The 2012 Canadian Football League season continues to progress and there are two more interesting games this week. The Calgary Stampeders will look to get back in the win column when they visit Hamilton, while Saskatchewan will look to do the same against a tough Edmonton squad. Here’s how I break down Week 7:
Thursday August 9th
Calgary Stampeders (2-3) @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-2)
Calgary will still have a bad taste in their mouth from their dismal performance in their last game.
This team has yet to win on the road this season and Kevin Glenn has to be more consistent if the Stamps want to end that streak this week. Jon Cornish has been a non-factor in the last few games and it is imperative for the Stamps to find a way to make him relevant again. Their defence has been easy to play against of late because they haven’t gotten any pressure on the quarterback. Also, Glenn needs to realize that there are other playmakers on offence rather than just Nik Lewis. Calgary was awful in their last outing and I truly believe that they will play a much better football game this time around.
Meanwhile, Hamilton is on the other end of the spectrum as they are currently riding a three game winning streak. They are the class of the league right now with QB Henry Burris moving the ball down the field almost effortlessly. Their defence is another story however, as they have given up the most touchdowns and look lost at times. If they are to be a serious contender, their D will have to improve especially in the pass rush aspect. To date, Hamilton has registered the least amount of sacks (6). How long before Henry Burris has a bad game?
Every year there are games where a team is heavily favoured and fully expected to win easily. In this league, those games often result in upsets. Here, you have the home team in Hamilton that is on cruise control right now and comes into this one with a ton of confidence. On the other side is a Calgary squad that is reeling and not playing good football. See where I’m going with this? Keep in mind both teams are coming off of a bye week and will be well rested. I haven’t picked a major upset yet and it’s about time I did, because there are no sure things in the CFL. I say Calgary walks into Hamilton and comes out on top. The big story in this contest centers on the two quarterbacks who were traded for each other in the off season. Both guys needed a change of scenery and would like to stick it to their old team. Bottom line: The Tiger-Cats will come out flat and the Stamps will jump on them early. Jon Cornish and Larry Taylor will both have big nights.
Calgary 30 Hamilton 22
Friday August 10th
Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-2) @ Edmonton Eskimos (3-2)
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Saskatchewan, a team that blew two fourth quarter leads in their last two games. They were in need of some time off to think things over and figure out how to finish off games down the stretch. This game will say a lot about the psyche of rookie head coach Corey Chamblin. How will he respond to the adversity? Losing doesn’t sit well in Regina and their team will need to put in a solid performance on the road to stabilize things and prevent the alarm bells from growing louder. Running back Kory Sheets has been having a solid season having scored a touchdown in every single game this season. And while the defence needs to play better in the fourth quarter, the offence needs to give them a breather every now and then so that they have enough stamina late in the game. That starts with QB Darian Durant, who absolutely NEEDS to protect the ball against a ball hawing Eskimos defence.
Quarterback Steven Jyles has had a long time to think about that fumble that cost his team a win in Winnipeg a couple of weeks ago. He played well in that game and if he can continue to move the ball Edmonton will be in contention by seasons end. Their defence is as good as it gets right now with a handful of playmakers that can impact the game. The Eskies are 2-0 at home this season and would like nothing more than to make Commonwealth Stadium a tough place to play down the stretch. Head coach Kavis Reed needs to settle down on the sidelines, as he has often been seen arguing with fellow coaches and players. He’s an emotional coach, but he needs to rein it in a little bit.
This game could go either way. Darian Durant might have a rough night against that Edmonton defence if he doesn’t get adequate protection. I don’t think that will happen. The Riders will be well prepared for this game and will draw up a game plan that allows them to hold the lead. Put it this way: If they let another lead slip away, the Riders won’t be allowed back into Saskatchewan. Bottom line: Kory Sheets will score a touchdown for the sixth straight game and the Roughriders will win their fourth game of the season.
Saskatchewan 24 Edmonton 13
My overall record: 9-13