It's playoff time and with it comes the weather. Rain and hopefully snow. I wish I were at Taylor Field (fuck the Mosaic-pesticide-Stadium moniker that hurts my ears every time it's spoken) with a thermos full of hot rum. Here are my predictions this week. Last week I was awful (1-3). but, for the most part I've been dead-on this year. But...BUT...the playoffs can be a whole different world in the CFL and making predictions about it seem boneheaded. Here it goes anyway...
1:00 PM Saturday, November 08, 2008
This game could go either way, but I was not impressed with the play of Edmonton last week against Montreal team that sat a lot of starters. It was an exhibition game in my books, and as I've stated before, I can't recall a first place finisher EVER benefiting from sitting starters in the past five years. Especially in the playoffs. It has amounted the stale play and horrible choking when the time counts. But more on Montreal later, onward. In a playoff game with lousy weather, we all know the running game can be the difference between winning and losing. For Edmonton to win, they need to stop the combination of Fred Reid and Joe Smith. Both running backs from September through October have played very well. If either of these backs have a big afternoon, Winnipeg can beat Edmonton. Of the six teams that are in the playoffs, it is the Eskimos that have displayed the highest level of inconsistency complimented by poor coaching. When you look at what happened between the two teams this season, they split their season series with each team winning at home. Can Winnipeg establish Reid and Smith? Can Ray play as well this week as he did last week? Of these two questions, I think the latter is more likely to have a positive answer. Ray outshines Glenn in this one. And I HATE the Eskimos. Edmonton moves on to the East Final in Montreal. Prediction: Edmonton 26, Winnipeg 17.
Final: Edmonton 29. Winnipeg 21. The score flatters Winnipeg. Could a home playoff game and it's fans and team look more flat even at kick-off? Milt Stegall and The Press say Kevin Glenn considers himself part of the leagues under-appreciated QBs. Well, those top tier QBs win games when it counts and you, Mr. Glenn, have not EARNED that title. This attitude is what awarded Glenn a trade and release from Saskatchewan years ago. He thinks he deserves things without earning them. Edmonton rightfully moves on. Winnipeg should fire it's rabid/asshole coach who only inspires flaccid play and bring in fresh eyes on a mouthy bunch who do not understand hard work.
4:30 PM Saturday, November 08, 2008
Oh boy. Toss a coin. And why the hell are the Lions considered under-dogs? You can read all the papers and the pundits about this game. The Roughriders have the definite advantage playing at home, as they have a unique energy level at Taylor Field. The energy level will be higher than ever before, along with heavy drinking and an ugly attitude in the stands. Police and security have been tripled for this game. The Lions have won two-of-three against the Riders this season. Going into this game, there is a nasty point to make, and that is the Lions have recently won in Regina and were pelted with booze as a result. Riders' quarterback Michael Bishop is going to make some mistakes. The Lions have the best defensive line in the CFL this season. The Riders defensive front four has looked long in the tooth. Chick is back, but will he make a difference? If Bishop repeats his four interception performance of last week's game against Toronto, this one will be over very quickly and B.C. will move on to the West Final in Calgary by half-time. You've heard it a thousand friggin' times, but to win games, you eliminate the mistakes. For the Lions, their biggest challenge will be the Rider defence and more specifically, the linebackers. The Riders' linebackers and defensive linemen need to be ready to play because it will be up to them to win this game.The Lions' combination of Buck Pierce and Jarious Jackson provides an edge at quarterback over Bishop. What is NOT being discussed are special teams. Neither team set the house on fire in this regard, but Saskatchewan is probably the worst in the League in terms of coverage and returns. My hands tremble as I write this and I will be flogged by Saskatchewan pals, but in the end, I think the Lions will advance to next week's final. Prediction: BC 33, Riders 28.
Final: BC 33. Saskatchewan 12. To say the Riders under-performed is an understatement. The better team won...by a long shot. I'm not surprised and you have proof by reading the above. Eric Tillman is not a dumb man. Look for Miller and him to recruit or sign a major QB. Solidify an aging offensive and defensive line. The special teams fumbled twice tonight and Micheal Bishop's career is over as a starting QB. The rest are all stars.