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TORONTO — Week 2 has arrived and with it, those that make picks are trying to find their way.
Kickoff week taught us a few lessons. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers remain a solid weekly pick. The BC Lions just might be one this year again as well. The rest of the teams? We’re still in learning mode.
The challenge of early season picks is that lack of identity. One good showing, or one underwhelming one, isn’t necessarily what that team will be for the coming 20 weeks. Last year’s Grey Cup champs, the Toronto Argonauts, were 4-5 at Week 11 and didn’t scream that they had the makings of the three-peat stopping, history-making squad that they’d become.
Successful picks at this point in the season takes some gut trust and maybe some luck, while you figure out who stands where.
If you haven’t done so yet, visit the CFL Game Zone to play CFL Pick ‘Em, presented by Old Dutch, where you can qualify for daily and weekly prizing. One player will win the grand prize of a trip to the 110th Grey Cup in Hamilton.
If you think the writers have strong collective opinions on this week’s games, you’ll see that the fans aren’t far behind. For the second week in a row, we have convincing majorities on three of the four games, with a pair of longtime rivals appropriately split just about down the middle to close out the week.
» Visit the Game Zone and play Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch
» Steinberg’s MMQB: Three early season award picks
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» Power Rankings: Statement games at the top
» Landry’s five takeaways from Week 1
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CGY at OTT
The red and black team travels to Ottawa to face the REDBLACKS, where both teams are looking to put disappointing Week 1 showings behind them. Ottawa’s strong defensive line — which amassed six sacks in its Week 1 loss to the Alouettes — should meet more resistance this week against a historically great Calgary offensive line. Most pick makers, writers and fans alike, see this one going Calgary’s way.
Writers: 100% Calgary
Fans: 85% Calgary
WPG at SSK
The Blue Bombers return to the scene of their Grey Cup 109 heartbreak in Week 2, but there are very few signs of concern from writers or fans on this one. A sign of encouragement for the Riders in their Week 1 win over Edmonton: they only allowed two sacks on Trevor Harris. They’ll be tested this week against a top-tier team in the Bombers, which also got a five-star performance from Zach Collaros and the rest of the offence.
Writers: 100% Winnipeg
Fans: 82% Winnipeg
EDM at BC
The Elks head to BC Place, looking to put a difficult Week 1 loss to the Riders behind them. The Lions, meanwhile, are literally being celebrated/getting the party started all week in Vancouver ahead of their home opener and are coming off of a nice win over the Stamps. Which team will channel the motivational lyrics of LL Cool J when he performs on Saturday afternoon? Those making picks think the Lions will hear “don’t call it a comeback” and think it’s about them.
Writers: 100% BC
Fans: 93% BC
HAM at TOR
The Argos had to wait a week, but their banner unveiling finally happens on Sunday at BMO Field and the Chad Kelly era begins immediately after. Kelly has looked good in each glimpse of him we’ve gotten over the last year: the Argos’ home finale last season; his huge showing in the late stages of the 109th Grey Cup in November and in the short amount of time we saw him in the preseason. Some pick makers will need to see it with their own eyes this year, which is what may factor into the writers’ picks. The fans? That may be more of a 416/905 issue.
Writers: 66% Toronto
Fans: 52% Hamilton