With a 2-2 record in Week 1, The Big Man is set with his Week 2 predictions. The CFL on TSN's Chris Schultz makes his bold predictions, which includes the official return of the Ottawa Redblacks.
Ottawa at Winnipeg
Well, it is good to say it - Ottawa. As a life-long fan of the CFL, I can tell you many stories of the games and players I identified with that were Rough Rider alumni. It's great to have 0ttawa back. I truly don't have any idea how they will play this year or how many games they'll win. Yet I'm optimistic as good teams aren't about the best individual players as much as good players working efficiently together. The Redblacks have a solid coaching staff and I feel a good 24 to begin with so competitive games are a real expectation early in the season. Winnipeg? Surprise, surprise! I didn't see the win over the Argos on the horizon and they have a real opportunity to begin the season 2-0. The challenge for Winnipeg is that many of the Redblacks are unknown and they're team strengths and weaknesses are will only be known after a month of football. A tough team to prepare for. I must stay with logic on this one, a Bombers win but much closer than score than the 45-21 victory over Toronto. More like 31-24 Winnipeg.
B.C. at Montreal
Both teams had disappointing losses to start the season, but of the two - Montreal was the greater disappointment. Every week there will be one or two players that desperately need to bounce back from a poor game and have a great one. This week it's Troy Smith at quarterback for Montreal. His accuracy wasn't there in Calgary and he has to improve quickly - not only for the Als to win but for Troy to keep his position as a starter and leader. Patience is never found in abundance in pro football - quite the opposite in fact. It was good to see Brandon Whitaker back at running back and he was effective, but he may have to be even more effective this week. This one should be close but I like B.C. on the road. They are not going to allow another fake field goal for a first down or an onside kick for a change of possession. Neither team will dominate so B.C. by three in an upset.
Hamilton at Edmonton
Protection problems, quarterback hesitation problems, run defence problems and there are more problems right now than solutions in Hamilton. Not in Edmonton. Confidence should be high after the win over the Lions on the road and this being the home opener. How about Adarius Bowman, nine catches for 105 yards and a touchdown! Mike Reilly as a quarterback may have found some chemistry after one week of football. Zach Collaros has to improve fast, as Kent Austin still has Dan LeFevour as plan "B" who could turn into plan "A" before anticipated. I have to go with the confident Eskimos over a Hamilton team searching for confidence.
Saskatchewan at Toronto
This one will be closer than anticipated. It would be easy to say the Riders in an easy win, but I would be shocked if Toronto didn't respond with a more professional response here in Week 2. I do think the Argo defence will play at a higher level in that the combination of pass rush and pass coverage will be much more evident. And I do not for see a 16-penalty first half repeat as was created in Winnipeg. Ricky Ray will have more opportunity this week at home. But - and a big but - the best offensive line may be in Regina. Fulton, Labatte, Picard, Best and Heenan are all athletic and technically sound. Also, the sixth best offensive lineman may be Dan Clark and he's used extensively in tight end run packages. I love my quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, line backers and defensive backs. But just like against Hamilton, I see Rider control that's closest to the line of scrimmage, offence and defensive lines. Riders by a touchdown.