Week 1 in the Canadian Football League was entertaining from start to finish, and threw a lot of #TotalPickEm players for a loop in the process.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS’ stunning 32-28 win in Calgary — the first for a road team at McMahon Stadium pre-Labour Day since 2014 — was predicted by just 14 per cent of players, ruining most people’s shot at a perfect season just two nights into the 2019 campaign.
Here’s a look at the Week 2 matchups around the league.
Thursday | Saskatchewan at Ottawa (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Riders (0-1) head back to Ontario for the second time in as many weeks to face a REDBLACKS (1-0) squad that shocked Calgary last week.
With Zach Collaros on the six-game injured list, Saskatchewan will be hoping one of Cody Fajardo or Isaac Harker proves capable of leading the offence. The Riders were challenged for points in last week’s loss in Hamilton, and handing the ball to William Powell will become predictable pretty quickly if they don’t find a passing game.
Cody Fajardo will get the start for the Riders in Ottawa, but rookie Isaac Harker is expected to feature as well. (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca Photo)
Ranked eighth in the opening edition of the Nissan Canada Power Rankings and picked by many to fall flat in Calgary, the REDBLACKS engineered a solid road win in Week 1 and are playing with a massive chip on their shoulder.
QB Dominique Davis threw four interceptions — but also ran for a trio of touchdowns and still pulled out a win. This Ottawa team could be fun to watch.
PICK: Ottawa, because they’ll be fired up at home and Saskatchewan is rolling with a backup quarterback. But expect a close game — the Riders D is still the Riders D.
Friday | BC at Edmonton (9 p.m. ET)
The Esks (1-0) are set to welcome former franchise QB Mike Reilly and his BC Lions (0-1) to Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night in what should be a tantalizing matchup.
There’s an unbelievable amount of offensive talent on both these rosters, and Week 1 performances would tell us this could be a high-scoring affair.
Trevor Harris is the guy in Edmonton now, and reminded everyone of that quickly with a 400-plus yard, three-TD performance against Montreal in Week 1. Mike Reilly had a relatively inauspicious start with the Lions, throwing for 324 yards and a touchdown against two interceptions.
Lions QB Mike Reilly will look to engineer a road win in the stadium he called home for a long time. (The Canadian Press photo)
Enigmatic off-season pickup Duron Carter had 65 yards on six receptions for BC last week; could his partnership with Reilly lead to the end zone this week?
PICK: Edmonton, though this is once again a West Division toss-up between two teams that on paper look like surefire playoff material. The Lions will be raring to go, but if C.J. Gable is on again for the Esks it could be a tough trip for BC.
Saturday | Hamilton at Toronto (4 p.m. ET)
Another chapter of the Battle of the QEW opens this Saturday at BMO Field, where the Argos (0-0) open their season against the division-favourite Ticats (1-0).
Hamilton’s 23-17 win over Saskatchewan in Week 1 was far from the Tabbies’ best effort, but the pieces for success — Masoli, Banks, a killer offensive line, etc. — are in place for the Ticats to have an elite offence.
Brandon Banks found the end zone in last week’s season opener. Will he do it again at BMO Field on Saturday against the Argos? (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca Photo)
With a new system for QB James Franklin and shiny off-season acquisition in Derel Walker, the Argos’ offence has potential after disappointing a year ago.
PICK: Hamilton, because the Ticats have the advantage on-paper in the trenches and the team that controls the line of scrimmage in these types of rivalry games typically emerges victorious. Hamilton did in all three meetings last season.
Week 1: 2-2
2019: 2-2 (.500)
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