Yes sir!! Thanksgiving is here!! But it’s only here for Canadians. “Why is the Canadian Thanksgiving so much earlier than the U.S.?'” you might ask. Some believe the Canadian Thanksgiving is centered around the beginning of the harvest season; others think that it came from French settlers who came to Canada in the early 17th century and wanted to celebrate their harvests in New France.
Doesn’t matter which one it is, just know that the Canadian and American Thanksgiving are centered around the same values: turkey, stuffing, dressing, family, football, and giving thanks. Canada just has a bit of a head start. With all that being said, the playoff hunt is coming to an end soon and the bottom 3 West teams are fighting for 3rd place and that crossover spot.
Calgary can clinch a home playoff game with a W but Winnipeg, Edmonton and BC are still fighting with BC being the odd man out at the moment with their 6-7 record. Ottawa and Hamilton have the East locked up. I’m never one to count teams out because life is unpredictable but I see no chance of a miracle run by Toronto or Montreal. Just enjoy the Manziel show while you got it these last few games.
Now let’s take a look at these turkey and gravy filled match ups.
All games will be shown on ESPN+.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Ottawa Redblacks, Friday (9/5), 7:30 PM ET
Winnipeg surprisingly came into Edmonton last week and had their way with the Eskimos. 3 picks and 3 fumbles that the Bombers forced and Marcus Sayles’s blocked punt made Edmonton fire their special teams coach. Even Matt Nichols had a solid game aside from his INT. The Bombers leaned on Andrew Harris and their defense and that’s what they’re going to need if they want to go on a playoff run.
Ottawa is coming off of a bye week and they’re going to want to get a little fire going into the playoffs. They’ll be doing so without their DB Antoine Pruneau who has been leading their secondary ever since he got to Ottawa. Plus as the cold settles into Canada, the top 2 RBs in the league in Andrew Harris and William Powell will square off.
If all else fails, Ottawa always has Lewis Ward to fall back on. If you like hard nosed, power football, this game is for you.
Toronto Argonauts vs. British Columbia Lions, Saturday (9/6), 7 PM ET
Toronto actually hung around with the Stamps last week until they committed TOs and the Stamps pulled away at the end. I think they have not properly gotten James Wilder Jr. the ball like they did last year and it has caused them to put too much pressure on their QBs.
The best offenses in the league-Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg-their rushers are near the top of the league in rushing yards. While Wilder Jr. is 4th in the league, it has not been enough for the Argos. Their struggles also stem from a lack of weapons around Wilder Jr. as well.
After the thrilling OT W over Hamilton at home, BC went to Hamilton and got molly whopped and makes it that much harder for them to go to the playoffs. The great ride of Jonathon Jennings: the game before he lead a massive comeback, the next game he lays an egg and throws 3 picks, 2 for TDs.
Toronto has nothing left to play for but pride and experience. BC needs to go on a run to keep their playoff hopes alive and hope Edmonton and Winnpeg gets a couple Ls to help them out. Playoff drama is the best TV money can buy.
Calgary Stampeders vs. Montreal Alouettes, Monday, (9/8), 1 PM ET
Game 1 of the Thanksgiving doubleheader features the best vs. the worst of the CFL. Montreal was in position to pull of the upset vs. the Riders last week but they just couldn’t finish. And Johnny Manziel threw 2 TDs! Woohoo. Montreal has always had a decent defense, if only they had some offense…
Calgary continues to impress even in Week 17 with their WR depth. Marken Michel, Juwan Brescacin and Lemar Durant are still catching balls from Bo Levi but after that it’s a mystery. Markeith Ambles, Richard Sindani and Julan Lynch are among the young WRs who have stepped up in the absence of DaVaris Daniels, Reggie Begelton and Kamar Jorden. And Calgary has just signed 2012’s Most Outstanding Rookie in Chris Matthews so the rich just get richer.
It’s easy to pick Calgary here, but maybe Johnny and the boys can pull of an upset late in the season.
Edmonton Eskimos vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders, Monday, 4 PM ET
Oooooo boy Edmonton laid an egg last week vs. Winnipeg. Probably was their worst game of the season. They even fired their special teams coordinator; HC Jason Maas is putting every coach and player on notice. No jobs are safe. And now they travel to Saskatchewan to face the hottest team in the league. Riders have won 5 of the last 6 because they have an explosive offense to go with that tough defense.
And Edmonton has allowed the 2nd most sacks in the league. Chris Jones always comes with the pressure along with the usual duo of Willie Jefferson III and Charleston Hughes. Edmonton is safely in the crossover spot right now but an L and a W by BC would put them out of the playoffs for the time being. Wooooo playoff drama is so great.
Enjoy the games folks! And happy Thanksgiving! Always be thankful for what you have no matter how “bad” you have it!