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TORONTO — Between the betting odds and the CFL Simulation, there’s been a healthy split between the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Calgary Stampeders going into the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw.
The writers have finally settled the difference, picking the Stamps to be victorious on Sunday at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium, and a clean sweep at that.
Calgary holds the edge by a mere field goal according to the odds coming out of Vegas.
Will Bo Levi Mitchell make Calgary’s third consecutive appearance in the Grey Cup the charm, or will Trevor Harris and the REDBLACKS prove the writers wrong, just as they did back in 2016? For those who may have forgotten, the 2016 edition of CFL.ca’s writers picks leading up to the Grey Cup was also a sweep in favour of the Stampeders.
The writers make their choices:
CFL.ca Pick ‘Em Leaders: Regular Season
The Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa REDBLACKS haven’t faced off against each other since July.
Calgary took both games with a combined point advantage of 24.
Bo Levi Mitchell will have his third consecutive go at bringing a championship to the City of Calgary, which would be his second Grey Cup of his career if he can have his squad on the winning side of the score.
After winning his second MOP award on Thursday night at the Shaw CFL Awards, Mitchell will enter Sunday after a season in which he posted a career-best in passing touchdowns (35), and finishing third in the league in total yards (5,124).
The exact receiving corps for the Stampeders in Sunday’s championship has yet to be set in stone, but as of Saturday morning, the Stampeders released their depth chart with Chris Matthews, Eric Rogers, Bakari Grant, DaVaris Daniels, Juwan Brescacin, Julan Lynch, Lemar Durant, and Richard Sindani all in the lineup.
Defensively, the Stampeders were leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the league as they wrapped up the season allowing 46 fewer points than the runner-up.
Trevor Harris and the REDBLACKS offence will be hoping their potent receiving corps, along with their quick passing attack will bode well for them as they look to take the advantage over a defensive front that tied for first in the league with 45 quarterback sacks.
The Ottawa quarterback finished the season just a hair behind that of his Sunday counterpart in terms of regular season passing yards, however, Harris displays a significant advantage when it comes to delivering the ball with efficiency, having a 10 per cent edge over Mitchell when it comes to completion percentage.
While the Stampeders went practically the entire season having to cycle receivers through the lineup with injuries, the REDBLACKS were able to keep their receivers healthy and consistent, finishing the season with Brad Sinopoli, Greg Ellingson, and Diontae Spencer all surpassing the 1,000-yard mark.
Effectively moving the ball upfield through the air will aid on opening up running lanes for the REDBLACKS’ William Powell, who finished the season second for total rushing yards (1,362).
As for the defensive side of the ball, the defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe has been working tirelessly this week to deliver a defensive scheme that will be prepared and set up to flourish as they hope to contain Mitchell and Don Jackson in the backfield, while also keeping their receivers short and in front.
Without further delay, here are the picks.