Hamilton coming off a bye great play against banged up Saskatchewan
July 17, 2018 3:00 AM
by Ian Cameron
A glimpse into Week 6 of the Canadian Football League.
Saskatchewan at Hamilton: The last time the Roughriders and Ticats took the field is when they squared off against each other in Regina. It was a defensive battle in which the offensively challenged Riders prevailed with an 18-13 win in a game where the defenses dominated and neither team could easily gain traction on offense.
For Hamilton, it was really their only poor offensive performance this season. For Saskatchewan, it was more of the same from an offense that hasn’t been able to gain any sort of traction all season. QB Zach Collaros remains out with a head injury while Brandon Bridge and David Watford have struggled to seize firm control of the starting QB spot ever since.
The bye week should give Hamilton a good chance to regroup. They won and covered with ease in their lone previous home game this season against Winnipeg while Saskatchewan laid an egg in their lone previous road trip losing 40-17 in Ottawa to the Redblacks. This figures to be a good revenge spot at home. HAMILTON
BC Lions at Ottawa: Something had to be done in BC in regards to their QB situation. Jonathon Jennings has played worse with each game this season and finally after a disastrous performance in a blowout road loss at Winnipeg in Week 4, the Lions made a QB change and went to veteran Travis Lulay, who got the starting nod against the Blue Bombers this past weekend in the rematch between the two teams.
Things started out poorly for Lulay and the BC offense as they fell behind 17-0 but they scored the last 20 points of the game – all of which came in the second half to erase a massive deficit and coming all the way back to defeat Winnipeg 20-17 on a last second FG.
BC now sits at 2-2 and will look to notch two straight wins together on the road against the Ottawa Redblacks, who had a disastrous performance on their home field last week in a dismal 27-3 loss to the undefeated Calgary Stampeders.
I think it will be hard for the Lions to duplicate that performance on the road against an outside-the-division opponent and one that will likely be in a very bad mood this week. OTTAWA
Winnipeg at Toronto: Winnipeg was exasperated following Saturday’s 20-17 loss to the BC Lions as they coughed up a 17 point lead in the second half. The frustrating pattern of alternating wins and losses continued for Winnipeg, who enter this game at 2-3 SU, which will be their second straight on the road against the Toronto Argonauts. Matt Nichols had maybe his worst game since two seasons ago as the QB of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He had no TD passes and 3 INT’s against BC and he owned it during his postgame press conference following the loss. It’s rare to see Nichols play that poorly in a game let alone have two bad games in a row, so I would expect to see a bounce-back effort and performance from what is still a very dynamic and explosive Bombers offense that is still averaging over 32 points per game and 388 total yards per game.
On the flip side, Toronto split a pair of B2B games against Edmonton, winning the first meeting and then suffering a very tight 16-15 loss in the rematch against the Eskimos on the road last week. James Franklin is still gaining his footing as the new QB for the Argos. The Over is a perfect 4-0 during that span. OVER
Montreal at Calgary: Montreal, in stunning fashion, snapped one of the ugliest losing streaks both straight up and against the spread as you’ll ever see at any level of pro football three weeks ago when they defeated Saskatchewan outright on the road as a double digit underdog. That win for the Alouettes ended an embarrassing 0-13 SU and ATS slide that dates back to last season. The question is whether that win will be the start of a turnaround or just a blip on the radar for what is still arguably the worst team in the CFL?
It sure seems to be the latter based on Montreal’s performance after that win as they took on the Ottawa Redblacks back home two weeks ago prior to their bye week. Montreal trailed as much as 28-8 before mounting some late offense to make the score more respectable than it really was.
Jeff Mathews made his first start of the season at QB for Montreal but he was barely any more effective than Drew Willy was as he completed just 18 of 30 passes.
Mathews was injured at practice this weekend for Montreal which could mean Drew Willy will be back in as the starting QB on Saturday in Calgary, as he appears to be recovered from the neck and shoulder injury that knocked him out of the game against Saskatchewan three weeks ago.
Calgary’s defense has yet to surrender more than 14 points in any game this season. Montreal is just 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games but that one road ATS win was an outright SU win at Saskatchewan earlier this season. However, Calgary isn’t Saskatchewan and the last time Montreal made the trip here to face the Stampeders, they were drilled 59-11 last September. CALGARY