- Can the Argos win without their starting QB?
- Saskatchewan needs a win but are in tough against BC.
- Montreal looks to continue a trend.
Going 2-2 last week feels like a kick in the balls. The Roughriders and Stampeders were pegged for wins, and both let us down. Sure, they were in tough-to-call coin flip-type matchups, but it’s clear to us we can’t trust Saskatchewan or Calgary to get the job done this week. That said, we’ve always rebounded nicely from subpar weeks, so let’s get started with our CFL Week 17 predictions.
Our Power Rankings didn’t change much. Most of the movement was in the bottom, where the Riders and Stampeders remain, and the Redblacks shot up from ninth to seventh. The Alouettes did move back up to fourth from sixth because they’re great at beating the teams at the aforementioned bottom of these rankings. The Als face another one of those bottom-tier teams this week.
CFL Week 17 Predictions
Toronto Argos at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
This is a rematch of last year’s Grey Cup, and both teams have played great football this season, so it’s a bit of a coin flip. The Bombers have been fantastic at home, and with this matchup being in the ‘Peg, they should be in top form.
The key to this game will be motivation. The Argos clinched first place in the East two weeks ago, and now they’re looking to rest a slew of starters, including their QB Chad Kelly. Meanwhile, Winnipeg is in a dog fight for first in the West with the BC Lions, so every win is important.
These are two talented teams, but we’re giving the edge to Winnipeg.
Prediction: Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Saskatchewan Roughriders at BC Lions
This could be a shootout of a football game, as the Lions boast one of the top offenses in the league. BC quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. is completing 68.2 percent of his passes for 3,527 yards, 25 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. If he can limit the turnovers, this team should feast on a terrible Saskatchewan defence (30.4 points and 376.9 yards per game).
While the BC Lions have been on a three-game win streak, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are not to be underestimated. Their quarterback, Jake Dolegala, has impressed this season, and their offense can put up big points. Additionally, the Lions have shown some weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball, which could allow the Riders to pull off another upset win here. However, if the Lions can avoid making this game a fire drill, their focused offense has far too many ways to hurt their opponents. Ultimately, this feels like a convincing win for the Lions at home.
Prediction: BC Lions
Montreal Alouettes at Ottawa Redblacks
It seems like the Alouettes have a strategy of losing to the top teams in the CFL and winning against the weaker ones. Bring on this week’s weaker class in the Ottawa Redblacks. The Als have something to play for as they’re one win away from clinching a playoff spot in the East, while Ottawa is one loss away from being 100% mathematically out, in case you were still holding on to that 1% chance they’d sneak in.
Ottawa can win football games with rookie Dustin Crum behind center, but too many times, he lacks a consistent playmaker and an offensive line to give him a chance to win games. And they’re terrible defensively, to the tune of being last in the league in yards allowed per play (7.05) and yards allowed per pass attempt (10.1). As the kids like to say, Montreal is “mid,” meaning they’re good, not great at everything. You add that they’ve already beaten Ottawa twice this year; they should finish the clean season sweep on Saturday.
Prediction: Montreal Alouettes
Calgary Stampeders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
This is the toughest one to call. These teams have been giant disappointments that have shown flashes of life while struggling to find consistency throughout the season. That said, this has all the makings of a great QB battle as Hamilton’s Taylor Powell takes on Calgary’s Jake Maier.
Maier has shown that he can air it out and leads the league in passing yards. He absolutely feasts on terrible defences, and the Ticats, unfortunately, have big holes in their secondary. The Tabbies give up 275.2 passing yards per game and rank second-last in the CFL in yards allowed per pass attempt (9.8).
However, as good as Maier has looked, the team still loses, and a lot of that is due to turnovers and costly errors. The Stamps can’t stop self-destructing, and as good as they are capable of playing, the Ticats are playing better football as of late, winning three of their last five with wins over BC and Winnipeg in there for good measure. In what could be a close game, we think Hamilton has the edge.
Prediction: Hamilton Tiger-Cats