Week 3 picks: Tell us who you really are

The 2018 season is only a couple of weeks old but already some patterns are emerging. For example, the Calgary Stampeders are still good and the Montreal Alouettes are very much not. But in between, there is a bunch of teams for which a clear narrative has yet to emerge.

This week’s slate of games should provide some answers or, at the very least, some clues. Ottawa gets a real test on the road in Calgary, Hamilton and Winnipeg is a battle of the tweener teams, Edmonton looks to bounce back against a rested B.C. squad. And in Saskatchewan, can Brandon Bridge take care of business against the hapless Alouettes?

Time to find out.

Thursday, June 28
Ottawa at Calgary, 9 p.m. EST

Calgary (2-0) hosts the Ottawa Redblacks on Thursday night having compiled a stellar 40-6 record at McMahon Stadium over the last six seasons. The next-closest team over that span is the Edmonton Eskimos (27 wins). Calgary is coming off an impressive 41-7 road win over the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was 20-of-22 passing for 324 yards and three TDs before being replaced by Nick Arbuckle in the fourth quarter. Ottawa comes off an impressive 40-17 season-opening win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders as starter Trevor Harris finished 26-of-36 passing for 345 yards with two TDs and an interception. The Redblacks had a record-tying three two-point converts in the contest and earned their fourth straight regular-season win dating back to last year.

Dunk: Rick Campbell knows Calgary well and it will be a close game, but home side. STAMPS
Edwards: I was impressed by the Redblacks win last week. I was more impressed by Calgary’s. STAMPS
Gasson: These teams always play each other tough but it’s in Calgary. STAMPS
Hodge: Calgary at home. STAMPS
Ballantine: Calgary doesn’t lose at home. STAMPS
Filoso: Last possession wins. STAMPS
Smith: Ottawa is going to put up a good fight, but it’s in Calgary, so… STAMPS

Friday, June 29
Winnipeg at Hamilton, 7 p.m. EST

At Hamilton, two of the CFL’s hottest quarterbacks square off. Rookie Chris Streveler was 22-of-28 passing for 246 yards and three TDs while rushing for a team-high 98 yards and a touchdown in leading Winnipeg (1-1) past Montreal 56-10. Streveler has six TD passes, the fourth-highest total over a quarterback’s first two starts in league history. Jeremiah Masoli threw for 332 yards and three TDs while rushing for another as the Tiger-Cats (1-1) beat Edmonton 38-21. Brandon Banks and Luke Tasker both had 100-yard receiving games and scored TDs while Canadian Mercer Timmis ran for 133 yards and two touchdowns.

Dunk: Jerry Glanville’s defence provides the first real test for the Bombers rookie QB. TICATS
Edwards: I like both these teams at the moment so I make this selection with a shrug emoji. TICATS
Gasson: Really liking where Winnipeg is headed. BOMBERS
Hodge: Bomber defence can’t rein in Jeremiah Masoli. TICATS
Ballantine: Most compelling game of the week. Look for the Strevolution to continue. Hamilton has looked sharp but Winnipeg is deeper. BOMBERS
Filoso: I’m buying what Masoli is selling. TICATS
Smith: This one is going to be a lot of fun. I’m leaning slightly to the home side, but my confidence is not high. TICATS

British Columbia at Edmonton, 10 p.m. EST

At Edmonton, B.C. (1-0) comes off the bye for its first road game of the season. The Lions haven’t played since a season-opening 22-10 win over Montreal on June 16. In that game, starter Jonathon Jennings was 20-of-24 passing for 183 yards and two TDs while the defence registered five sacks. The Eskimos (1-1) allowed 528 offensive yards in their loss to Hamilton, including 196 yards rushing. Quarterback Mike Reilly was 20-of-30 passing for 286 yards with a touchdown and interception while running for another.

Dunk: Lions are better than a year ago, but the Eskimos highly motivated. ESKS
Edwards: Reilly said they “got their asses kicked” last week vs. Ticats. They’ll be itching to bounce back. ESKS
Gasson: Edmonton got their wake up call. ESKS
Hodge: Edmonton ain’t losing back-to-back games at home. ESKS
Ballantine: Because BC has only played Montreal, we aren’t sure yet what they can do. I know what Edmonton can do. ESKS
Filoso: Sure BC looked good against Montreal, but who hasn’t? ESKS
Smith: Sorry Lions fans, but Edmonton is going to be highly motivated for this one. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 7 LIONS 0

Saturday, June 30
Montreal at Saskatchewan, 9 p.m.

At Regina, Canadian Brandon Bridge starts for the Riders (1-1) with incumbent Zach Collaros (head injury) sidelined. Bridge won’t have Duron Carter in the receiving corps as Carter remains on defence. It’s been a miserable start for Montreal (0-2) under first-year head coach Mike Sherman. The Alouettes struggled mightily in last week’s lopsided loss to Winnipeg, accumulating just 195 offensive yards while the Bombers rolled up 588 yards offensively. Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba had 11 tackles but was also fined for by the CFL for spearing Streveler.

Dunk: Cleared for take-off: Air Canada. RIDERS
Edwards: I don’t like much about the Riders right now. I like a lot less about Montreal. RIDERS
Gasson: The Riders have issues, the Alouettes are the definition of issues. RIDERS
Hodge: Montreal is Willy, Willy bad. RIDERS
Ballantine: Thank goodness for the Riders that they get Montreal this week. I will say it every week until it isn’t true, Montreal could go winless this season. RIDERS
Filoso: Air Canada doesn’t disappoint. RIDERS
Smith: The Riders are a bit of a mess right now. Montreal is so far beyond a mess that I’m not sure a word exists to describe it. RIDERS

2018 Records
Edwards: 7-1
Ballantine: 6-2
Smith: 6-2
Dunk: 5-3
Gasson: 5-3
Hodge: 4-4
Filoso: 4-4

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