Bold Predictions for the CFL Semi Finals

CFL Semi Finals
Its time. The CFL semi finals are upon us and this week the Edmonton Eskimos will face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats while the British Columbia Lions square off against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. As CFL fans across the country prepare to watch their favorite (or hated) teams face off for postseason glory, Last Word on Canadian Football brings you our writer’s Bold Predictions for how the games will play out. As you will see below, even our dedicated team is split on how the CFL Semi Finals will play out.

Bold Predictions for the CFL Semi Finals

Edmonton Eskimos vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Collaros bites it on first play of the game, Special Teams Make the Difference

This hotly contested battle will start with a sack on Ticats quarterback Zach Collaros. Yes, that’s one bold statement. The Eskimos will want to start hot on the road, and they will get to Collaros. The Eskimos recorded 33 sacks, the second-least in the league, but the Ticats allowed 39 sacks. It will be a battle in the trenches on both sides, as the Ticats pass rushers of John Chick and Ted Laurent are game changers.
On to special teams, where Ticats kick returner Brandon Banks and Eskimos kicker Sean Whyte are the best in the game at their roles. Both can turn a game on its head. Hamilton kicker Brett Maher and Edmonton returner Kenzel Doe are also good at what they do, but won’t have the effect of Whyte or Banks. Regardless, don’t be surprised if this game is decided by a field goal or kick return touchdown.

Turnovers Will be Key for the Ticats

Forcing turnovers is a major part of winning a football game, especially in the playoffs. Taking the ball away from the opposing team is demoralizing for them and a massive boost for the team that does it. Just as important as taking the ball away is scoring when those opportunities arise, and that is what will happen for the Ticats in this matchup. With a terrifying defensive line including Chick and Laurent, as well as a versatile linebacking corps featuring Simoni Lawrence, Hamilton’s defence has plenty of players who can rack up turnovers. In the end the Tiger-Cats will win this game, and the difference will be the points scored off turnovers.

Matthew Bin @coffeewriting

Tiger-Cats Can’t Hang with Edmonton Offence

This game is likely going to become a shoot-out where the last team to score will win it all. While Hamilton has the stellar Terrence Toliver, their receiving core is barren outside of him and the recently signed Kevin Elliot. Compare that to the unstoppable duo of Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker, as well as the blazing hot rookie, Brandon Zylstra, and it doesn’t look good for the Tabbies. Even factoring in the ground game, Edmonton’s John White and Shakir Bell far outpace Hamilton’s C.J. Gable. If the defence comes alive for the Tabbies then perhaps there will be a chance, but I don’t see it. I’m calling this a victory for the Eskimos.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs British Columbia Lions

Winnipeg Will Win in Overtime by a Field Goal

The game will certainly be a close call, so much so that both teams are going to need extra time before a winner is decided. As if that bold prediction isn’t enough, let’s go one step further and pick the winner. With the game on the line it will be prized free agent kicker Justin Medlock who trots out to kick one of the biggest field goals of his life. The snap is back, the hold is good…and Medlock boots one home to give the Bomber faithful a glorious road victory. Bonus Prediction: Rookie sensation Taylor Loffler picks off Jonathan Jennings in a big spot.

Gina Schiltz  @LWOSGina

Winnipeg’s Defence Comes up Big

When the weather gets colder and every game becomes a must-win scenario, defence makes the difference. Winnipeg has thrived off its ball-hawking defence with multiple play-makers across the board like Loffler, Maurice LeggettTJ Heath, and Kevin Fogg. Between just those four players the Bombers have 22 interceptions, more than the entire Lions defence combined. When it comes to pass rush, the Bombers don’t have a truly dominant player outside Jamal Westerman, but counter that with blitzes and tight coverage. It will be a dogfight, but the Bombers underrated defence will be the difference in the game.

B.C. will blow out Winnipeg with an Unstoppable Offence

Forget all the talk about the Bomber defence, this game is going to be all about the Emmanuel Arceneaux show, featuring Bryan Burnham and Terell Sinkfield. With the electric quarterback play of Jennings behind his stalwart offensive line, the Lions are going to put up an unstoppable aerial attack that picks apart the Winnipeg secondary. Also, don’t forget that BC has the number one ground game in the CFL and won’t shy away from using it to salt away the game. Fans are in for some fireworks, and most of them will be for the B.C. Lions.

Have some playoff predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments below.