Week 20 CFL Preview
Published: Wednesday, Oct 24th 2018, 7:10amBy: Sheldon Jones (@SheldonJones83)
Week 20 in the CFL starts out with a West Division matchup on Friday Night Football. The first place Calgary Stampeders travel to Winnipeg to take on the desperate Blue Bombers in a game with a lot of playoff implications on the line. The Stamps are only a win or a tie away from clinching first place and a bye all the way to hosting the Western Final. The Bombers on the other hand need a win or tie to clinch the final playoff spot in the West and eliminate Edmonton out of contention. This match up is very interesting as it has two teams that seem to be trending in opposite ways. Calgary has dropped the last two games in a row at home and now must finish off the regular season with 2 big road divisional games. They are still hurting in the receiver department and looks like DT Micah Johnson was nicked up last week vs the Riders. Recent signee Bakari Grant should see his way into the line up and will look to make an immediate impact. Winnipeg on the other hand has won 4 in a row since being swept by the Roughriders in the Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl in early Sept. They are arguably the best team in the league right now and are sitting atop Safimod’s Weekly Power Rankings for a reason. They are also well rested after coming off the bye week and starting QB Matt Nichols has rebounded after a disastrous middle part of the season. They also have back up QB Chris Streveler who runs the short yard offense but has also shown an ability to stretch the field and make big plays. This game will be an offensive shootout and will probably be decided in the final minute.
Saturday has two games on the schedule, but I will be focusing on the first game in Hamilton as the Ottawa REDBLACKS visit the Tiger-Cats. Both teams have already clinched post season berths but now fight to see who will sit atop the East Division Standings. While both the REDBLACKS and Tiger-Cats will have home playoff games Ottawa needs a win or a tie to secure first place and the extra week off. Hamilton got bad news on the injury front last game and has lost speedy receiver / returner Brandon Banks for the remainder of the season with a broken clavicle. This will hurt their chances in this game as QB Jeremiah Massoli likes to spread the field deep often utilizing Banks’ speed. Ottawa will look to continue their balanced set of pounding the ball with William Powel while Trevor Harris will also be looking to make big connections with Brad Sinopoli and Greg Ellingson. This game could also go down to the wire, but I see a defensive low scoring game with Ottawa just trying to get out of Tim Hortons Field with a win.
Sunday, we have a glorified exhibition game between the two worst teams in the league. Toronto heads to Montreal in a rematch from last week. There is not much to say about this game other than the players on both teams will be basically showcasing their skills and making a case for them to be brought back next year. Montreal starting QB Johnny Manziel is still looking for his first win in the CFL and I’m sure the focus will be on that the entire broadcast on TSN. Another interesting storyline is James Franklin tying Doug Flutie’s CFL record last week for rushing touchdowns by a QB with 14. This could surprise everyone and be an exciting game, but I don’t see it happening. Johnny gets his win.