Early line on semi-finals

First, L'East:

Edmonton should be heavy favourites heading into Hamilton. Reilly, or Franklyn for that matter should gash the Hamilton defense for minimum 30+ pts - perhaps even 40.
Esks Achilles heel, although much improved is still their defense - and Z Collaros should be able to gash them early until Esks adjust and close Collaros out in the 3rd quarter. Bowman & Walker are just too much for the paltry hobos Austin will trot out to resemble a CFL defense. Reilly will have to be massively off his game for Hamilton to have a chance - and then Maas has his secret weapon - James Franklyn! The only balancing factor is weather. Sloppy, cold and snowy weather might be a bit of an equalizer - not sure how much as it will effect Hamilton just as much as the Esks.

Western semi:

Despite winning the season series with BC the bombers are heading into the unfriendly confines of BC Place. Perhaps 24,000 to 27,000 in the stands - perhaps 40 or 50 bomber fans making the trip will be drowned out badly.
However, bombers might actually benefit from indoor conditions. Big Blue are poor at home, better on the road, historically at IGF.
Actual team strengths & weaknesses. Bomber trenches are notoriously under-powered. Their o-line was close to superb all season - especially after O"shea realized Willy was working behind weak hobos. Once they inserted Travis Bond & Hardick they instantly got better and Nichols smarts was able to make them look even better. Now, 2 of the stalwarts, arguably their best 2 o-linemen are hobbled (Bond & Suck Chungh) and a massive hobo turnstile named Paddy Neufeld has been inserted. Bad news against a very good Lion front D-7. . . . . . the bomber running attack will be particularly crippled . . . . Lions should hold Harris to under 55 yds and stifle the odd flanker sweep to Dressler, Smith or Denmark to zero or lost yardage!
As for bombers secret weapon - ie. TURNOVERS - its starting to turn near season's end. Nichols has been a virtual pick machine and guys like O'Duffie and others are starting to lose ball control. Bombers will be hard-pressed to equalize the possession battle in BC.

Depth wise the bombers are sucking wind. Key guys like Chung, Bond, Denmark, Ricky Fogg and Ian Wild (their best d player) are likely to view the game from the sidelines. BC has a couple nicks but nothing close to what the bombers have.

Wide Receivers - Lions have a significant advantage. Bombers are forced to dress/start Canadian hobos like Kohlert and Feoli-Guardino. They're nice guys but football trash. The bomber imports are OK but are mostly blanketed in coverage - look at how tight Ottawa's replacements were to bombers' so-called burners (Gurley & Adams). Ottawa DBs seemed velcroed to these guys. BC WRs are vastly superior and with Jennings superior gun they'll rack up 250 yds - in the 1st half!

If Bombers were totally healthy - and Nichols played an error free low yardage game - I'd say bombers might be able to take this game deep into the 4th quarter - perhaps even OT before succumbing. With all their injuries I think the Lions will have this thing in tow by early 4th quarter, no question.

And if all the personnel/injury advantages didn't tilt the Lions way - what about coaching.

The only coach on the bomber roster better than their counterpart is Plop vs. Khari Jones at OC - and Khari is upcharged by having the more powerful QB.

Mark Washington vs. Rich Hall - ain't even close.

Wallyball vs. O'Stoic - O'Shea is getting a bit better as a headman I'll give him that but Wally's experience in all facets of coaching, especially game prep give him the duke. If in doubt look at their career winning percentages - O'Shea, despite a nice 11-7 record is still hovering in the 42% range. Wally more like 65%. That's a huge differential - plus O'Shea has never coached a playoff game - wally has dozens, winning the majority!

Final scores:

Edmonton 37
Hamilton 18

BC 33
Wpg 24

I actually like Hamilton (to win, not as a team). The wind at THF will be a factor as it always is.

Well the long range forecast is for Sunshine - 8C and winds of 25KM here next Sunday. :slight_smile:

I’m curious why if Edmonton is so much better than Hamilton, why did the Cats win the season series?

Edmonton has been the much better team in the 2nd half and Hamilton is struggling. A Healthy Collaros will give the Cats a decent shot at winning .

Ticats are a major disappointment but I think they will win.

Don't ever think it's a cakewalk going into Hamilton. It'll be a tough place to play especially in the playoffs. If Edmonton gets on them fast and take the crowd out of it they stand a chance but I still have a feeling that Hamilton will win. Then The Grey Cup committee will be happy as hell.

PLEASE Cats, take out the Evil Empire.

My big concern is Zach Collaros.

Prior to his 2015 injury, his interviews were conducted with direct eye contact , excited, upbeat, confident and ready to go.

The half time interview he did during the Als game showed the opposite.

He stammered, shifted his eyes, tried to think of the correct words and his voice was soft.
That was a QB with no confidence in the offence he was to lead into the East Semi.

I hope for the best ( a Cats win ) but I expect the worst ( an Esks win ).

Go Cats Go,

OSKEEWEEWEE

Begging will not help. Sorry about your Cats. Maybe next year.

;-)

Very observant!

Zach knows he's beat! :cowboy:

Even with half the Ticats starters on the sidelines, two weeks ago they only lost to the Eskimos by three. not exactly a cakewalk there. And rumour has it that a couple of the injured starters on defence will be available to play next week. Slicing and dicing might not be quite as easy this time.

The main reason is that I am from Calgary.

An Esk loss is the same as a Stamps win. :wink:

The two most defeatist looks going into playoffs -

  1. Zach C. - for already stated and observed reasons

&

  1. Mike O'Shea - immediately into evasive manouveres vs. a compliant (actually terrified) Winnipeg media. Knows his o-line is gonna get shoved around, just hasn't got everyone measured for roller skates. Also knows his DC isn't capable of standing up to the BC offense. (aka Monsters vs. Fawns)

Definitely need a Hamilton win which would guarantee an East team in the GC.
But it’s going to come down to which Zach shows up - “bad Zach” or “good Zach”

The TiCats won the season series against both the Esks and the Redblacks
and I am hoping the TiCats once again win against both these teams again this season!

Lol,

What does that say about the Eskie's then :lol:

Cats did not win the season series. They tied with both 1 win each.

Perhaps you are thinking of the RedBlacks. They were the only team in the East that beat the Esks 2 x.

This is bang on, I think. I'm predicting (/hoping) for "good Zach" to show up and will take Hamilton in a tight game.

I think the West semi is quite intriguing, too. I wouldn't be surprised to see Harris put up a monster game vs his former team to steal the game for the Bombers, but I'll go with the safer prediction and take the home Lions in that one.

True, they split the games, but Hamilton outscored Edmonton across the two games. So technically, Hamilton won the series.

The point here is that those who expect a walk in the park for the Eskimos may be in for a surprise. It should be a close exciting game.

And just to reiterate - sunny, warm but REALLY WINDY the forecast here in Hamilton. 12C with winds from the southwest at 30km/h gusting to 48 km/h throughout the afternoon. (Winds from right to left as you watch on TV.)

Not sure which team would be favoured - if either - by a windy day.