TORONTO — The words echo as they’re re-read, a damnation the second they appeared on the screen and were sent out into the universe.
On the heels of a strong collective showing from the CFL.ca writers in Week 4, the following appeared in this space:
“This affirmation was desperately needed and we think (but what do we really know?) it could be the spark that gets our collective records back on track.”
To answer that parenthesized question: A little, but still not a lot.
Mark’s Labour Day Weekend was loaded with great games, lots of drama and unfortunately for the people that are tasked with making these picks, some longstanding holiday weekend streaks finally being snapped.
The Bombers won in Saskatchewan for just the second time in their last 16 meetings. Edmonton made the trip down the QEII and won in Calgary for the first time since 2011. In hindsight, the panel could have put more weight on history in Hamilton, where the Ticats trounced the Argos to win their seventh-straight Labour Day Classic.
This week, pick makers are tasked with determining how three re-match games will go. The Bombers looked dominant in their win in Regina. Can you assume they’ll do it again, or will the Riders bounce back from an out-of-character game at home last week? Did Edmonton have a breakthrough game in Trevor Harris‘ four-TD outing? Or will Calgary’s defence be able to rein that group in? What if Bo Levi Mitchell plays on Saturday? The Ticats also looked dominant in their Labour Day win, but the Argos looked bad one week in a loss to Winnipeg, then shocked the Bombers in Toronto a week later to hand them their only loss on the season thus far.
There’s a lot to weigh and debate and only one game that the panel completely agreed on this week.
The Ticats were flat out lethal on Labour Day, getting touchdowns from all three phases. Dane Evans had the offence rolling, the Ticats’ d-line was all over Nick Arbuckle and Frankie Williams made his second return touchdown of the season look easy, when it’s anything but. As we said above, the Argos have shown an ability to bounce back against an elite Bombers team in this same situation, pulling out the win in the back end of a home-and-home series. The majority of this group liked what they saw from the Tiger-Cats on Monday and don’t think much will change on Friday.
Writers: 83% Hamilton
SSK at WPG
The Bombers’ defence looked like their usual, quarterback-feasting selves in Saskatchewan last week, forcing Cody Fajardo into his worst game as a starter. Like the Ticats’ showing against Toronto, it’s hard to see that kind of dominance and think much can change in the span of a week. The challenge is on the Riders to go into a tough environment at IG Field and respond. As one pick maker said earlier this week, “My head says Winnipeg. My heart says that Cody Fajardo can’t play that bad two weeks in a row. We will see.”
Writers: 66% Winnipeg
CGY at EDM
The Elks came out of their postponed game and put any questions of rust or chemistry to bed the second they kicked off in Calgary. This was a massive win and could be the kind of thing that sparks the Elks into the final two-thirds of the season. Would a Bo Levi Mitchell return spark Calgary in the same way? It feels strange to say that the Stamps are 1-4. It’s still early enough in the year that they could get themselves out of the hole they’re in, but they need to start winning now to do that. Most years, Calgary comes into Edmonton with the momentum of that Labour Day win. They don’t have that this year and our panel doesn’t see it changing this week.
Writers: 66% Edmonton
OTT at BC
The REDBLACKS hit a breaking point last week against the Alouettes. The bright spot in that tough loss was that the offence finally put some points on the board with Dominique Davis at QB. Traveling to BC to face a rested Lions team doesn’t seem like the answer to end their three-game slide. Michael Reilly put 301 yards on the REDBLACKS’ defence two weeks ago and if his o-line is healthier after this week off, he might be able to improve on those numbers. This is a golden opportunity for the Lions to move above the .500 mark for the first time this year.
Writers: 100% BC
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