CFL: Week 11 Previews and Predictions

Well, last week was a close one; I almost did it. My upset pick failed me and I should have gone chalk. Sometimes, it’s the best thing to do and I went against the grain. Otherwise, we would be having fireworks, streamers and cupcakes celebrating my genius in picking games. We move into week 11 with something surprising things brewing and possible big shock moments in the season.

Edmonton Elks(0-9) v. Hamilton Tiger-Cats(3-5)

The most intriguing game of the week comes in the form of a lowly Elks. All season long, I’ve said Edmonton will win a game and it’s highly unlikely that they go winless. This week they travel to the struggling Ticats. Hamilton had a busy week this week as they signed former Eastern Michigan QB Mike Glass and traded journeymen QB Antonio Pipkin to the QB desperate Roughriders. The question surrounding the QB position is a strong one for Hamilton as Taylor Powell is slated to start again. Powell has really struggled in starts this year and the lack of consistency. The good news for Hamilton is that teams coming off bye weeks have had really good success the following week. Edmonton turns to Tre Ford again, who’s talent and athleticism should keep them in this game and make it a competitive one.

Prediction: Powell continues to struggle; Tre Ford does it. Edmonton 24-18

Winnipeg Blue Bombers(7-2) v. Calgary Stampeders(3-6)

I’m not sure there’s a game on paper this week that’s more lopsided than this one. The Stamps have struggled to put together two solid weeks, but have had no problems putting together two poor weeks. This week isn’t any different. After scoring only 9 points last week in a perfect trap game scenario, the Stamps welcome the surging Blue Bombers. Winnipeg is the hottest team in the league right now, as they haven’t just won games, but have been crushing opponents with a suffocating defense and high quality offensive play. Last week, they gave up 29 to Edmonton but a chunk of that came after they opened up the game a bit. The Blue Bombers do have a major change, as Zach Collaros went down with an injury last week, but Dru Brown looked like a star. Will Dru Brown repeat that performance against one of the youngest defenses in the CFL?

Prediction: Calgary watches their playoff hopes slip away. Winnipeg 34-21

Montreal Alouettes(5-3) v. Ottawa Redblacks(3-6)

The Alouettes have continued to prove that their defense might be the best one in the league. Last week’s destruction of Saskatchewan was continued proof of just how dangerous they are to the rest of the league. The magic of the Crum has run out for Ottawa, as the offense as continued to maintain any of that momentum they had during Crum’s success. Ottawa catches a little bit of a break this week, as Cody Fajardo is a game-time decision and may not play. So, it’s possible that Ottawa’s defense has some success this week and they could hang around. If they’re in it at the end of the game, it’s very possible we see the magic return to Crum and Ottawa escape with a win. If Montreal’s defense brings their A game, it could be a long night for the Redblacks.

Prediction: Montreal’s defense is too much; low scoring game. Montreal 18-12

BC Lions(7-2) v. Saskatchewan Roughriders(4-5)

Considering all the QB issues that the Roughriders have had recently, it’s amazing that they have four wins on the season. Mason Fine hasn’t been good enough to remain the starter and Jake Dolegala looked even more confused than Fine when he played last week. Saskatchewan addressed the QB room by adding journeymen Antonio Pipkin to the equation, but I’m not sure that’s a fix. It’s essentially the equivalent of placing a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. Pipkin is a veteran with much needed experience, but his success in the league has come few and far between. If Pipkin starts, they may have a chance in the first quarter. The Lions are simply one of the best teams in the league and they continue to move through the schedule with relative ease. Vernon Adams is as dangerous as any QB in the league and the offense is extremely explosive. They have one of the more underrated defensive units in the league.

Prediction: Might not be close; Roughriders continue to search for answers. BC 34-9

Will week 11 be a magic number for me? We’ll find out. The thing about football is that it’s extremely unpredictable and you never know what could happen each week. Edmonton hunts for their first win, while Saskatchewan and Calgary face top teams in the league to remain in the playoff hunt. The closest game on paper might be that Ottawa and Montreal game, but I have feeling that Edmonton and Hamilton could be the game of the week.

~Michael Washington

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