Chris Schultz was 2-2 in Week 2 and stands at 4-4 for the season in Schultz vs. The World. Now the CFL on TSN analyst is back with his picks for Week 3, including predictions for a big East-West battle between the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts.
Winnipeg at Montreal
Can't see either team dominating but this will be the Bombers first game on the road so I give Montreal an edge. After two weeks Troy Smith has had a poor game followed by a better game. What Montreal needs is a clearly dominant game to acquire confidence that he is the quarterback of the present and the future. Lost in all the legitimate Smith talk is that Brandon Whitaker has put together a couple of productive games. After two years of injury-related absence he is one of the feel good stories of the year so far. Also after two games, there's good video on Gary Etchevarry's defence that give you one post snap look followed by everyone going everywhere after the play begins. That's important because the first two games both Calgary and BC operate four-man fronts with three linebacker defences. Winnipeg is completely different and being able to study the fronts, stunts and blitzes helps everyone on the Montreal offence. Two good games for Drew Willy no doubt creates the question of can he perform at a high level in a third? Probably so but maybe just slightly below the first two games. Two excellent returners in this one, Demond Washington for Winnipeg and Larry Taylor for Montreal. In what could be a field goal game - I say Montreal by three in a fourth-quarter win. Montreal.
Ottawa at Edmonton
Not yet I say. Not yet for the Redblacks first win of the new organization. Both quarterbacks' most exceptional skill is the courage to sit in the pocket, ignore pass rush pressure, and wait for the receiver to separate from coverage. And having that ability is something that must be exceptionally hard to develop. If Ottawa can establish Chevon Walker to keep Henry Burris out of too many second-and-long situations, Ottawa has a chance for that first win. If not the outside-in pressure from Howard and Willis will change the game. Defensive lineman Don Oramasionwu has been declared out of the season with a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee. Eddie Steele has been a nice early season surprise as a defensive tackle but with Oramasionwu out then ratio adjustment is an issue. Bottom line, Mike Reilly is doing an exceptional job of sliding at the right moment to stay healthy and the more he plays the better he gets. Edmonton moves to 3-0.
Calgary at Toronto
Tough one to read as the Stampeders are coming off their bye week and the Argos are coming off their best game of maybe the last year and two games. Last week Ricky Ray put up a little over 400 yards against a good Rider front four and defence. It's a similar challenge this week as Calgary also has a solid front four and defence. Can Toronto keep Jon Cornish under 100 yards without middle linebacker Shea Emery? Probably not, but I like Ray to bring another "A" game and win on a fourth quarter shootout. Give me the Argos at home over the Stampeders.
BC at Saskatchewan
This will be a long week in Regina for Rider players. I would be surprised if they do not bounce back and show up emotionally this Saturday night. Anthony Allan may not be dominant and Darian Durant may not be exceptional. But pass rush and pass blocking win and I think Saskatchewan will perform well in both areas. As head coach Corey Chamblin expressed in his halftime interview against Toronto, "Our problem is an absence in fundamental football, the basics of the game". Maybe not a word-for-word quote but you get what the problem was. Not going to happen again. Saskatchewan over B.C.