Across the CFL - Week 3 Preview
Published: Wednesday, Jun 26th 2019, 8:06am
by Sheldon Jones (@sheldonjones83)
CFL Week 3 Preview
The start of this season of the CFL has been ridiculous. (case and point that so far I am 1-7 in my Riderfans.com CFL Pickem). The two teams that all of us here at Piffles picked to finish last in the West (Edmonton) is 2 - 0 and the team that 3 of us picked to finish last in the East is also 2 - 0 (Ottawa). Scoring is up, that is unless you are the Toronto Argonauts and Ed Hervey is finding out the hard way that regardless of who you have at QB, you need an O-Line to protect them. QB Trevor Harris so far seems to be the steal of free agency as he has lit it up for the Eskimos and has renewed his chemistry with Greg Ellingson. Also this week both 750K plus QB's look to get their first wins of the season as Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell face off in Calgary.
Week 3 of the 2019 CFL regular season kicks off on Thursday when Edmonton travels to Winnipeg for the home opener at IGF. It's the battle of the two only unbeaten teams left in the western division with the red hot Eskimos offence going up against arguably the league's best defence. Harris and co. will look to keep the gas petal down and try to torch the one weakness that Blue bombers defence has, their secondary. CJ Gable is the leagues leadering rusher so look for them to establish the run game early and use play action to go deep. Winnipeg is coming off the early bye week and will look to continue to feed Andrew Harris the rock. In the opening game of the season Harris rushed for almost 150 yard but had an amazing 9.1 yard average. Matt Nichols also threw for 3 TDs in his debut this season but will need to be mistake free if the Bombers want to stay undefeated. Edmonton's defence was no slouch last week sacking Mike Reilly 7 times (but was it defensive prowess or just BC's Swiss cheese O-Line?) I see the offences continuing to shine and this could be a game that comes right down to the wire. Playing at home in the "loudest stadium" in the CFL I see the Bombers squeaking out a 34 - 31 victory.
Friday night Montreal heads west to Hamilton. The Alouettes are also coming off the early bye week but are looking to continue the little bit of momentum they had in their first game of the season. It's hard to say they have momentum with a loss, but after losing Antonio Pipkin to injury, Vernon Adams came in and almost brought the Als back to beat Edmonton. The Alouettes have since signed Canadian QB Brandon Bridge so who knows how long Pipkin's ankle will keep him out of action. Safety Taylor Loffler is also out and with the way Jeremiah Masoli likes to throw the ball down field it could be a long day for the Montreal secondary. The Ti-Cats are coming off a huge win that saw them tie their previous record of largest winning margin when they beat the hometown Argos 64 -14 on Saturday. They will look to strike early and often to try to stay undefeated. With Montreal's uncertainty and the possibility of the Tiger Cats overlooking them this could be a trap game but I think this will be a easy win for Hamilton and they will do so by double digits. 38 to 17.
Saturdays matchup has the top 2 free agency signings facing off to see who will get the first win of the season for their club. BC's protection was terrible for Mike Reilly last week as they allowed him to be sacked 7 times and offensively they could not get anything going after the first quarter. Their defence was no better allowing Trevor Harris to torch them for almost 300 yards and 3 TD's. Calgary got stunned by Ottawa in week one for a very rare home loss. Bo Levi Mitchell was not on his game and the all-stars they lost in free agency on defense was evident. I expect Reilly to try to set the tone and test Calgary's defence but what they really need to do is use and establish their run game. Over two games they have a grand total of 57 yards on the ground in only 19 carries. BC can not win many ball games throwing the ball 40 times a game consistently. Rookie Head Coach and defensive guru DeVone Claybrooks will certainly be looking to get more out of his defense but he needs to make sure that his offensive line provides the protection and create lanes for the running backs. Calgary almost never loses two games at home in a row but with Mike Reilly wanting to erase what happened last week and Claybrooks coming back to his old stomping grounds I think BC will pull out the victory 28 - 24.
Steve will have a look at the Riders home opener against the Argos later on this week. Don’t miss this episode 120 of the Piffles Podcast out this week. Greg and Alex dissect the Riders wild game against the Redblacks and look ahead to the Argo game on Canada Day.