Week two picks: Can the East bounce back?

The West Division went 3-0 against the East in week one and there are four intra-divisional games on the slate this weekend. The West dominated the East last season going 645-12 (all numbers approximate) and helping fuel a crossover by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. If the West jumps out to a quick lead against the East this season – and there are three more matchups next week – it could put the crossover back in play early in 2012

Thursday, June 21
Saskatchewan at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. EST

The off-season acquisition of quarterback Zach Collaros was big for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but so was landing defensive lineman Charleston Hughes. The veteran pass rusher had three sacks in Saskatchewan’s season-opening 27-19 home win over the Toronto Argonauts last week. Dealing with Hughes and Co. will be a top priority for the Ottawa Redblacks, who host Saskatchewan in their season-opening game Thursday night at TD Place. There will be plenty of pressure on Ottawa’s offensive line, which will feature rookie Mark Korte at left guard as Canadians Nolan MacMillan and Jason Lauzon-Seguin open the season on the injured list. Quarterback Trevor Harris will return under centre after suffering a leg injury in the club’s first exhibition game amid questions he’s not yet 100 per cent physically.

Dunk: Ottawa gets revenge for the Riders practising on Parliament Hill. REDBLACKS
Edwards: Saskie rolls with all the double-secret information Rod Pedersen gave them. RIDERS
Gasson: it’s going to be close. Weird stuff happens when these teams play. RIDERS
Hodge: Saskatchewan’s defensive line capitalizes on an Ottawa offence coming off the dreaded week one bye. RIDERS
Ballantine: The extra week of camp works for Ottawa. Good week for The Buds. REDBLACKS
Filoso: Ottawa gets a (small) measure of revenge for last year’s playoff loss. REDBLACKS
Smith: I don’t know why, maybe it’s the bye week Ottawa just had, but I feel like the Redblacks are just going to beat the breaks off Saskatchewan. REDBLACKS

Friday, June 22
Winnipeg at Montreal, 7 p.m. EST

At Montreal, rookie Chris Streveler makes his second career start for Winnipeg (0-1). He was 15-of-28 passing for 178 yards with three TDs and two interceptions while rushing four times for 30 yards in a rain-soaked 33-30 loss to Edmonton. It was a decent CFL debut but the 23-year-old could only watch as veteran Mike Reilly rallied the Eskimos to the victory. Montreal (0-1) allowed five sacks in last week’s 22-10 road loss to B.C., but did accumulate 359 yards offensively as Drew Willy was 25-of-35 passing for 281 yards with a TD and interception.

Dunk: Close my eyes. ALOUETTES
Edwards: Chris Streveler didn’t look like a dumpster fire. The Alouettes look like a dumpster fire. BOMBERS
Gasson: It’s not often a rookie QB is the better QB but here we are. BOMBERS
Hodge: Montreal’s futile passing game is one that even Winnipeg’s defence can handle. BOMBERS
Ballantine: Montreal could go winless. BOMBERS
Filoso: Winnipeg has a decent QB and a strong surrounding cast, Montreal has neither. BOMBERS
Smith: I just don’t know how Montreal is going to score points. BOMBERS

Saturday, June 23
Hamilton at Edmonton, 10 p.m. EST

At Edmonton, Jeremiah Masoli leads Hamilton (0-1) in a second straight road contest. Masoli was 25-of-36 passing for 344 yards a with an interception but Calgary outscored the Ticats 19-3 in the final frame en route to a 28-14 season-opening win. The squad bolstered its young secondary by re-signing veteran cornerback Delvin Breaux after three seasons in the NFL. The unit faces another stiff test with Reilly, who threw for 408 yards and a TD while scoring twice himself in rallying the Eskimos past the Blue Bombers.

Dunk: Ticats get some football funk to go their way. TICATS
Edwards: Too many injuries for the Esks and Delvin Breaux is back. TICATS
Gasson: Double West trip for Hamilton? ESKS
Hodge: Hamilton loses by 35 points last week if Bo Levi Mitchell hits his targets. ESKS
Ballantine: Mike Reilly makes the Hamilton DBs look silly. ESKS
Filoso: I’ll take the home team in a close affair. ESKS
Smith: Hamilton has won three of their last five in Edmonton and always play them tough. TICATS

Saturday, June 23
Calgary at Toronto, 7 p.m. EST

At Toronto, it’s a rematch of last year’s Grey Cup game won by the Argos (0-1). But the home team will have to do more offensively than it did last week against Saskatchewan. The Argos especially struggled on second down, averaging just 2.8 yards. Calgary (1-0) amassed 429 offensive yards against Hamilton despite Bo Levi Mitchell completing under 50 per cent of his passes. Then again, all Mitchell does is win. The ’14 Grey Cup MVP and ’16 CFL outstanding player has an 8-0 regular-season record against Toronto and is 57-10-2

Dunk: Marc Trestman always refocuses his team after a loss. ARGOS
Edwards: Calgary will want to make whatever statement they can. STAMPS
Gasson: Argo offence is a work in progress. STAMPS.
Hodge: The Stamps always drop a game early in the season. ARGOS
Ballantine: Mitchell missed a few throws for TDs last week. He makes those throws this week. STAMPS
Filoso: Now that Ricky Ray has knocked off the rust, Toronto begins their season in earnest. ARGOS
Smith: Neither team looked sharp in Week 1, so a bounce back for one is likely. Call me crazy, but I think Toronto will right the ship. ARGOS

2018 Records
Edwards: 4-0
Dunk: 3-1
Gasson: 3-1
Hodge: 3-1
Ballantine: 3-1
Filoso: 3-1
Smith: 3-1

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