After a long, arduous season, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday, Nov. 24, to determine the winner of the 101st Grey Cup.
The host Roughriders (11-7 this year) took down the defending champion Calgary Stampeders last weekend, 35-13, to reach the final, while Hamilton (10-8) advanced with a solid 36-24 victory over Toronto.
After defeating the defending champs, it would appear Saskatchewan has the advantage in this upcoming matchup, but that's why they play the game—anything can happen, and it often goes against what we see on paper prior to the contests.
For players in the CFL, winning the Grey Cup is the ultimate goal, and this game will bring out the best in those competing. Here are a few predictions about what will transpire once the action commences on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium.
Kory Sheets Will Rush for 150-Plus Yards
Since coming over to the CFL after failing to make it in the NFL, Kory Sheets has emerged as one of the finest running backs in the league. He rushed for 1,277 yards with 11 touchdowns in his first season and has been unstoppable this year, rushing for 1,598 yards with 12 touchdowns.
He was absolutely magnificent last weekend, rushing for 177 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. His ability to generate consistent plays on the ground allowed the Riders to control the clock and take down the champs with ease.
Hamilton comes into the game with the league's No. 3-ranked defense, allowing just 88.9 yards per game. Toronto didn't even try to run against this team last weekend, gaining just 13 yards on five carries, though the Argonauts did manage a score on the ground.
But the Tiger-Cats didn't fare nearly as well against the Roughriders the first time the two teams met. Sheets rushed for 130 yards in that game, and he's going to improve upon those numbers on Sunday with the title on the line.
Riders Will Sack Henry Burris Five-Plus Times
No team in the league allowed more sacks this year than Hamilton with 65.
On the other side, Saskatchewan comes into the game having registered 57 sacks this year, which is a big reason why the Riders led the CFL this year in passing yards allowed (226.9).
Led by freak of nature Alex Hall, who has 16 sacks this year, the Riders have five pass-rushers on the team with at least seven sacks.
Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris is due for a long, long afternoon when Hall and his defensive mates start crashing the line of scrimmage.
Geroy Simon Will Catch a Touchdown
Legendary receiver Geroy Simon has played 15 seasons in the CFL. During his career, he's caught 1,029 passes for 16,352 yards and 103 touchdowns.
There was some concern about his health coming into the upcoming game, but it turned out Simon was just dealing with a flu bug and will be fine to play on Sunday, as noted by Arash Madini:
Since coming over to Saskatchewan from B.C. last year, Simon hasn't been as dominant as he was the past 10-plus seasons. He's only caught 40 passes for 565 yards and three touchdowns this year for the Roughriders, and he's only caught three passes thus far in the postseason.
However, you have to believe the veteran will show up for one more final hurrah with the Grey Cup title on the line. He'll catch a touchdown pass in this upcoming contest to help lead the Roughriders to a big win.
Roughriders Will Roll
Saskatchewan's strengths line up well with Hamilton's weaknesses.
As noted earlier, even though the Tiger-Cats have been stout against the run this year, the Roughriders ran roughshod over them earlier this year, and Sheets is on a roll right now heading into this game.
Which team will win?
Veteran quarterback Burris is the only hope Hamilton has of winning the game. He must have a monster game against the potent Saskatchewan defense, but his offensive line will be overwhelmed from the outset.
This will be a huge win for the Roughriders. After the way this team tore through B.C. on its way to the Grey Cup, nobody should be surprised if the Tiger-Cats lose by more than two touchdowns.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78