CFL Kickoff Week - Alex's Tuesday Takes
Published: Tuesday, Jun 11th 2019, 7:06am
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
It’s like Christmas for us football fans… FOOTBALL IS BACK! Training Camp and the preseason games are like those chocolate advent calendars you get for your kids (or yourself, I’m not here to judge)… it’s just a little something before the big day and things count for real.
Well this Thursday, our beloved CFL game is back with the Riders playing the Ticats in Hamilton to kick off the season (side note, the game is now at 5pm SK time, moved up half an hour because of game 6 of the NBA Finals #WeTheNorth).
I’m going to go out on a limb and make a few predictions for the 2019 season for each team in this week’s Tuesday Takes… let’s start out in the east division.
Everyone expects the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to finish 1st in the East this season and basically have a bye to the Grey Cup. While likely, I think their defense struggles (just a gut feeling) and they finish 2nd, but this time, not behind Ottawa…
The Toronto Argonauts will win the East Division! They’ll finish first, host the East Final and will play in the Grey Cup, led by QB James Franklin. The Argos loaded up on offense this year to make Franklin’s job easier and I really think that new Head Coach Corey Chamblin will be the main reason the Argos take the East Division crown.
Neither Dominique Davis or Jonathon Jennings will finish the season as the Redblacks starting QB. This is going to be a painful year for Ottawa and, heck, they deserve it. They were gifted every advantage since joining the league back in 2014 and just had the one bad year to show for it. Time for them to come back to earth, the honeymoon’s over.
Antonio Pipkin leads the Montreal Alouettes to (no, not the playoffs, but) third place in the East. Montreal will finish ahead of Ottawa and Alouette fans can hopefully finally watch their franchise QB develop. They still won’t be good by any means… just better than Ottawa.
Where do I start? For the first time that I can ever remember, each team has a legitimate chance at finishing first, or finishing last. It’s going to be a wild race in the West this year!
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will finish first in the West and host the West Final at IG Field, but they’ll lose it. Matt Nichols will be their anchor in the playoffs. We know their defense is going to be very good, but they didn’t really improve much on offense and Andrew Harris can’t do it all. Sure, not really a BOLD prediction here… a bold prediction would be picking Winnipeg to win a Grey Cup and we all know that isn’t going to happen.
Zach Collaros leads the Riders to the playoffs again and it’s not on the heels of the defense. Yes, the defense is going to keep them in games and win a few for them like last year, but Collaros will start putting 7 on the board instead of 3 like last year. He will enjoy having more experienced playmakers this season and I truly believe OC Stephen McAdoo’s offense returns to near 2017 form. They’ll surprise the “experts”.
I want to say this is the year Calgary finally takes a step back, but I know I’ll be wrong. But let’s do it anyway. Calgary will have some slip ups and will NOT host a playoff game. 11-7 will be their record and they will finish in third. There is just too many loses to the team that will end up costing them a couple of games down the stretch. (Full disclosure, I fully expect Calgary to finish first with a 14-4 record and get to the Grey Cup).
Edmonton, for all their spending in free agency will finish dead last in the West and miss the playoffs again. They downgraded significantly on offense this offseason and while the defense HAS to be better than last year (that’s not saying much), it won’t be playoff caliber. Jason Maas will continue to explode on the sidelines and the team will follow suit. It’ll be a tough year in Edmonton.
The CFL’s best player Mike Reilly won’t be able to take the Lions to the next level… at least not yet. He’s got some great receivers around him in Bryan Burnham and Duron Carter (we’ll see how long that experiment lasts though) and the defense is improved. I can’t help but wonder about their O-Line though. Continuity is big with the hoggies and with all the new faces, you have to wonder how they’ll mesh to start the season. The Lions will crossover again this year.
FINAL STANDINGS PREDICTION
BC (crossover) Ottawa
Grey Cup Prediction: Saskatchewan over Toronto
Don’t forget to check out episode 118 of the Piffles Podcast tis week, we will be joined by Rider greats Kerry Joseph and Matt Dominguez PLUS hear from Riders DL Micah Johnson and Ticats DL Ja’Gared Davis!