TSN football analyst Chris Schultz is back with his Week 8 selections in the CFL. The Big Man finished 3-1 in Week 7, and sits at 14-14 on the season in Schultz vs. The World. Now Schultz is ready for more action, including an upset prediction in the Hamilton-Calgary game.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Toronto Argonauts
Huge preparation advantage with Toronto. Coming off the bye week, their last game was on August 1, a 31-5 win in Montreal. They had 11 days to get ready for this one. For Winnipeg, it's the exact opposite. They played this past Thursday and now play again on Tuesday. Basically they have four days to get ready for the "oddball" Tuesday night game. Drew Willy threw three interceptions and fumbled once for points against Saskatchewan. He will accept, learn and rebound. But coming off such a short week, will all the other players on offence and defence do the same? If Toronto is ever going to take advantage of circumstances, this is the game. Argos over the Bombers in Toronto.
Edmonton Eskimos at Ottawa Redblacks
The Eskimos are staying in the East to get ready and it should mean very little as they are just a more individually talented team. It is the top defence against the ninth-best offence and even though back home the Redblacks should play a better game, a 27-11 duplication of the first meeting on July 11 is a genuine possibility. One team is processing, learning, evaluating and figuring out what they have and how to use it. The other is in position to have a great year and everything that goes with it. Edmonton over Ottawa.
Calgary at Hamilton
In Week 2 Hamilton lost to Edmonton by four points in a game they could have won. In Week 4 Hamilton lost in Calgary by three in a game they could have won. In Week 6 Hamilton lost to Winnipeg by one in a game they could have won. And, last week Hamilton lost in BC in again a game they could have won. When does it end, this run of "could have won"? This could be a little bit of a trap game for the Stampeders. They beat Ottawa last week and are now going east for two games, at Hamilton then in Ottawa again, before a truly critical home-and-away against Edmonton. Dan LeFevour was a short yardage quarterback, then a running quarterback, but against BC he had moments where he looked like a complete quarterback. Am I calling trap game for Calgary with Hamilton getting win number two? Yes I am. Hamilton over Calgary by three.
Montreal at Saskatchewan
Back home again and it may make a difference for the Riders in a positive way. On the road again and it may make a difference for the Alouettes in a negative way. Which running back George Cortez starts will be interesting to see. If they go with Jerome Messam it allows for ratio manipulation somewhere else and where exactly will also be interesting to see. Troy Smith was a 44 per cent completion quarterback at home against a good Eskimo defence. He will probably have another 44 completion performance against another good defence in Saskatchewan on the road. That is not enough. In watching video, Montreal will play better run-defence than the 191 they allowed against Edmonton. But you know Saskatchewan will test the defensive front seven of Montreal anyway. I'll take the Riders over the Alouettes.
Following the Toronto Argonauts victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the pick for the Argos second Week 8 game, against the BC Lions, has been added.
BC Lions at Toronto Argonauts
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers faced it in their last game and it will happen to the Toronto Argonauts this week, which is being forced to prepare for an important game on a very short week. Wednesday will be used to recover, review and install. The players will take time to get back in the weight room or run a bit to recover from the previous game. They will then meet with coaches to review the game in an effort to learn and continue the never ending desire to improve. Following that, they will have another meeting to install the game plan they will use against the BC Lions, which may be remarkably different depending on the assessment of the Blue Bombers game. Thursday is much more mental than physical as you're still in recovery mode from Tuesday. Friday is the only day of good practice because by then you should have bounced back physically and overall be feeling better. Saturday is the day before and the anticipation of Game #8 is pretty much all you're thinking about. Then Sunday comes and it seems like the week is an entire blur.
For the Lions, things are the complete opposite. They played on Friday the previous week and this contest kicks off Sunday this week, plus they have a new "Bomber Video" to study while the Argos only have the old "Ticats video" of the Lions most recent opponent. If the Argos can get control of the penalties, they can run away with the East. The Lions are rested, while the Argos are game tested. Lions over Argos by three.