Last Week CFL Predictions
With the final week of the regular season arriving, the CFL couldn't have much better matchups to finish up with.
With the exception of the two extremes, Montreal and Toronto playing a meaningless game, the CFL got each team playing the right opponent and it is difficult to predict the outcomes. In each of these games, the visiting team is making its first and only appearance in its opponent's den.
However, I will venture into the unknown and try to come up with the semifinal opponents the following week.
Both teams have made the playoffs and one gets an automatic ticket to the West Final if they win while the other becomes the host of the West semifinal.
Saskatchewan has the upper hand on Calgary, beating and tying them, both at McMahon Stadium.
On that basis, Saskatchewan should be able to beat the Stampeders on its own turf, except that the Roughriders have not been invincible at home.
However, since Saskatchewan has had Calgary's number this year, unlike B.C. and Edmonton, I think they'll prevail even with home-field disadvantage and host their first west final since who knows when.
This one doesn't seem too hard to predict. B.C. beat Edmonton both times in Edmonton and that was with the Buck Pierce-Jarius Jackson combination.
Casey Printers came back at the wrong time to face the two best western teams, Calgary and Saskatchewan and came up a loser both times.
However he put up a credible show against both teams and lost by a combined five points. Edmonton is not nearly as formidable an opponent as its other western rivals, with an inconsistent offense and a porous defense, so I think Printers will be a winner this time.
This is the most difficult game to call because so much is depending on how the starting quarterback performs that day. Both are streaky quarterbacks, particularly Michael Bishop.
Here's what Hamilton has going for them:
On talent level, Hamilton is probably the better team. Kevin Glenn wants to perform well in his return to Winnipeg and put his old team out of the playoffs. When it's on, Hamilton's defense has completely shut down its opponents, particularly in the second half.
Here's what Winnipeg has going for them:
The home crowd which will want to see Glenn get his come-uppance. When it's on, Winnipeg's defense can win games by itself. Fred Reid, though D'Andra Cobb isn't far behind. Winnipeg handled Hamilton too easily in their last meeting in Hamilton and Hamilton hasn't been in a play-off deciding game for years.
Then there's the streaky Bishop. Forget last week's performance against the best team in the CFL. Bishop has played well in five of the last six games, taking advantage of Anthony Calvillo's absence to slaughter Montreal. He wants to win as badly as Glenn does.
But I've always been a Ti-Cat fan. My head says Winnipeg but Hamilton now has the talent to win so this isn't a mismatch. But Hamilton can't afford to come out flat like they did against Winnipeg last time. I'll go against my better judgement and Hamilton will host its first playoff game in years.
So in two week's time, the soothsayers can try and decide the outcome of Calgary-B.C., and Hamilton-Edmonton.
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