CFL Pool Preview Report – Week 16

A perfect 4-0 record last week should put the faith back in our readers. Two backsides to home-and-home series make for tough picks this week. We will continue to pour it on, however, to finish the season.

Our Record Last Week: 4-0 (100%)
Our Record Overall: 31-23 (57.4%)

Montreal at Winnipeg (TSN/RDS)

Alouettes: 7-6-0 Last 6 0-6-0
Blue Bombers: 7-7-0 Last 6 2-4-0

Notable injuries:
Montreal – WR Sylvain Girard, WR Ezra Landry, DB Matthieu Proulx, LB Ryan Folk, OL Dave Mudge, DL Dario Romero
Winnipeg – OL Dan Goodspeed, WR Kwame Cavil, OL Matthew Sheridan, WR Quentin McCord, OL Val St. Germain, OL Mike Abou-Mechrek, WR Chris Brazzell

A tough game to predict, the return match-up in Winnipeg is a prime opportunity for Montreal to turn their losing streak around against a familiar foe. Montreal however shows no signs of life. Anthony Calvillo has been left to the wolves with o-line changes. Without a shakeup I see no reason why the Alouette players will snap out of their lethargy. Winnipeg playing at home and back on track with RB Charles Roberts and WR Milt Stegall will put away another in an important game for playoff positioning.

Prediction: Winnipeg 28 Montreal 19

B.C. at Hamilton (TSN)

Lions: 9-4-0 Last 6 5-1-0
Tiger-Cats: 4-11-0 Last 6 2-4-0

Notable injuries:
B.C. – WR Tony Simmons, WB Dave Dickenson
Hamilton – OL Pascal Cheron, RB Josh Ranek, DB Sandy Beveridge, RB Corey Holmes, DE Tim Cheatwood, OL George Hudson

This appears to be an immediate gimme to the Lions, for no one could believe the Ti-Cats could knock off B.C. in their third upset in a row. The Lions, coming off a loss that snapped their seven game winning streak, will be hungry for a win. On the other side, Hamilton’s two game winning streak is a fluke of circumstance in meeting the Eskimos. Don’t be so quick to discount the Cats. Jason Maas had his first 300+ yard game since things went bad on them earlier in the season. Coach Lancaster has made some promising changes in the Hamilton defence and RB Jesse Lumsden adds a dimension to the Ti-Cats teams have not seen before. At home I can see Hamilton giving B.C. a rough time, and if Lions coach Wally Buono keeps Dave Dickenson in for the whole game while he struggles, the Tiger-Cats will have a chance. If you want to gamble on an upset of the week, take Hamilton, otherwise take the Lions.

Prediction: B.C. 32 Hamilton 27

Calgary at Toronto (CBC)

Stampeders: 9-5-0 Last 6 5-1-0
Argonauts: 7-6-0 Last 6 5-1-0

Notable Injuries:
Calgary – OL Jeff Pilon
Toronto – QB Eric Crouch, WR Shockmain Davis, RB John Avery

In another rematch from last week, Toronto looks to rebound from an awful offensive showing in Calgary. Normally return visits favour the previous losing team, but in this case Calgary may have exposed serious problems with the Argo defence. Calgary seems to have lost their up-and-down pattern and may be too hot to beat. Toronto may keep it close if they can score some points with their weapons and that may mean Damon Allen making way for Michael Bishop. I don’t expect as lopsided a game as last week, but Calgary will still come out on top.

Prediction: Calgary 30 Toronto 24

Edmonton at Saskatchewan (TSN)

Eskimos: 4-9-0 Last 6 2-4-0
Roughriders: 7-6-0 Last 6 4-2-0

Notable Injuries:
Edmonton – WR Andrew Nowacki, DB Reggie Durden, RB Mathieu Bertrand, LB Steven Marsh, LB Kelly Wiltshire, DB William Loftus, RB Mathieu Bertrand, LB Michael Botterill, WR Richard Alston
Saskatchewan – QB Marcus Crandell, WR Jamal Richardson, LB Mike McCullough, OL Fred Childress, DL Marcus Adams

The Eskimos are not a team to be taken lightly and are not a team you want to leave in the game too long lest they pull up an upset. Saskatchewan needs a victory to reduce the Eskimo magic number from 3 to 1 and drive another stake in Edmonton’s coffin. More player meetings in Edmonton will have them treating this as their most important game of their careers, for Eskimo pride. The ‘Riders better be prepared for another tooth-and-nail battle. Saskatchewan has the advantage with some good luck carrying over from their last contest, home field and a big crowd. All sides of the ball should be able to excel over Edmonton after their performance in last week’s battle with B.C.

Prediction: Saskatchewan 28 Edmonton 18

5 Responses to “CFL Pool Preview Report – Week 16”

  1. Bill Says:

    Too bad about the rider game – it was a pretty good battle. Those pesky turnovers reared their uglt head. And since when is Pat Woodcock a returner? What’s up with that?!?

    I really liked the rugby ending – that was pretty cool. It would have been sweet if we had scored from that! It was getting close!

  2. Jon Says:

    It was a good ending. The team is putting it behind them and focussing on next week, so that is good.

    The fans however have a right to be upset. You cannot let opportunities like that get away. Edmonton is bad this year and we lose two games to them?

    The turning point was 2nd and five with the 3 minute warning (2.5 minutes approximately) at the Saskatchewan 40. With plenty of time to talk about it, and the ‘Riders needing a first down, they have Butler throw a deep ball to Armstead, incomplete. What were they thinking?! Roll Butler out, find a dump pass or curl or out or he runs for the first down. Drive the ball and kill the clock. Do not put it back in Ray’s hands. Edmonton was motivated and despite Ray’s ineffectiveness in the second half (he was 4-14 starting the last drive), they were in a perfect position for the final drive with our defence on their heels.

    It is fundamentals people. The ‘Riders will not like the criticism, especially from people “who haven’t played the game”. It is valid though, not even in hindsight. Butler’s play and the (lack of) successes they had in the second half and needing to kill the clock all point to a play with more options when you need 5 yards, not a home run.

  3. jim Says:

    Just wanted to mention the radio broadcast since that’s all that is available to me. I just caught the tail end of the game (as well as bits and pieces of other games during the season). Rod Pederson and Carm Carteri (sp?) really suck. Most games when you tune in all you hear is silence. They don’t talk. You just hear the faint crowd noise (if that even) for 7 or 8 seconds. You start to wonder if your connection is working and then Pederson will say what just happened on the play followed by another 7 seconds of silence. They put me to sleep.
    While calling the last play in the Edmonton game, Pederson said that Butler was sacked and the game was over. Then both commentators must have looked away or something. Many seconds later he says “oh wait, the play is still going on… their pitching the ball” The listener had no idea what was happening, who had the ball, what yard line they were on, nothing!!! And then Carteri starts complaining that the last guy with the ball should have pitched it one more time to someone else and they would have scored. But really, the play call wasn’t exciting at all, and you wouldn’t even think that they were close to scoring by the way the commentators called it. Afterwards they just laughed and said ‘yeah, that was cool!’. Boneheads.
    The play-by-play guy on Edmonton is pretty wacked too. He’s like senile or something. Quite obnoxious and always sticking it to his sidekick. Always talks over the other guy like what he says is so much more important.
    I found BC radio to be the best. Only listened to part of one game the two guys seemed to work well together and had some pep. I always knew the score, who had the ball, and what was going on. With Edmonton I know what’s going on too, but they’re annoying. With the Regina broadcast, quite often I don’t know what’s going on and I even don’t know the score for huge lengths of time.

  4. Jon Says:

    Yeah, the radio can be pretty bad. Whatever happened to good play-by-play guys? Luckily with all games televised and blackouts lifted, I only had to listen to a couple this year.

    I was thinking that if I had the chance next year I would buy a broadcast from CFL.ca for $9.99 instead of listening to the radio. It would be perfect if they provided the television feed of the game with crowd noise and no broadcasters, especially if it was a CBC broadcast. It would be much better, like being there.

    Regarding the play, of course Edmonton is claiming it doesn’t matter if the ‘Riders would have scored, it wasn’t a fumble by Butler in the first place. Uh yeah, and if it had happened earlier and the Eskimos recovered, it would have been a fumble. It was clearly a fumble in my eyes, he did not have control of the ball before he went down.

  5. Bill Says:

    That edmonton guy is bad – Bryan Hall is his name (might have spelling wrong). He totally does interrupt the other guy. I think the only reason he’s still allowed to continue is that the advertisers must love him. Every second sentence is practically about the advertisers. It’s funny when the colour guy says something and Bryna Hall interjects: “I don’t care about that right now. It’s [blah, blah]”. The colour guy is just trying to explain to the LISTENERS – it’s not a private conversation.

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