. The Bombers have suffered under the decisions of a coach who wanted to design his own flying football machine. Right now it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Hindenburg.
The last game of the weekend pits the Edmonton Eskimos against the Saskatchewan Roughriders with plenty on the line for both teams. A lot of ’Rider fans were concerned when Richie Hall took his defensive playbook to Edmonton. I wasn’t one of them.
The trademark of a Hall defence has always been good cover guys and minimal pressure on quarterbacks. This always means more pressure on the cover guys and the trend continues in Edmonton. The ’Riders will blow out the Eskimos in this one.
Freelance writer Jim Sutherland’s CFL column appears on Tuesdays and Fridays in the Advocate. He can be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com