Friday, October 30, 2015

2015 CFL Predictions 19

Crunch time.

BC at Toronto
Ricky Ray starts at home instead of Trevor Harris, which may or may not be a good idea. The Argos looked poor last week against Montreal but at least they are in their real home this week, Dead Ted's Dome. BC looked good against Hamilton last week. They are fighting for a playoff spot so I think they are more motivated.
Lions 30 Argonauts 23

Saskatchewan at Calgary
I can't really see the Riders winning this one. Best team versus worst team.
Stampeders 37 Roughriders 20

Ottawa at Hamilton
This one is interesting. If the Cats can win, they pretty much lock down a home playoff spot. I think the home crowd at the Timbit should be enough.
Tiger-Cats 28 REDBLACKS 22

Montreal at Edmonton
This game is interesting. The Alouettes really need to win if they have any hope of making the playoffs. Against my better judgement, I'll pick desperation.
Alouettes 26 Eskimos 24

Thursday, October 29, 2015

2015 CFL Power Rankings Week 19

1. Calgary Stampeders
Didn't play, but that doesn't change them being the best team in the CFL. They have Messam now too, and if anything, not playing probably made them healthier.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Beat Saskatchewan on the road. Admittedly that's not super impressive, but it still is a victory and quarterback Mike Reilly is rounding into form after his injury.

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Ticats didn't look very good in BC, but it was on short rest and the game started at 10 pm EST. The defence actually held its own, however the offense couldn't seem to get it going after an initial drive for a TD, which is somewhat worrying.

Beat Winnipeg and Matt Nichols on the road. Henry Burris is having one of the better years at quarterback than anyone other than Bo Levi Mitchell.

5. Toronto Argonauts
Got waxed at their pseudo-Hamilton home by Montreal, but they are going to start Ricky Ray next game so at least they are strong at quarterback.

6. Montreal Alouettes
Looked good beating the Argos and still have a shot at a cross-over playoff spot. GM and head coach Jim Popp must be happy.

7. BC Lions
The Lions won at home against an Eastern team and strengthened their chance of grabbing the last playoff spot in the West. New quarterback Jonathon Jennings is looking good.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Pretty much out of the race for the last remaining CFL playoff spot. There's a chance, but it is small.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still losing games. At least they have two wins now.

Friday, October 23, 2015

2015 CFL Prediction Week 18

Montreal at Toronto
The Alouettes really need to win this game if they're going to make the playoffs. Kevin Glenn at least has had more practice. Toronto really needs to win this game if they want to win first in the CFL East. This is another pseudo-home game for Toronto in Hamilton. Harris is just better than Glenn at this point, even with a lot of practice.
Argonauts 30 Alouettes 22

Hamilton at BC
Rookie quarterbacks going against each other in BC. Hamilton has the better overall team, although winning a night game in Vancouver is always tough for Eastern teams. Still I think the Ticats take it.
Ticats 35 Lions 33

Ottawa at Winnipeg
Winnipeg really needs to win this game. Ottawa needs it if they want a home playoff game. Winnipeg is at home, although that hasn't seemed to help much this year. Ottawa's superior receivers win.
REDBLACKS 23 Blue Bombers 20

Edmonton at Saskatchewan
Only the Eskimos have something to play for. So there will be some unhappy Green Rider fans.
Eskimos 35 Roughriders 20

2015 CFL Power Rankings Week 18

1. Calgary Stampeders
The Stamps beat the Argos last week a bona fide good team in a pseudo away game in Hamilton. Calgary keeps winning. Can't argue against them.

2. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Ticats haven't collapsed with the injury to Zach Collaros. They have excellent special teams and defence, plus an above average set of receivers. Matthews has put up remarkable completion percentage numbers of late. That's hard to beat.

3. Edmonton Eskimos
The Eskimos have won a lot of games this year. They're a good team, although maybe not a great one.

4. Toronto Argonauts
The Argos have had some impressive wins and some losses. If they were at BMO field this year, they might have a better record, but being on the road seems to be their lot in 2015.

Eked one out over the Bombers in the Peg. The REDBLACKS have been impressive, but mostly against bad teams.

6. BC Lions
Quarterback Jonathon Jennings seems to be actually decent for a rookie pressed into service. Too bad they can't win too many games.

7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Bombers just seem snake bit this season. At least with Nichols as the quarterback they're not totally screwed.

8. Montreal Alouettes
I'm not sure getting Kevin Glenn this late in the season is going to help much, but we'll see.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
There's always next year for the Riders. Evaluation time.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Jeff Matthews Had an 84% Completion Percentage in the Cats' Montreal Victory

Probably the most impressive thing in Hamilton 23 to 11 victory over Montreal (in Montreal thus breaking the regular game losing streak) was that quarterback Jeff Matthews had an 84% completion percentage. That came on 21 passes on 25 attempts for 241 yards, with a TD and no interceptions. Mind you the yards per completion average was only 11.5 yards, but who really cares with a completion percentage that high. Matthews the past two weeks has basically been the best quarterback in the CFL, which is definitely heartening for Ticats fans after Collaros went down.

Matthew's former university receiver Luke Tasker had 107 yards on eight catches. Tasker is now at 858 yards and barring injury is pretty much a lock for over 1,000 yards this year. Sinkfield also had a good game with 90 yards on eight catches with a TD. Sinkfield now has 915 yards receiving and should also easily reach 1,000 yards receiving this year. Fantuz came back and had two catches.

One problem with the Cats this game was their lack of TDs, settling for field goals. Something the Cats are going to have to work on.

Curiously the Cats had no sacks, but three interceptions. I'll take the interceptions. Plus they kept S.J Green to only 23 yards receiving.

Linebacker Simoni Lawrence and running back Michael Ford had injuries and left the game. At least this year the Cats have a reasonable Canadian running back in Woodson to back up, who made a nice catch.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tiger-Cats Week 17 Depth Chart Versus Alouettes is Now Up, Fantuz and Norwood Are Back, No Bakari Grant

The Ticats have now listed their depth chart against the Alouettes for tomorrow's game. Noteworthy is that Canadian slotback Andy Fantuz is listed as a starter as is import defensive end Eric Norwood.

A bit of a difference on the offensive line from last week. Import Howard is in at the important left tackle position for Figueroa. Import Lewis is the right tackle. The Canadian interior is the 2015 usual, with Dyakowski and Bomben as the guards and Filer as the centre.

At wide receiver, both are imports, Underwood and Collins who wasn't in last week. No Bakari Grant. Slots are imports Sinkfield and Tasker plus Fantuz.

Running back is Ford, with non-import Prime as the fullback. Matthews is the quarterback with Harris backing up. That's four Canadian offensive starters.

Defensive ends are imports Hickman and the aforementioned Norwood, with import Hall and non-import Laurent in the middle.

Linebackers are the usual imports, Lawrence, Reed and Harris.

Corners are the import Carter and non-import Stephen. Half-backs are the non-imports Stewart and Davis, with the Canadian Butler as the safety.

That's three defensive Canadian starters.

Ticats Don't Have Their Alouette Depth Chart Up Yet

It's less than 24 hours until the Tiger-Cats play the Alouettes and there is still no depth chart up on the Ticat website. That's pretty annoying. I'm assuming that Andy Fantuz and Eric Norwood will be playing.

2015 CFL Predictions Week 17

Unfortunately due to lack of access to the internet I missed a couple of games this week. Here's the last three.

Calgary at Toronto
In Hamilton. Both teams should be motivated, trying to win first place overall in their respective divisions. The Argos have proved to play well with Trevor Harris as their quarterback all year long, despite their issues with playing in the Roger Centre. The Stamps have added Canadian back Jerome Messam second overall to their running attack, which should help, although I'm not sure there's enough carries for both Messam and Jon Cornish. I'll pick Toronto in Hamilton, which is bizarre, but the CFL is kind of weird.
Argonauts 33 Stampeders 29

BC at Edmonton
BC would seem to have a lock on the third and final playoff spot. However Edmonton is a lot better team and this is at home and the Eskimos are still fighting for first.
Eskimos 26 Lions 19

Hamilton at Montreal
Montreal has had Hamilton's number all season even when the Cats had Zach Collaros playing quarterback for them. Now the Alouettes have traded for erstwhile quarterback Kevin Glenn in a desperate attempt by coach and GM Jim Popp to make the playoffs. Statistically the only real way the Alouettes can make the playoffs is via the cross-over and winning today would definitely help as they're currently tied with BC on points which would mean BC would get in. The Cats do have Andy Fantuz and Eric Norwood back which should make their offense and defence significantly better. New quarterback Jeff Matthews was able to beat Kevin Glenn in his last game when he was with the Riders, I think he does again with the Alouettes trying to get by with Glenn and a new playbook.
Tiger-Cats 30 Alouettes 23

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