The Big Man finished 1-3 in Week 3, dropping to 5-7 on the season in Schultz vs. The World. Now the CFL on TSN analyst is back with his picks for Week 4, including predictions for a surprising matchup of undefeated's in Winnipeg, and the Redblacks first ever home game.
Edmonton Eskimos at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The best team in the West is Calgary. They have had two dominate wins; first beating Montreal 29-8 and then making it look easy over Toronto, 34-15. But the second best team in the West will be determined Thursday night in Winnipeg. With the Bombers you sense their confidence is genuine and real. Twice they have had to play excellent pressure response football that netted fourth quarter wins due to Drew Willy. And I don't discount the two defensive touchdowns in their game against the Alouettes as luck, both were a defence forcing a mistake than benefiting from one. This will be their best test yet because as confident as Winnipeg is, Edmonton is their equal in that mentality. I don't expect Adarius Bowman to score three touchdowns Thursday night as he did last Friday, but he will be a problem for Winnipeg. Another problem for Winnipeg will be pass protection. Drew Willy took some serious hits in the Montreal game, the second week in a row that protecting the quarterback was an issue. All logic says Edmonton wins, but logic does not play, it only influences. 24,000 fans followed by 27,000 fans the next week, the Blue Bombers need 30,000 fans to win on Thursday. Bombers win.
Toronto Argonauts at Ottawa Redblacks
If Toronto had beat Calgary last Saturday I would pick Ottawa to win their first CFL game this week, but they didn't so I can't. The pressure will be on Toronto to do what they did after their loss to the Roughriders: respond with excellence, and they should. The atmosphere at TD Place Stadium should be exceptional as it is another new beginning for an Ottawa team that wants to create new, positive history. But, after an offensive possession or two, that is diffused and it becomes about football only, not what is happening in the stadium. This one will be close as Ricky Ray will play at a higher level and Henry Burris will want to put on a show at home. But only 11 points scored last week in Edmonton has to be a concern. The best player for the Redblacks is Chevon Walker. He runs as fast as he flashed success when he was a Hamilton Tiger-Cat. Still, my pick is the Argonauts.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Calgary Stampeders
At Saskatchewan, at Edmonton, and now at Calgary to start the season is a challenge for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. And with the news that Tim Hortons Field will not be ready on time, that takes an edge of enthusiasm away. But, welcome to pro football, where if you can't accept and handle adversity then you will fade away. Hamilton did a remarkable job with it last year and there's no reason they won't handle it this summer as professionals. Bigger problem is the Week 4 competition in Calgary. Is it too early to say the next quarterback star in this league is Bo Levi Mitchell? He may have the best supporting cast around him in comparison to what Drew Willy and Mike Reilly have as young quarterbacks, but he is as real as it gets. As long as Calgary does not self-implode, I just can't see them losing. And I can only see Hamilton winning if Jeremiah Masoli or Dan LeFevour self-explodes with an excellent performance. I'm going with Calgary.
Montreal Alouettes at BC Lions
History is not on the side of the Alouettes. They have had problems playing well traveling East to West across the country for a 4pm kick-off time in Vancouver. Troy Smith looked better as a quarterback but so did Kevin Glen for the Lions. In their first meeting on July 4th, Montrael exposed a week offensive line for BC but this time around it should be better as the starting five have a game together under their belt and the video of that July 4th game to learn from. You can't expect Andrew Harris to have a second game as good as he had last week in Regina, but you can expect someone else to step up and shine. The Alouettes are good but have not played well in BC Place. The Lions will move to 2-2.