Playoff Contenders Determined

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Sir Purrcival
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Playoff Contenders Determined

Post by Sir Purrcival » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:29 pm

So in Week 19, the final contenders for the Grey Cup have been determined. The only question remaining to be settled is who will take the number 1 seed in the East.

The Teams are:

West:
Edmonton
Calgary
BC Lions

East:
Ottawa*
Hamilton*
Toronto

*final positions not yet decided.

We will have to see who wins the game between Ottawa and Hamilton in week 20 to see who actually takes the first seed in the east. Ottawa beat Hamilton by 6 points today so Hamilton will need to win the game by a larger margin than that to assure themselves 1st spot. However with the game being in Ottawa and the loss of the Cat's #1 QB Zac Collaros, the situation appears to be starting to take it's toll. It is going to be an uphill battle for Cats to say the least.

A look at the West Semi-final match-up at present.

BC Lions - according to Chris Schultz, this team is dangerous and he is right. However, they have managed to shoot themselves in the foot on more than a few occasions this season and have only recently begun to show signs that perhaps a sleeping giant might be stirring. With their former third string QB J. Jennings, they Lions look like they finally have someone at pivot capable of running the offense and driving the field. They have a decent receiving core anchored by Manny Arceneaux and their O-line seems to be giving decent protection to the QB. On D, they have managed to finally find pressure on opposing Offenses and they have gone from dead last in the sack stats to middle of the pack in a matter of about 3 weeks.
The biggest Achilles heels seem to be on special teams and at the running back position. K. Richie Leone has the worst convert percentage in the league while having the best punting average. He is currently at 71% complete of Point After Attempts and 77% on field goals. There is also a question mark at the run position despite that league leading rusher being Andrew Harris. Teams often key on him and his performances have swung wildly from plus 100 yard games to less than a dozen the following week.

Calgary Stampeders - Last years Grey Cup Champs have taken a small step backward from last year where they looked largely unstoppable. However, the drop off hasn't been much. Anchored at pivot by Bo-Levi Mitchell, the stamps still have a potent offense with marquis, league leading receiver Eric Rogers headlining a solid group including the often overlooked but nonetheless invaluable Marquay McDaniel. Despite a number of injuries at positions along the Oline, the Stamps continue to win. It hasn't always been pretty but they have gotten the job done. Of course there can be no conversation about the Stamps O without mentioning Jon Cornish. Perhaps not the force he has been in previous seasons, Cornish has been hampered by injuries this season, a broken thumb and he sat out this week with neck issues. Fortunately, the Stamps were able to swing a deal for Jerome Messam to take up the load. As another Canadian RB, Messam can fill the spot vacated by Cornish without bringing up ratio issues. He is also a physical load which fits in well with the Stamps play book. The Stamps have significant injuries on D including Dlineman, Charleston Hughes and middle linebacker Juwan Simpson as well as other starters. This team has had a rough go of the injuries this season and it is a testament to the coaching that they have continued to enjoy success while continually plugging in new players to key positions.

Prediction for the West Semi - Calgary by 5. based largely on the experience and better coaching enjoyed by the Stamps. However if the Lions manage to piece together a whole game in all facets, they could take the Stamps. Should be an interesting game nevertheless.
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Re: Playoff Contenders Determined

Post by Sir Purrcival » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:25 am

Well, now for the East Semi

Hamilton was the class of the league right up until Zac Collaros was injured for the balance of the season. It is a team sport but in the case of football, one can often make the argument that as the QB's fortunes go, so does the fortunes of the team. This appears to be the case for Hamilton. They now appear reduced to their 3rd or is it their 4th string? Jacory Harris didn't do much in the last game against Ottawa and it was another QB, Jerimiah Masouli that seemed to spark a comeback along with a good special teams play on an onside kick. However, despite their much vaunted Defense, the Cats were unable to contain Burris who had a 6 TD performance. This is now 3 straight losses for the Cats and it is definitely not how you want to go into the playoffs. Their star returner, Brandon Banks was hurt during the game and his status/effectiveness may be in question. In the semi-final, they face an also very ordinary team in the Argonauts. This is another team that started stumbling about 2/3rds through the season and haven't yet seemed to find the the formula to put it right despite the addition of future hall of famer, Ricky Ray back into the line up after a whole years absence. The questions around the QB position for the Argo's are in full bloom, the main issue being do you go with a less experienced but more game ready Trevor Harris or defer to a highly experienced Ricky Ray who may or may not be the same QB of old?

So which way to choose? Hamilton has the edge on Defense, Toronto has the edge at pivot. Both have coaching that has been successful.

Defense tends to win out when all other things are equal and because the Argo's have been struggling on offense almost as badly as Tiger Cats, I am going to go with the Cats. This game is largely going to turn on who makes the most mistakes. Penalties, turnovers and special teams play may well be more important in this game than offensive production. I expect the Cats to be strong on defense and to keep the Argo's QB's pressured. If I were to take a guess, I think the Argo's may start with Trevor Harris based on some better mobility. Frankly they may need that to counteract the strong TigerCat front 4, arguably one of the best in the league. Both teams need to play disciplined ball. Penalties have been a problem for both of late.

In the end, solid defensive and special teams play is going to rule the day in this one. - Verdict - Hamilton 28-Toronto 23
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Re: Playoff Contenders Determined

Post by AGENT-784 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:13 pm

Cats got their act together just long enough for the best kicker in the league to put them into the East Final.

Wow, Katy, Texas came out of Rod Black's backside only once during today's broadcast.

Lions unable to score a touchdown in their last eight quarters.
Enough said.
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Re: Playoff Contenders Determined

Post by Sir Purrcival » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:59 am

AGENT-784 wrote:Cats got their act together just long enough for the best kicker in the league to put them into the East Final.

Wow, Katy, Texas came out of Rod Black's backside only once during today's broadcast.

Lions unable to score a touchdown in their last eight quarters.
Enough said.

Agreed, it was as I thought in Toronto-Hamilton tilt. Offensively, both teams struggled offensively and the game ultimately turned on the kicking teams. Two missed fg's by Waters and a clutch end of time kick by Medlock sealed the deal.

As for the West. The Lions reverted to form as they did much of the season. Poor defensive rush, unimaginative offense and lost their hope for the future QB with a broken collarbone. It is telling that the Stamps lost two Olinemen during the game and still didn't give up a single sack. The Lions problems that led them to a 7-11 season appeared in full force with lots of undisciplined penalties and questionable coaching.
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Re: Playoff Contenders Determined

Post by AGENT-784 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:43 pm

Questionable coaching.
Bingo !
Any other team would have gone with some degree of BLITZ just to see how well the emergency subs and Messam would react.
Might not have added up to any sacks at all, but it would have given Messam something else to think about between carries.
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