The CFL regular season is now over, and the playoff match-ups are set for the CFL semi-finals. It took right until the last week of the season to determine how everything was to be, and now we have that clear playoff picture that we’ve all been waiting for. No matter what team you cheer for, it should end up being an exciting post-season leading us all the way to the 104th Grey Cup in Toronto at BMO Field.
What to Expect from the CFL Semi-Finals
Western Semi-Final: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at B.C. Lions
After a disappointing start to the season, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers put in Matt Nichols at quarterback, and acquired a few more key players in the weeks after. They went from a 1-5 start to finish 11-7. If not for the loss to the Ottawa Redblacks in the second-last week of the season, the Bombers would be hosting this semi-final instead of travelling to B.C.
The Lions brought back Wally Buono as coach, and kept Jon Jennings as quarterback. Jennings has been consistent for the most part, using his main target, wide receiver Manny Arceneaux, to get the job done. The Lions finished with a strong 12-6 record. Bringing back ageless wonder Paul McCallum to kick was a smart move, as they had been experiencing difficulty at that position.
All other factors aside, Jennings still has a way to go to be an elite quarterback, so the prediction here is Winnipeg over B.C. by six points.
Eastern Semi-Final: Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Both teams in this contest have had up and down seasons. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats lost their starting quarterback Zach Collaros twice, while the Edmonton Eskimos took advantage of a weaker Eastern division and the crossover rule to enter the playoffs in the East. The Tiger-Cats are a very banged up team, with such notable players such as Andy Fantuz out of action, dealing a big blow to their hopes.
Edmonton started to heat up at the right moment; they look like a team that no one wants to face right now. Even though Hamilton has the home field advantage, the Esks have the momentum and a healthier squad right now.
The Cats will miss their big weapons, and this is a big factor in the predicted outcome: the Eskimos will walk away with a 10-point victory in Hamilton, to secure a date in the Eastern Final with the Redblacks in Ottawa.