4-0! Woo-hoo! It's been a while since I've done that (I don't think I accomplished that at all last season, though how long it's actually been, I don't know. ) I'm back among the pack now.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand.
Hamilton @ Montreal: I love my Ticats, and though I don't need a reason to, this year they're giving me one. After wins against B.C. and Winnipeg, I think they've proven they're a pretty good team. Unfortunately, "pretty good" won't cut it at Molson Stadium. No one can deny that Montreal is far and away the best team in the league right now, and they have no doubt been aching to get their hands on an Eastern opponent after cutting a swath through the Western Division. The Ticats can still turn some heads if they keep this game respectable. Because the Cats are on a bit of a roll, and because I have confidence in them, Als by 12.
Toronto @ Winnipeg: For years the Argos have relied on two things to get them wins: defence and special teams. Their offence has been terrible, with nothing that even resembled a running game despite bringing in guys like Ricky Williams and John Avery. Finally, for the first time since Pinball retired, they have a good ground game. Jamal Robertson is fun to watch (or would be, if I weren't a Ticat fan.) Now all they need is a quarterback, some pass protection, and more than one receiver and their offence would be set. Of course, now their defence stinks and their special teams are a non-entity. In Winnipeg, I'm still not impressed with LeFors. I think they need to find a quarterback who can get the ball to their outstanding receivers, as their offence was unable to find the end zone against Hamilton. However, their defence is SOLID! Bombers by 9.
Calgary @ B.C.: Two teams who have put together a string of good seasons, who have inexplicably under-achieved this season, and who are coming off their first wins of 2009 -- dominating victories over admittedly two of the league's lesser teams. After this game, one will get their record back to par, the other will have some catching up to do. B.C. needs to find a starting quarterback: right now they have two backups in Buck Pierce and Jarius Jackson. It's a good strategy to start one and, if he's ineffective, put in the other, whose contrasting style can throw the defence off-balance, the way Hamilton did against Winnipeg. But Wally Buono seems reluctant to switch QBs like that. They did lose a couple of offensive linemen and two-time Outstanding Defensive Player Cam Wake in the off-season; but in the past they always seemed to replace good players with other good players without missing a step. In Calgary, Henry Burris seemed to find his rhythm against the Argos, but it was the Stamps' defence that won that game. No touchdowns allowed, while scoring three? That's insane! Tough to call, but there isn't often a home-team sweep, and I think this is the one that will be taken by the visitors. Stamps by 4.
Edmonton @ Saskatchewan: This one should be fun to watch...if you're a Rider fan. Edmonton has looked terrible in their two losses, and didn't look all that hot in their lone victory, either. Without a doubt coaching decisions have cost them points, and everyone knew Richie Hall would make mistakes in his rookie year. But even in previous losing seasons, Ricky Ray has always seemed to look sharp; which he doesn't now. They have no running game, as their marquee free agent signing sits on the sidelines until after Labour Day, and their best replacement stands on the sidelines watching the rookie import drop touchdown passes and fumble. Saskatchewan, on the other hand, came up against the irresistible force last week. I feel sorry for the Rider fans who not only had to watch their team get pummelled, but had to witness Anthony Calvillo tying Ron Lancaster's mark of 333 touchdown passes on a day in which they were honouring the Lancaster-led teams from the '60s. Those fans are going to be howling mad when the Eskimos come to town, and I wouldn't want to be a visitor at Mosaic Stadium. Riders by 15.