After an entertaining but all-too-brief Week 2, we are back for our regularly-scheduled programming with a quartet of intriguing match-ups in Week 3.
The Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes both hit the road in search of their first wins, while a battle of undefeated Western heavyweights looms in Winnipeg on Thursday Night Football.
Thursday | Edmonton at Winnipeg (8:30 p.m. ET)
The new-look Esks (2-0) are off to a brilliant start on the strong arm of off-season acquisition Trevor Harris, but will face their stiffest test to-date on Thursday night in Winnipeg against the Bombers (1-0).
Adam Bighill and the Bombers will pose the stiffest test yet for Trevor Harris and the Esks offence. (David Chidley/CFL.ca)
Matt Nichols appeared to be a renewed man under centre in Winnipeg’s 33-23 win over BC back in Week 1; if Andrew Harris stays healthy and Richie Hall’s defence can perform consistently at a high level, the sky appears to be the limit #ForTheW.
PICK: Winnipeg, because the Esks are missing pieces on defence and the Bombers could be able to grind down the front seven. Plus, it’s Winnipeg’s home opener and Edmonton was 2-7 away from Commonwealth last season.
Friday | Montreal at Hamilton (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Ticats (2-0) have co-broken away from the pack (with the REDBLACKS) in the East, and will be touted as heavy favourites entering their Friday Night Football meeting with the Alouettes (0-1).
It’s an interesting matchup that in the past would have been written off — Hamilton operating on a different level than Montreal — but this year may be different.
Jeremiah Masoli threw for 338 yards and a trio of touchdowns in last week’s win at Toronto. (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)
With Antonio Pipkin on the shelf, Vernon Adams Jr. will get the start for the Als, who showed some moxie in a narrow Week-1 loss at Edmonton; the Ticats are good, but unlikely to replicate last week’s 50-point blowout of the Argos.
PICK: Hamilton, because Jeremiah Masoli and that offence are red-hot and Montreal gave up 600-plus yards in Edmonton. With that said, expect a closer ballgame than many are anticipating.
Saturday | BC at Calgary (7 p.m. ET)
If you told people prior to #CFLKickoff the Lions (0-2) and Stamps (0-1) would be winless entering their Week 3 matchup, you likely would have received some odd looks.
BC has struggled to both generate offence and stop opposing teams from scoring, with its young coaching staff and new-look offence going through a transitional phase.
Bo Levi Mitchell will be gunning for his first win of 2019 against the Lions. (The Canadian Press)
Calgary was stunned — and well-beaten — by Ottawa in their Week-1 Grey Cup rematch.
PICK: Calgary, because the Stamps have lost just five times at home in the last four seasons and aren’t likely to drop back-to-back contests at McMahon. Worth noting: BC’s offensive line and Calgary’s pass rush are both serious question marks at this point in time.
Monday | Toronto at Saskatchewan (7 p.m. ET)
Both the Argos (0-1) and Roughriders (0-2) lost last week, but the mood around their respective fanbases could not be more different.
In Saskatchewan, fans are breathing a sigh of relief after Cody Fajardo’s confident 360-yard performance in Ottawa — and assuming that if the defence returns to its usual standard, all may still be well in Riderville.
Cody Fajardo’s performance last week has instilled a renewed sense of confidence in Riderville.
Toronto, meanwhile, is coming off one of the most lopsided defeats in franchise history: a 64-14 defeat at the hands of the rival Ticats at BMO Field.
Any matchup between winless teams will naturally feature a lot of question marks, but it’s clear the Argos have a few more than Saskatchewan at this juncture.
PICK: Saskatchewan, because the Riders will be backed by a raucous crowd for their home opener and have looked competitive in both their defeats out East.
Week 2: 3-0
2019: 5-2 (.714)
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