September 14, 2022

Weekly Predictor: Rolling with the Roughriders

The Canadian Press

This week features three games with a team in each contest that needs to prove something, even if it’s not in a winning effort.

On Friday night, the Saskatchewan Roughriders need to end a four-game losing streak at home and look like the team that started the season 4-1 rather than the one that has gone 2-6 in their last eight.

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On Saturday afternoon, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats need to come out of their tailspin. A three-game losing streak and instability at quarterback has the Tiger-Cats tied with Ottawa and fading out of a playoff race. A confident effort against Winnipeg, their Grey Cup nemesis, could be a kickstart to a back half turnaround.

The finale of the week shows the Vernon Adams Jr. era in BC begin against the Calgary Stampeders. The Lions are in a race with Calgary now for a home playoff game and need to see Adams show a quick command of the offence. Could Adams be their Zach Collaros? We’ll find out sooner or later.

Edmonton at Saskatchewan
Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET

Cody Fajardo and co. will be looking to bounce back from their loss last week against the Blue Bombers (Jason Halstead/

As Chris Jones first year as the GM/Head Coach in Edmonton draws closer to an end, we are starting to see him find young players to possibly form a roster that will be more competitive next season. (Dillon Mitchell and Kevin Brown are the top of the list.)

For the Roughriders, as previously stated, they’re looking to gather some confidence before a bye week. Here’s hoping that awful flu bug has worked it’s way through the locker room and they’ll be a much more healthy group after dragging themselves to the finish against Winnipeg.

The Riders rookie running back Frankie Hickson has added boost to the offence, and Cody Fajardo is getting a bit of a groove back with Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore returning to the lineup. Now if the offensive line could consistently protect him, the Riders would become a team to watch out for in the final third of the season.

PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (90 confidence bonus)

Winnipeg at Hamilton
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET

Winnipeg heads to Hamilton to take on the Tiger-Cats on Saturday at Tim Hortons Field (

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats come back from their bye week with Dane Evans listed as a full participant. Now, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to who plays quarterback in Hamilton anymore, but they still have a strong defence and haven’t played themselves out of the playoff race yet.

And it doesn’t get easier with the unstoppable Bombers coming into Hamilton. Of course, the last time the Bombers were at Tim Hortons Field, they crushed the dreams of an epic Hamilton Grey Cup party.

Really, at this point in the season, it’s clear the only way to beat the Bombers is catch them on an off day. And they have far too few of those to give much hope to the opponents.

With the inconsistency at quarterback and an offensive line that’s struggled to hold off the rush, I’m guess history will repeat itself with a Winnipeg win. But this time I highly doubt Hamilton will get it to overtime.

PICK: WINNIPEG (99 confidence bonus)

BC at Calgary
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Jake Maier and the Stamps dominated against the Elks last week but can they do the same this week against the Lions? (

It was clear in last week’s loss in Montreal that Vernon Adams Jr. had to become the number one guy in BC for the Lions to have any hope of staying near the top of the West Division.

The Lions without Nathan Rourke have become a completely different team and I’ve been surprised to see the big drop in play. The Lions are extremely talented across the roster, so with a more veteran presence at quarterback and an athlete who can extend the play and get the ball down field, I believe the Lions will turn it around.

Of course, it’ll take more than two weeks for Adams to get a good feel for the offence, the play calling and the receivers, but with a good defence they’ll get there.

Meanwhile in Calgary, Jake Maier rebounded from a down Labour Day Classic, and he and the Stampeders completely destroyed Edmonton in the rematch.

The Stamps offence is complimented by a strong defence who are able to find the next man up after being hit by a bunch of injuries over the last few weeks in the secondary.

I’d expect the learning curve to be too much for Adams to have success this early, especially with a tough road trip to Calgary.

PICK: CALGARY (50 confidence bonus)

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