Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 CFL Predictions Week 16

Not a fan of Tuesday night CFL games.

Ottawa at Toronto in Ottawa
If the game actually happened in Toronto like it was supposed to, I would probably pick Toronto. However being in Ottawa in front of how many fans, I'm still going to pick Toronto. I don't think the REDBLACKS are as good as their record indicates.
Argonauts 28 REDBLACKS 26

Saskatchewan at Hamilton
The Riders shit the bed against BC last week so even though Hamilton doesn't have Zach Collaros, I'm guessing the Ticat defence will carry the day. Plus Jeff Matthews has another week of practice under his belt and really wasn't that bad considering the hurricane conditions in Hamilton last week.
Tiger-Cats 29 Roughriders 26

Edmonton at Calgary
It is in Calgary and Edmonton wasn't that impressive against the Bombers last week. That's enough for me (plus the fact Cornish is back, which sets up Mitchell's passing game).
Stampeders 33 Eskimos 25

Winnipeg at BC
This is a weird one. One would have thought with all the BC quarterback injuries that they would be screwed but apparently not. The Bombers almost won last week, but ended up sucking. It is in BC so I'll take the home field CFL advantage.
Lions 28 Blue Bombers 25

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2015 CFL Predictions Week 15

Thursday game this week.

Montreal at Ottawa
Just saw on the Twitter that Jonathon Crompton is back on the six game disable list, not long after getting off it. Weird. Who starts for the Alouettes, Cato or Marsh? Who knows? I think that Ottawa bounces back at home with Burris having a decent game.
REDBLACKS 30 Alouettes 25

Calgary at Hamilton
Too bad for the Ticats that in their first game without Zach Collaros they have to go against Calgary. I think Matthews can do against the bottom four teams, but Calgary is excellent and has a decent pass rush. No doubt the Cats will try and run the ball a little more, but even with their defence (barring an injury to Bo Levi Mitchell) I don't think the Cats can finish.
Stampeders 29 Tiger-Cats 19

Edmonton at Winnipeg
Winnipeg is home again and against their quarterback Matt Nichols' former team, the Eskimos. The Bombers haven't been a good team without Drew Willy, although last week they played tough against Calgary at home. Against my better judgement, I'm going to pick the Bombers at home.
Blue Bombers 23 Eskimos 21

Saskatchewan at BC
Two bad teams going against each other. BC is at home, but the Riders have Glenn back at quarterback and he hasn't looked bad. I'll go with the more experience quarterback.
Roughriders 25 Lions 18

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 CFL Power Rankings Week 14

1. Calgary Stampeders
A lot closer game than one would expected versus the Bombers in Bomberland, however Calgary pulled out a win at the end, aided by a botched call by the officials. Still Calgary just wins.

2. Toronto Argonauts
The Argos proved that they still have it after beating the REDBLACKS in Ottawa. Who cares about Ricky Ray? Quarterback Trevor Harris is still getting it done.

3. Edmonton Eskimos
Bounced back from only 49 yards the week before to beat BC. Mike Reilly is looking better and they still have a good defence.

Lost to the Argonauts. The REDBLACKS seem to have trouble with the better teams. Still looking good for a playoff position.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
How bad are the Cats without starting quarterback Zach Collaros. Not great, but they still have a great defence and good special teams. New starter Matthews will have a good receiving corps to past too, although obviously he's quite inexperienced.

6. Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders looked decent winning with Kevin Glenn against Montreal at home last week. They have Jerome Messam at running back and one of the better running attacks in the league. Who knows, maybe they will make the playoffs after all.

7. Montreal Alouttes
Maybe Crompton isn't that good after the Alouettes lost to the Roughriders. GM Jim Popp's record after taking over as head coach isn't so great.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Managed to stay close to Calgary with Matt Nichols as quarterback and were eventually screwed on a bad call. This team seems snake bit this year.
9. BC Lions
Way down on the quarterbacks, the Lions just don't seem to have it in 2015. Harris is having a good season though as is Bighill.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

When Was the Last Time a CFL Team Won with 49 Passing Yards?

Lost in the Edmonton at Hamilton game last week amid the season ending injury to Tiger-Cat starting quarterback Zach Collaros, was the number of passing yards that Edmonton had in their 25 to 18 victory.

Mike Reilly passed for just 49 yards in the game, with seven receptions from 22 attempted passes, including an interception. That was the entire passing output of the Eskimos that day in quite good conditions. What I'm wondering, when was the last time that a team passed for 49 yards or less and was actually victorious in the CFL? I actually have no idea and don't really have time to go and look, but it seems to me it could be some years, although there's probably some bad weather game in there somewhere that could be worse.

I did have time to look for 2015 and so far, the second least number of passing yards for a winning team was 127, for BC's 27 to 24 victory over Saskatchewan on Friday July 27th in week four. That is a low number of yards, but still considerably higher than 49 yards.

Friday, September 25, 2015

2015 CFL Predictions Week 14

Calgary at Winnipeg
Yeah I don't really see the Stampeders losing in Winnipeg this week, home field advantage be damned. Although Winnipeg should be motivated since they are still in the playoff race and the Stamps aren't really that far from locking up first in the West.
Stampeders 31 Blue Bombers 19

BC at Edmonton
Considering that BC is having quarterback injury problems and Edmonton actually has Mike Reilly back (although he only passed for 49 yards last week in Hamilton) and Edmonton is at home, that smells like an Eskimo victory.
Eskimos 27 Lions 16

Toronto at Ottawa
This game is definitely interesting. Both teams have winning records. Ottawa hasn't been particularly good against good teams this year in the CFL compiling their winning record and at times has been blown out. I'm going to go against home field and pick Toronto.
Argonauts 26 REDBLACKS 24

Montreal at Saskatchewan
Crompton is back, as is Glenn. The game is in Saskatchewan, where the Riders achieved their single lone victory of 2015. On neutral ground, I think Montreal is a better team, however the Riders weren't terrible last week, although they again managed to lose a close one to Ottawa. Montreal has playoff motivation. I think the Riders manage to pull one out for once.
Roughriders 30 Alouettes 28

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015 CFL Power Rankings Week 13

1. Calgary StampedersWith Zach Collaros' injury, let's face it Calgary is alone and Bo Levi Mitchell doesn't have competition for the best quarterback anymore. Plus they beat BC this past week.

2. Toronto Argonauts
Still have Trevor Harris healthy. Don't really have much in the way of fans, but that hasn't really helped the Riders this year so I don't think it is that important.

3. Edmonton Eskimos
The fact they only had 49 yards passing in Hamilton last week is troubling. They do have a good defence, though and Mike Reilly is back. 49 yards though. Jeez.

Henry Burris has been healthy all year long which is an accomplishment in the CFL. Looks like a pretty good shot to make the playoffs after a two win season in 2014. That's pretty good for an expansion team.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
So no Zach Collaros and Matthews didn't really impress in his relief roll. The Tiger-Cats do have the best defence in the CFL though.

6. Montreal Alouettes
Beat Winnipeg and Jonathon Crompton is back. Need to see more from them to move up the rankings, although they are looking good for the cross-over.

7. BC Lions
Down to their third string quarterback and lost again. Not looking good for the Lions.

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Almost won at home. Still stuck at one win. Glenn is back, which is something.

9. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Not a good time in Bomberville. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Does Jeff Matthews Have What It Takes to Be A Successful Starter This Season for the Ticats?

Obviously Zach Collaros' knee injury on Saturday isn't good for the Cats. At best he is likely to be gone for a number of games. Jeff Matthews would seem to have a decent chance to start for the Cats, although his play on Saturday in relief wasn't good and it would not have taken much to defeat the Eskimos.

Matthews tossed three interceptions, two that were pick sixes and one in the Eskimo end zone. A couple of them seemed down right baffling. Matthews also fumbled and lost the ball on a running play. However, having seen bad Ticat backups forced into the game (Billy Dickens, Timmy Chang) Matthews wasn't terrible. He didn't have two and and out after two and out after getting blitzed repeatedly which is what happens to most CFL rookie backups. He went 7 for 10 with 90 yards and a TD before being yanked, which was more yards than Reilly had the entire game (49 yards on 7 for 22 attempts). This week is a bye week, and no doubt Matthews will get considerably more snaps. Plus the Cats will likely try to add more of a running game to help out Matthews, including using four receivers and a fullback more often (which the Cats have rarely done). Weirdly while Matthews was in on Saturday, he often played with six receiver sets, which Collaros doesn't do that often.

The Ticats defence is arguably the best in the league right now (i.e. giving up 49 passing yards) and their special teams are up there too. Besides Collaros though, the Cats have other injury problems, including Dyakowski, Bomben and Olson on the offensive line in the last game alone. Plus Gable and Fantuz are still out, who both would be especially useful on a Matthews led team.

Are the Cats the favourite to win the Grey Cup still? No. Can they still make the playoffs? I think they can, although losing this past game against Edmonton where they had chances to win is going to hurt.