Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 Week 6 CFL Predictions

The CFL claims that today's game belongs to week 5, but Tigercatatonia goes by a strict Monday to Sunday definition of a week apart from statutory holidays.

Montreal at Toronto
Not a great matchup, but Toronto is at home and the Alouettes are terrible, especially on offense.
Argonauts 30 Alouettes 17

Winnipeg at Edmonton
Will Edmonton lose two at home in a row at home? Probably not. The Bombers aren't starting Drew Willy this week, but that won't help.
Eskimos 35 Blue Bombers 20

Saskatchewan at Montreal
Real short week for the Alouettes. They are at home. The Riders have been mostly bad this year. Montreal is a bit of mess though. I'll pick the Riders on the road.
Roughriders 22 Alouettes 18

BC at Calgary
The marquee matchup for this week. Calgary being good in 2016 isn't a surprise, the Lions being good most definitely is a surprise. Still though I have to go with home field advantage.
Stampeders 28 Lions 23

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 5

Some changes as even the Riders won and the Ticats made a miracle comeback.

This is a bit tough as Ottawa did lose barely to the Riders on the road and Trevor Harris was injured. Still have a lot of receiver talent.

2. BC Lions
Not a lot of fans, but they have a great record. Good defence and the offense has surprised.

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Monster comeback win on the road against Edmonton with Jeremiah Masoli breaking the CFL record for consecutive passes, as unlikely as that seems. The defence look hapless in the first half, then suddenly came alive. The fact that Masoli is 3 and 2 and he and the team having a 3 and 0 record on the road is frankly bizarre. Collaros is probably back after the bye week.

4. Calgary Stampeders
The Stamps won versus the woeful Blue Bombers on the road (which actually isn't that impressive this year in the CFL). The Stamps have Messam and Mitchell working, which is more than most CFL teams.

5. Edmonton Eskimos
Epic collapse at home. 2 and 2. Edmonton is better than this, but it is still somewhat strange.

6. Toronto Argonauts
They have a quarterback. After the first five teams, that's a lot. Defence isn't bad either and will probably improve as the season goes on.

7. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Win a game against the best team in the league and out of the basement! Did it with Mitchell Gale as quarterback too. Back in the playoff hunt. Sort of.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Well Drew Willy is out as the starter. The Bombers seem pretty hopeless, even with a lot of dollars spent in the off-season.

9. Montreal Alouettes
Rakeem Cato doesn't seem to be the answer. Hopefully Kevin Glenn eye infection ends. Maybe GM Jim Popp should fire himself as head coach.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 5

Calgary at Winnipeg
I doubt that the Bombers will be able to slow down Jerome Messam much. Then Bo Levi Mitchell will burn them.
Stampeders 28 Blue Bombers 17

Ottawa at Saskatchewan
Durant is out and the Riders are giving Mitchell Gale his first start. Can't really see Trevor Harris getting out dueled by Gale.
REDBLACKS 30 Roughriders 24

Hamilton at Edmonton
No word that Collaros will start for Tiger-Cats so I can't unfortunately see the Cats winning in Edmonton.
Eskimos 35 Tiger-Cats 23

Montreal at Toronto
The Argos are at home and Montreal has a ton of injuries. Argonauts have a reasonable defence so that's not good for the Alouettes
Argonauts 27 Alouettes 22

2016 CFL Power Rankings Week 4

Beat the Argos in Torontoville. Trevor Harris is probably better than Henry Burris at quarterback.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Like last year the Eskimos keep winning. Mike Reilly passed for a ton of yards against Winnipeg this last week so that and him not being injured is a positive.

3. Calgary Stampeders
Didn't play, but that also means no injuries. Jerome Messam looks to be having a monster year.

4. BC Lions
The Lions were behind the Riders when I stopped watching the game and then roared back to win against the hapless Riders. I didn't think the Lions would be good at all this week, but turns out they are.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The first half was poor, but they pulled ahead in the second half despite the mediocrity of backup Jeremiah Masoli. Banks is back this season doing his special teams thing, Maher kicked extraordinarily well and the defence looks good, especially Tracy. Collaros could be back soon too.

6. Toronto Argonauts
Mediocre. Not terrible, but not good either. I thought their defence would be better, but it will probably improve as the season goes on.

7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Are they better than last year? I guess.

8. Montreal Alouettes
Kevin Glenn better come back, otherwise it is going to be another bad season for Montreal.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Have to win a game to get out the power rankings basement. With Durant injured I suppose they are potentially worse.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

2016 CFL Predictions Week 4

Damn Wednesday games. Missed out on the Ottawa Toronto game. Balls.

Edmonton at Winnipeg
Sure the Bombers won on the road last week in Hamilton, but I don't think they can count on the Eskimos making as many turnovers as the Ticats. Still they are at home and Drew Willy is still healthy. I'll still pick Edmonton
Eskimos 29 Blue Bombers 22

Hamilton at Montreal
This one is interesting. Collaros won't be back so it is Masoli at quarterback for Hamilton. Montreal hasn't looked great this year, but they are at home. That for me is the difference.
Alouettes 23 Tiger-Cats 21

BC at Saskatchewan
The Riders have not won yet this year, but they looked OK last week, while the Lions ended up pulling Jennings for poor quarterback play. Call me crazy by I think the Riders will make it happen at home.
Roughriders 27 Lions 25

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Week 3 CFL Power Rankings

Things are getting more confusing.

Tied a good team in Calgary. No losses yet and Trevor Harris is kicking ass.

2. Edmonton Eskimos
Admittedly it was tight against the Riders, but they still won in the end. A healthy Mike Reilly is a good thing.

3. Calgary Stampeders
A tie on the road isn't something to complain about, even if it is a weird event. The Stamps again look like a solid team.

4. BC Lions
Lost to Toronto, but the Lions are still a better team than I was expecting.

5. Toronto Argonauts
The Argos over the past few seasons have been a better road team than home team. Still seems to be the case in 2016.

6. Montreal Alouettes
Certainly not a good team. That's pretty much it.

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Unlikely to stay here with Collaros returning to practice, but he isn't back yet. A lot of talent, but also a lot of turnovers from Masoli.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
They did beat the Ticats led by Masoli on the road, but the Bombers in no way looked competent in that game. Unlikely for their future opponents to have that many turnovers.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Still not good. Probably better in the second half. No playoffs for you!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

2016 Week 3 CFL Predictions

Winnipeg at Hamilton
Hamilton didn't look very good on offense against BC at home last week with Masoli in at quarterback. Maher missing field goals didn't help. Fortunately for the Ticats, their next opponent is Winnipeg who have started off winless in 2016. Look for Hamilton to get on track against the Bombers at home.
Tiger-Cats 26 Blue Bombers 21

Toronto at BC
I wasn't expecting much of BC this year after losing Andrew Harris to Winnipeg and I wasn't expecting much of Wally Buono's return to coaching. Turns out I was wrong. The Argos beat the Riders last week in Regina, which isn't saying a lot. BC is at home which is always difficult for Eastern teams. Lions win yet again.
Lions 25 Arognauts 19

Calgary at Ottawa
The Stamps are looking good, especially with Canadian running back Jerome Messam (who weighs 263 pounds) running wild last week for Calgary. However for Ottawa, backup quarterback Trevor Harris is positively on fire, with former Ticat receiver Chris Williams playing really well. Ottawa is basically the best team in the CFL now and at home.
REDBLACKS 39 Stampeders  34

Saskatchewan at Edmonton
The Riders managed to lose their only game at home to Toronto. I think the Riders will be better than last year's team, but not a lot better. Saskatchewan losing Weston Dressler to Winnipeg via free agency is problematic because of the chemistry he had with the now healthy Darian Durant. If Durant and Saskatchewan are going to be successful, a new Dressler will have to emerge for the Rider offense. I don't see that happening in the first few games of the season. Edmonton is a better team right now than the Riders and they are at home. This would seem to be an easy pick.
Eskimos 33 Roughriders 20

2016 CFL Week 2 Power Rankings

I thought that the REDBLACKS made the best free agent signing in quarterback Trevor Harris. I thought that he was probably better than Henry Burris already, but with Burris' injury that is moot, Harris is the starter. Harris has put up some ridiculous stats, including some gaudy numbers from receiver Chris Williams plus a good showing from Canadian receiver Brad Sinopoli.

2. BC Lions
You can't argue with undefeated. The Lions winning on the road against a decent Hamilton team is impressive early on in 2016. I guess Wally Buono still has it with regards to coaching. I honestly didn't see that coming.

3. Caglary Stampeders
The Stamps lost their first game but bounced back in week 2. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was good, but most impressive was the Stampeder running game led by Canadian Jerome Messam who looked unstoppable at times.

4. Edmonton Eskimos
I don't think that Jason Maas is as good a coach as their former coach Chris Jones. However they still have quarterback Mike Reilly, who while healthy is one of the better pivots in the league.

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Whenever Zach Collaros returns from injury, the Cats will move up these charts, however that could be Labour Day. Right now the Cats would probably just be happy to go 500 without Collaros. Jeremiah Masoli looked good in the first game against the Argos and then medicore against the Lions at home last week. Masoli is in no danger of beating out Collaros for the Ticats starting job, but he is OK as a backup. Plus the Ticats also have Jeff Matthews. An issue for the Cats in 2016 is their secondary, especially the corners. The Cats released vet Geoff Tisdale, but don't expect that to have magical effects. The Cats need Maher to have a better game kicking than last week. The Cats had a lot of field goals last year from the now departed Justin Medlock.

6. Toronto Argonauts
Ricky Ray is a good quarterback by the standard of every down played in the CFL (which would include all the downs played by backup quarterbacks in the league this year due to injury). That doesn't seem to be enough for the Argos to occupy the top of these rankings. Picking up linebacker Shawn Lemon this week should help the Toronto defence.

7. Montreal Alouettes
Having Duron Carter being suspended obviously doesn't help the Alouettes, however at least he scored an impressive TD on the play. Kevin Glenn seems at this juncture to be a better option than the other Alouette quarterbacks, so the team isn't terrible. Jim Popp has been a great GM (although having quarterback Anthony Calvillo to rely on for years didn't hurt), and a medicore at best CFL coach.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Looks like another losing season for the Bombers. I liked the signings of Harris, Dressler and Medlock, but they haven't panned out yet. Not really a lot to say until they start making an impact.

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders lost their home opener to Toronto even with a healthy Darian Durant. Not expecting much this year, although they will probably be better in the second half.

Friday, July 1, 2016

2016 BC at Hamilton Depth Chart Analysis

The big news is that Canadian defensive tackle Ted Laurent is back for the home opener tonight against BC.

As last week, the Cats go with two American offensive tackles Simmons and Lewis. Canadians Dyakoski and Bomben are the guards and Filer the centre. So that's three Canadian starters out of the seven required on the offensive line.

Wideouts are Underwood and the Canadian Spencer Watt. Slots are Tasker, Owens, and Fantuz, another Canadian. Starting running back is C.J Gable and the Canadian fullback Prime. My assumption is that with four receiver sets with Prime in as fullback, then only one Canadian receiver will be in usually. So that's always two Canadian starters for the receivers and fullbacks, for five total on offense.

Masoli starts at quarterback, with Maher kicking and punting.

On the defensive line, Chick and Tracy are the ends, with the aforementioned Laurent as one of the tackles and Nevis as the other.

The linebackers are Lawrence, Dean and Rico Murray. Corners are Tisdale and Pointer. Defensive halfbacks are Sears Jr. and Lewis. The Canadian Stephen is the starting safety, so that's two Canadian starters on defence.

Very little change from last week's starting lineup against Toronto.