Here's how I see it at this point in the season!

Strongest Teams
Calgary (Cup champs)
Edmonton (improved through draft and coaches)

On the Hub
Montreal (a couple of injuries and their in trouble)
B.C. (good QB and coaching)

The rest
Hamilton (still green but stronger, QB’s need developing)
Toronto (in transition)
Sask (lost to many good players)
Winnipeg (QB, coaching biggest unknowns, lost good vet players )

How many Games can we hope to win!
Calgary 2 : Hamilton 0 (if we beat these guys I will change my Cup predictions)
Edmonton 2 : Hamilton 0 (I think Jessie may come back to haunt us)
Montreal 2 : Hamilton 1 (trying to be optimistic)
B.C. 2 : Hamilton 0 (always seem to have trouble with these guys)
Hamilton 2 : Toronto 2 (possibility for 3 wins for Hamilton)
Hamilton 2 : Win 1 (tough to win at Winnipeg)
Hamilton 2 : Sask 0 (could go 1 and 1)

A lot hinges on the D-Line. Hamilton’s offense needs to be on the field a lot in order to mature. If the D-Line can’t put pressure on the other teams quarterbacks then there will be ample opportunity for the other teams to execute long down the field marches eating up the clock. We saw some of this in the preseason where we really didn’t have a good opportunity to test out the offense because our defense couldn’t get the other team’s offense off the field. One encouraging note is if we reduce our penalties the offense may see more field time. Porter needs the time to develop. If he can hit his stride we will be in the playoffs for sure.

The first three games of the season are BIG question marks for us. I think Toronto right now is vulnerable to the run. If we come out passing against them and have a number of two and outs they will have a better opportunity to win because our defense could have trouble stopping their drives.

I predict that Hamilton will start to mature around the fourth, fifith games in the season. If Glenn or Porter can get into a rhythm with their receivers and keep the defense off the field we will see more wins. As far as the Cup is concerned the way things currently stand I think Calgary will repeat.

When you say a few injuries and Montreal is in trouble. Can you say to whom? Anthony Calvillo? If so, the same with Calgary if Burris is hurt, the same to Edmonton if Ray is hurt and so on. Don't worry about the Als. Worry about your Cats who may not win more than 5 or 6 games.

Richard

Alot of team’s are on the bubble for QB’s. The most vulnerable is absolutely Montreal,followed by SSK, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, B.C., Hamilton.

While Hamilton may not have the best QB’s, all can get the job done effectively so an injury at QB wouldn’t make that big of an impact.

You should worry about when the Als are going to go on their patented 6 game losing streak this year. Early or late season? Bottom line is a few key injuries and your team will tank

A few key injuries and every team in the CFL would tank....................................

None of this means anything until the games get played.

In today's world of 24 hour coverage of sports on 3 stations on basic cable, EVERYTHING gets over analyzed, even in the CFL.

Who really thought that Montreal was going to be pretty good last year with a rookie head coach?

Who thought that Toronto would stink up the joint?

Who thought Calgary was going to get the right guys on defense to help them win the big games?

No one really knows what will happen and we all discuss it and I too have said what we could win this year but really, does it mean anything. I understand previews and predictions but most of the time, they are wrong. Now mind you, the CFL is a little bit different because the league is so small so the predictions are usually closer than other leagues.

I just can't wait until Wednesday but I will take it one week at a time.

Hamilton needs to win at home... They need six wins at home and 3 wins on the road to make the playoff. Its all in Porter and Glenn's shoulders because the defense dosen't look anything special.

Anyone who ranks Edmonton ahead of Montreal can't be taken seriously. Montreal gave the Shmoes their worst beating in 30 years last year. At one point the score was 44 to 4 and Trestman went with 13 straight plays on the ground in the third quarter and the Als were still walking through Edmonton.

They picked up a couple guys at LB and RB position but their receivers will be mostly rookies again this year, their Oline is one of the worst in the league and Lumsden can't handle an 18 game season, he's proven that.

West division will be the same this year. Calgary is the top dog, BC and Saskatchewan will battle for playoff spots and
Edmonton will be last.

Edmonton's improved everywhere they needed to and then some whereas Montreal is basically the same team. Edmonton's gunna smoke Montreal in 09, don't bet your house on Montreal.

What I intended to say and obviously was not successful was that teams like Calgary, and Edmonton, which are first place contenders (as is Montreal) do to their greater depth of talent would be better able withstand the repercussions of player injuries. I felt that injuries could quicky change Montreal from a first place contender to the status of Hamilton, Toronto, Win, and Sask who's potentials are currently unknown.

A pretty good analysis based on training camps and pre-season, and lets face how the teams did last year, as this is hard to forget.

It is really difficult to truly assess things at this point. I am not dissagreeing with what you are saying, but things will change as the season progresses. It will be interesting to see how things look after the first three games of the season, as those first three games are a question mark for everyone. I can almost guarantee you that things will look different after a couple of regular season games. As I heard on TSN today, one thing for sure in the CFL is things never stay the same from one year to the next.

PJ

good point sir

Jonesie wrote:
"....those first three games are a question mark for everyone. I can almost guarantee you that things will look different after a couple of regular season games."

Well said Jonesie.
August: All we say now with any certainty is to point out that Calgary and Montreal should still be the strong teams and the rest of the teams are re-building at various levels.
To say "if Porter hits his stride we will be in the playoffs for sure" is nothing but unfounded jingo-ism. It looked to me last week like Joseph has already hit his stride...and his offence is not far behind.Winnipeg did not look like pushovers either.
Right now it looks like we have a chance to be competitive but we need to get off to a fast start with some wins in July so we are ready to absorb big improvements by the other teams later in the season. If not, by October we could be nothing more than a much better 4th place team than last year.
However the CFL is a highy unpredictable league. That's what makes it so interesting. It's also why all predictions this early in the season are futile...including mine. :wink:

This year it will take a good 6 to 8 weeks to figure out who is for real. The schedule is designed to favour last season’s bottom teams at least for the first 6 weeks or so.