- Free Agency
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).
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.
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.
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.
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)