The regular season is all wrapped up in the CFL and if it is any indication of what is to come in the playoffs, we are in for a treat. I can’t remember a year where the league was this wide open. Any of the six teams in the postseason could hoist the Grey Cup on November 26th. There is a lot of great football to be played between now and then, but let’s take a look at who will be the team that finishes on top this year in our 2017 CFL playoff predictions.
2017 CFL Playoff Predictions
West Division Semi-final
The West division semi-final sees Edmonton take on the Bombers in Winnipeg. Both teams finished with a 12-6 record but Winnipeg won the season series two games to none. Edmonton has looked like they are back to their early season form the past couple of weeks. This team should be tough to take out in the playoffs, especially with Mike Reilly at the helm.
Winnipeg has been hit with the injury bug at the worst time and they might not have what it takes to knock off the Eskimos, who are playing their best football of the year. If Winnipeg is going to win they have to give Andrew Harris the ball early and often. He is a proven winner and will show up for the Bombers in big games. For Edmonton they just to need to keep doing what they are doing. Their offence is clicking and it will fall onto the shoulders of the defence to keep Matt Nichols (if he is healthy) and Andrew Harris in check. If Edmonton can lock down Harris and Nichols, they should pull one out on the road.
Prediction: Edmonton 31 Winnipeg 23
East Division Semi-final
The Saskatchewan Roughriders will head east to take on the defending Grey Cup Champions, the Ottawa Redblacks. This is an interesting match-up. Both games were decided by one point in the regular season with each team winning on the road. The Riders have looked pretty good during the back half of the season with a couple of slip ups along the way.
Ottawa has won three in a row coming into the playoffs and could be on their way to another Grey Cup appearance. Brad Sinopoli is out for the season for Ottawa which is a huge blow. The Green and White have to stop Norman Powell and keep the pocket clean to win. The Redblacks have to prep for both quarterbacks, which will be tough to do. Kevin Glenn will start but at the first sign of him being pressured or ineffective, Brandon Bridge will come in. Bridge can keep plays alive with his feet but does tend to lock onto one receiver. Glenn is a vet who, if he stays upright, can make big plays for this Riders team. It will be a close battle.
Prediction: Saskatchewan 26 Ottawa 24
West Division Final
With Edmonton taking Winnipeg in the west semi, that means it will set up a battle of Alberta in the West Final. Calgary has struggled lately losing their last three games in a row, but don’t count the Stamps out. They will be plenty fired up for this game and looking to prove that they are still the beasts in the west. Edmonton will be riding a wave of momentum after a big win in Winnipeg and this team will be tough to knock off.
This could be the best game of the entire playoffs. Calgary needs to find their mojo again and fast. They don’t have time to try and work things out during the game. If Mike Reilly and the high-powered Edmonton offence get out to an early lead it will be lights out for the Stamps. It may fall on their number one defence to keep the team in the game if the offence struggles. But in the end, Edmonton should come away with another road playoff win.
Prediction: Edmonton 27 Calgary 22
East Division Final
The East Division Final will be a great match up. Toronto has been turned around fast by head coach Marc Trestman and crew. The offence is on fire and this team is right where it wants to be heading into playoffs. The Riders will be staying out east all week to be as prepared as possible going into the East Final. The Riders had better have their quarterback situation figured out by this game or it could spell the end of the season.
At some point I think the Riders have to start Bridge if they are going to put him in the first quarter anyway. I don’t know that it is good for the team to be switching quarterbacks in and out. The Riders need to have their best defensive game of the season to pull this one out. For Toronto they are going to have to shut down the best receiving corps in the league. Toronto squeaks this one out at home in a very competitive game.
Prediction: Toronto 34 Saskatchewan 31
The Grey Cup will be a meeting between Toronto and Edmonton in Ottawa. The two teams split the season series, each team winning at home. This could be a high scoring Grey Cup. Both Mike Reilly and Ricky Ray have many weapons at their disposal. Toronto may have the best running back in the league while Edmonton has an amazing receiving corps. This has the potential to be a shootout, a Grey Cup game for the ages. The two offences make for an entertaining game, but the Toronto Argos will find a way to win late in the game.
Prediction: Toronto 36 Edmonton 34
The CFL playoffs should be an amazing few weeks if the regular season proves anything. This season provided many dramatic finishes and a parity in the league not seen in awhile. Especially over the second half of the season. I think Edmonton will come out of the west on a clear path with Winnipeg inflicted with so many injuries and Calgary playing bad ball at the wrong time. Toronto has the advantage in the east because of coaching and their offence’s ability to execute. No matter what happens over the next three weeks be ready to be thoroughly entertained.
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