October 17, 2023

Weekly Predictor: Taking the BC Lions?

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

Game one of Week 20 in the CFL will dictate the mood for the Saturday doubleheader.

Calgary wins and the Riders are desperate and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers know they’re cruising to first in the division.

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BC wins and the Riders are playing to clinch a playoff spot while the Bombers will need a win at home to Edmonton to clinch first in the division.

Meanwhile, I’m try to hold off Kristina and Matt to keep my lead in the Pick ‘Em this season after the Tiger-Cats and Elks let me down in Week 19.

Calgary at BC
Friday, October 20
10:00 p.m. ET

The Calgary Stampeders were down 13-0 knowing their season was on the line and outscored the Riders 26-6 the rest of the way to stay alive in the race for third.

However, the Stamps only had 200 yards of offence and take on a BC team that still has their sights set on a first place finish, even though they need Winnipeg to lose out in their final two games.

The big story will be Vernon Adams Jr. and whether he’ll play. As of publication, head coach Rick Campbell said that Adams Jr. will play as long as he’s not “medically compromised.”

Two months ago the Stampeders went to BC and lost 37-9.

The Stampeders look like they’ll get both Reggie Begelton and Dedrick Mills back this week, and they’ll need them to have any shot against the Lions.

The Lions have given up almost 30 points per game since that win over Calgary so there is opportunity for the Stamps, but I just think there is too much fire power on the Lions offence no matter who starts at quarterback.


Toronto at Saskatchewan
Saturday, October 21
4:00 p.m. ET

The Riders know they’ll either be playing to clinch or playing to stay alive, so there is a lot to play for. Toronto hasn’t played a meaningful game in a month and have nearly gone 3-0 in that time. Their only loss was blowing a lead in the second half in Winnipeg when they changed from backup Cameron Dukes to their third string QB, Bryan Scott.

How the Argos set up their roster for this road trip to Saskatchewan will be interesting. I imagine there will be a few starters resting this week and then they’ll rotate some players going into their season finale against Ottawa.

Saskatchewan, meanwhile, is on a six game losing streak and trying to avoid going 0-7 down the stretch for two-straight seasons.

While the first half was the best half of football for Saskatchewan in a while, they reverted back to the team we’ve see in the second half with five turnovers.

If the Riders protect the ball and ride what has been a decent running game the last two weeks they stand a chance.

While it’s tough to make a call without seeing the rosters, I still believe Toronto has shown they have the depth to win no matter who gets in the lineup.


Edmonton at Winnipeg
Saturday, October 21
7:00 p.m. ET

This is the last game of the season for the Elks. Winnipeg could be playing for nothing or I believe will more likely be looking to clinch first in the West.

I’m interested to see what Edmonton shows for their final appearance of the season. Tre Ford has been a breathe of fresh air but they’ve been out of the race for a while and are starting to show that the initial surge of energy they had with Ford has worn out.

Playing three-straight meaningless games is going to weigh on a team, while they also know it gives them one last chance to show they should keep earning a paycheque from the Elks in 2024.

Winnipeg is facing Tre Ford for the second time as he was making his first CFL start when the Bombers beat them 38-29.

Ford was decent but he’s been given a lot more of the offence in the last half of the season.

It’ll be tough, however, to upset a team that has a lot more to play for. The starters will be in there no matter if BC wins or loses on Friday night because the depth chart will be declared.

I see no reason not to pick the Bombers to likely clinch first in the West.


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