- Can the Alouettes upset the surging Toronto Argos?
- The Elks embrace the spoiler role.
- Can Ottawa get out of their own way?
We came close to hitting a perfect 4-4 last week, but those crazy Ottawa Redblacks keep finding ways to “Oppenheimer” their best chances of winning, meaning they nuke their drives and find, not even creative, ways to lose. Unfortunately, this week, their lives don’t become easier against a well-rested BC Lions team. No worries, 3-4 isn’t too shabby, which puts our overall record to 39-16. Let’s try for perfection in our CFL week 15 predictions.
Power Rankings wise, not much has changed. Edmonton beating the Stamps last week has pushed the Elks to sixth place, while Calgary dropped to seventh. The Elks might not be done with their late-season surge; look out Saskatchewan.
CFL Week 15 Predictions
Toronto Argos at Montreal Alouettes
We get another dose of Argos v. Als, this time in Montreal. Last week, Toronto took the Alouettes to the woodshed and beat them up 39-10. Als’ QB, Cody Farjado, was without his leading receiver, Austin Mack, who got booted from the game in the first quarter. And although they could still move the ball sometimes, they would always find a way to self-destruct drives with momentum.
The good news for the Alouettes is they are getting some defensive starters back from injury, while the Argos will be without Cam Phillips (groin) and Kurleigh Gittens (hip) from their receiving core. Those two points alone indicate that this could be a closer game than last week.
Montreal needs to stop turning the ball over, especially on drives where they are moving the chains. This does feel like a trap game for Toronto, but we’ll stick with a team motivated to win the CFL East this week.
Prediction: Toronto Argos
Edmonton Elks at Saskatchewan Roughriders
This is a tough one. The Riders got shellacked last week against the Bombers, and the Elks, led by dynamic QB Tre Ford, are starting to look scary in the West and are here to play spoiler for teams with playoff aspirations like the Roughriders.
The Riders are a talented team, and for the Elks, it might not be wise to get into a gunslinger type of firefight, where the last team scores, win. Sask’s receiving core can still put up a lot of points, and if you blink, they could be up early. Speaking of offence, Edmonton has found new life in their running game. Not only does Saskatchewan need to defend against Tre Ford running the ball, they need to worry about Edmonton running back Kevin Brown, who now sits second in the league with 829 rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Riders have struggled in stopping the run and rank 9th in the league in points-per-game at 29.4. This is the big glaring stat.
We get why the Riders are favoured at home, as they’ve won both meetings between these two teams this season. Keep in mind that a combined 5 points decided those two previous matchups. The Edmonton Elks are playing the better ball right now, and I’m not sold on the Rider’s defence stopping them.
Prediction: Edmonton Elks
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Blue Bombers have already clinched a playoff spot, but their focus is now winning the West, so games like this are must-win. What’s weird is that the Bombers seem to be a more vulnerable team on the road than they are at home this season, especially on defence, where they’ve surrendered at least 28 points in road games against the Redblacks, Elks, and Roughriders. And that was against first-year quarterbacks, similar to who Hamilton is trotting out this week in rookie Taylor Powell.
In Powell, the Ticats trust, and what a revelation the third-string quarterback has become. With the former Eastern Michigan University quarterback behind center, they’ve scored at least 27 points in their last three games. They’ll be looking to see if they can take advantage of an inconsistent Bomber’s defence. Unfortunately, if the Bomber’s defence is “inconsistent,” the word “abysmal” best describes Hamilton’s defensive woes as they sit second-last in the league in points per game at 27.2. To make matters worse, they’ll be without two of their best defensive backs, Adeleke and Leonard. That hurts.
That one factoid has me betting on the best offence in the league to light the Ticats up. It could be a high-scoring game, and whether it’s close or another beat down, we’ll stick with the Bombers.
Prediction: Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Ottawa Redblacks at BC Lions
All the chalk is on the well-rested BC Lions, who are coming off a bye week and are licking their chops at facing a good, but not good enough, Redblacks team on a losing skid.
Ottawa is one of those teams that will fight valiantly to keep the game close but find ways to lose it. Their biggest problem has been ill-timed turnovers and stopping rival offences from completing key second-down scenarios.
The Lion’s aerial attack is still among the best in the CFL. Vernon Adams Jr. has a lot of ways to attack defences, and if they can get rolling, Ottawa will have their hands full. That said, this once-scary Lions defense still doesn’t instill confidence in us. They got outworked by the Riders in week 11 and against the Ticats in week 12, mostly due to their porous run defence. Even when they beat the Alouettes last week, they still gave up 196 yards on the ground!
Ottawa could keep this game close, especially if they succeed with their running game led by the talented Devonte Williams. But the same story will continue, close but no dice and BC outscores their defensive miscues to win.
Prediction: BC Lions