IT IS PLAYOFF TIME! Finally after 21 weeks of regular season football it is do or die time in the CFL. I finished the regular season 49-28, I’m pretty upset that I couldn’t hit the 50 mark but I guess there is next year! This week there are just two games in the Divisional SemiFinals and they are shaping up to be unreal. Let’s take a look at how I see the games playing out.
(4th West) B.C. Lions @ (2nd East) Hamilton Tiger-Cats Sunday 1:00pm ET
The Lions and the Ti-Cats split the season series this year. Both teams won their respective home games and Hamilton crushed B.C. in the second game 40-10. I think this is going to be a great game. For B.C, they are capable of playing like the best team in the league when they are on their game. If Tyrell Sutton and the run game can get established early to free up Lulay and the pass game the Lions could steal one on the road. B.C. has a fast defence that can change the game on any play, they will have to shut down the East M.O.P candidate Jeremiah Masoli if they have a shot on Sunday. Masoli has played outstanding this season even with some key injuries on the offence. Masoli had a slow start to the season but has really picked things up in the final two thirds of 2018. I really feel like Masoli is going to have to will this team to a win on offence with Banks and Green still not good to go. The Hamilton defence is quite good in their own right and will have to match the Lions. I think this is a lower scoring defence battle for the most past on Sunday but I feel like the Lions will steal one on the road.
Prediciton: Lions win 28-24
(3rd West) Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ (2nd West) Saskatchewan Roughriders Sunday 4:30pm ET
The best rivalry in the CFL gets a playoff edition this season. What more could any CFL fan ask for. The Riders and the Bombers meet in an ultimate Labour Day game this weekend. For the Riders there is some questions at the QB position going into Sunday’s game. Zach Collaros has practiced all week but Brandon Bridge took starters reps in practice on Friday. Collaros is listed as #1 on the depth chart but there are four QBs listed. I am interested to see who the QB scratch in going into the game. Other than Collaros the key to the Riders winning this weekend will be the run game and that amazing defence. Cameron Marshall has come back and looked strong for the Riders and Marcus Thigpen has been an outstanding change of pace back all season long. If those two can get it going with Tre Mason out, the offence should be able to move the ball no matter who is under centre. As for the defence, what can I say about them that hasn’t already been said. They are studs on the defensive side of the ball in Saskatchewan and that will have to continue against Andrew Harris and the Bomber offence. For Winnipeg the final third of the season has been outstanding. There was some definite turmoil between the fans and Matt Nichols in the middle of the season but his play has shut the fans up big time. The offence is going to need to be creative to fool the Rider defence this week. I think Andrew Harris will be a big factor in whether the Bombers win or not. It is not going to be warm in Riderville Sunday with temperatures expected to be around -18 Celsius for game time. This is another battle of outstanding defences and great run games. I think these teams are very evenly matched and it could go either way. But I give the slight advantage to Saskatchewan for playing on home turf.
Prediction: Roughriders win 31-29
These are two great matchups to start the CFL playoffs. I think it will come down to the better defence in both games. It doesn’t get better than the playoffs in the CFL and I can’t wait to hang out with some family and watch both games on Sunday. Thanks for reading!