Real Alex D's Fearless CFL Predictions: 2021 Season
Published: Wednesday, Aug 4th 2021, 8:08am
WE MADE IT! After more than 600 days, we have finally arrived! Canadian Football is BACK tomorrow night as the (do we still call them defending?) Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers raise their banner against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Here in Saskatchewan, we wait one more day for the Riders to open their season against the BC Lions at Mosaic Stadium.
Here's some fearless predictions for the 2021 season that I expect you to come back and throw at me at the end of the season when they are inevitably wrong:
- A 2nd year starting QB steps up in a HUGE way and wins MOP- And it's NOT Cody Fajardo! Vernon Adams Jr. of the Montreal Alouettes finally (eventually) got his chance to shine in 2019 and had quite a solid year. There are questions around him and if he REALLY is the guy in Montreal... and the answer is yes. He's got a LOADED offense around him (so much so that they cut former Riders receiver Naaman Roosevelt) and this is the year that Montreal takes that next step. Adams Jr. wins the Most Outstanding Player Award in December.
- Since I mentioned Cody Fajardo - There isn't a regression at all. He'll be the same Cody we saw in 2019 and that's a good thing. I just can't get over the Saskatchewan Roughriders starting O-Line. Remember how bad BC's was in 2019? That's where this team is at. An unknown at Left Tackle, a question mark at Left Guard, Dan Clark at Centre, Evan Johnson at Right Guard (the last two are really solid, no worries there) and Brett Boyko at Right Tackle. That's what it seems will start the year. Absolute YIKES! Good thing Cody Fajardo likes to run, because he'll be doing a lot of it. The offense has a TON of weapons and I still expect big things from them, but when it comes to Cody needing 4 seconds to throw a pass, I have huge worries. I have the Riders going 7-7 this year. (Good thing wins aren't a QB stat, right?)
- Okay, the RECORD for the team is a regression, but for Cody himself, no. 2019 was a weird year, where EVERY QB missed time, most missed significant time. That won't happen again this year. Bo Levi Mitchell's shoulder should be good to go, Michael Reilly is a bit dinged up right now, but he's the toughest dude in the CFL, Trevor Harris was on pace for 6,000 yards in 2019, Jeremiah Masoli is back starting for Hamilton. Fajardo, while good in 2019 (and EXACTLY what the Riders needed), it was a slightly above average QB season if everyone was healthy. With healthy QBs back, Harris, Bo and Reilly regain their thrones at the top of the CFL and Cody is in the 2nd tier... for now.
- The best team in the league doesn't make it to the Grey Cup! - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats MISS OUT of having a home Grey Cup. Look, this is a loaded team that is easily the best in the league. They are deep in every position, especially at QB which is a HUGE X factor in the CFL, they have the best Canadian talent and I can see them going 12-2 this year. Just a gut feeling here, but on any given Sunday... you know? Sorry TiCat fans, I'm pulling for you guys this year... maybe that's why I have a bad feeling...
- So who gets to the Grey Cup? - The Edmonton Elks get there out of the West. Trevor Harris, Derel Walker, Greg Ellingson, etc... this O is going to be TOUGH to stop. I like what the Elks have done over the last year and a half with their roster and they beat the Stampeders in the West Final. Out East, since it's not Hamilton, it's my MOP Vernon Adams Jr. and the Montreal Alouettes. Any Given Sunday.
- The Edmonton Elks win the Grey Cup - Montreal puts up a fight in the first half, but Harris and the Elks pull away and win the Grey Cup... lifting the trophy off of the new Grey Cup Fan Base (remember that's a thing?). Maybe the close up of the Fan Base will show Piffles Podcast name in there...