Welcome back to PJ’s Place, minions! Week 3 is upon us in the CFL!
As the World Cup gets into their 16 team stage and baseball slowly lingers on, Canada is the place for your weekly football fix! After Week 2 saw blowouts across the country, Week 3 looks to be a little more competitive and a little more appetizing.
So kick back, grab some poutine and a cold one, and get ready for Canadian football fun! But first, let me show you some key matchups for this week.
Ottawa Redblacks vs. Calgary Stampeders, Thursday, 9 PM ET, ESPN+ – Defense (Game of the Week)
Don’t get discouraged if you mix these teams up while watching them, I do too. The Stamps are coming off of a Toronto blowout and Ottawa is coming off of a superb home opener against Saskatchewan. This game features 2 red hot offenses. Bo Levi Mitchell boasts a 92.2 QB Rating through 2 games while Trevor Harris has a QB Rating of 98.7 after 1 game.
Ottawa’s secondary will definitely be tested early; Bo Levi leads the league in 20+ yard throws with 19 and has completed 8 of those 19 attempts. Eric Rogers has received 5 of those throws and caught 4 of them. Antoine Pruneau and the boys had it easy vs. the Riders’ rocky QB situation last week but they are going against the best of the best this week.
Calgary’s defense will need to pull of a stellar performance again this week if they want to conquer the Redblacks like they did the Argos. The Redblacks rookie LG Mark Korte and rookie RT Evan Johnson played well in their first start against 2 of the best EDGEs in the league. But I expect Calgary to move their DT Micah Johnson right over Korte to welcome him to the CFL; Ja’Gared Davis will also be battling Johnson all night long. Ottawa didn’t allow a sack in their first game but Calgary currently leads the league in sacks (6) and turnovers forced (5).
While Ottawa showed a lot of explosion and power in their win, I don’t know how it’s going to match up with Calgary’s firepower.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Friday, 7 PM ET, ESPN2, Efficiency (Live Mics Game)
Game 1 of the Friday night doubleheader features 2 QBs who have the CFL world buzzing. Jeremiah Masoli has been on a mission to prove that he is one of the best QBs in the league and roolie Chris Streveler has been shining while filling in for Matt Nichols.
Masoli has been phenomenal in his first 2 games and he’ll look to continue his 300 passing yards a game streak against Winnipeg. HC June Jones has his Run n’ Shoot system rolling in the CFL and Hamilton has fully grasped the concept and it has worked in their favor. As great as Masoli has been, we have seen that his risk taking is sometimes his downfall. In Calgary, it lost them the first game; against Edmonton the Win was already in place when he threw a pick. Hamilton is going to need to convert 2nd downs if they want their offense to keep rising; Masoli has converted 52.4% of their 2nd downs while Streveler has converted 64.6% of his.
Streveler has Winnipeg’s offense rolling too; 6 TD passes and a 109.5 pass efficiency rating while leading the Bombers to a league best 39 points per game and 444 net yards. Streveler’s hype after his first 2 games has been warranted but Montreal’s defense is at the bottom of the barrel among the league he will only face tougher defenses moving forward.
British Columbia Lions vs. Edmonton Eskimos, Friday, 10 PM ET, ESPN2, Jonathon Jennings
Game 2 of Friday night should be a good one: the CFL’s reigning Most Oustanding Player Mike Reilly vs. young boom or bust QB Jonathon Jennings. While Reilly played well against Hamilton (66.7% 286-2-1), their offense took advantage of some early stops and pile the points on Edmonton to put them away early. The Eskimos offense is still among the top of the league but their defense is not as good as they used to be when they had Chris Jones at HC and they have several key players on the 6 game injury list. Their defense will continue to struggle unless they happen to gel as a unit.
The Lions shined against Montreal but we must take all wins against the Als with several grains of salt. The Lions season will depend on JJ10. The defense will play well but the team goes how he goes. Last season JJ struggled so the Lions went 7-11. JJ10 has all the talent in the world to make the BC Lions great and he should look to build on his win against Edmonton.
After 5 straight losses at Commonwealth Stadium, the BC Lions will look to end that losing streak this week.
Montreal Alouettes vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders, Saturday, 9 PM ET, ESPN+, QBs (Ref Cam Game)
Wooo Lord what a doozy to end the week! I may be wrong but this is definitely the least appetizing game of the week. Montreal has been playing some of the worst football I have ever seen having scored 10 points in both of their games. They have signed 2 mobile QBs in Kenny Hill (the one from Texas A&M and TCU) and Vernon Adams Jr. (yep, from Oregon) to backup and most likely compete for a starting job with Drew Willy. They should work on that OL but that’s just me.
The Riders are having their own QB woes as Brandon Bridge is taking over since Zach Collaros has been placed on the 6 game injury list with a head injury. Bride has flashed when he has played but there is reason that Bridge wasn’t handed the starting job when Kevin Glenn was cut.
The Riders’ defense is good and Chris Jones has said he’s going to stick with Duron Carter at DB until Nick Marshall is back .
Both of these teams defenses are solid enough to keep them in games but their going to need their offenses to help them win games. Whichever offense can pull through is going to come out on top. And it won’t be pretty.