Why your team would have won the 2020 Grey Cup

We’re still a little bummed out about the Grey Cup being cancelled for the first time in a century, so we asked our contributors across the country why the team they cover most closely would have won it.

Courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Don’t agree with our takes? Check out why your team would not have won the 2020 Grey Cup.

Why your team would NOT have won the 2020 Grey Cup

Teams are listed in alphabetical order by city.

B.C. Lions by J.C. Abbott

The fully-loaded Lions would have won the 2020 Grey Cup if they hit on all of their off-season additions. Imagine a group of new stars gelling under the guidance of new head coach Rick Campbell.

With Ryker Mathews at right tackle, Kelly Bates reshapes the offensive line and Mike Reilly returns to M.O.P. form because he’s able to stay upright.

The secondary under Ryan Phillips is the best in the league with Kenny Ladler picking up where he left off at strong-side linebacker before leaving for the NFL.

Meanwhile, Micah Johnson has cut weight and is back to rampaging in the middle like he did with the Calgary Stampeders, making it easy for No. 1 overall pick Jordan Williams to be named the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie.

Ed Hervey, still with the team because his side deal with Reilly never gets exposed, collects another ring and looks like a genius.

Calgary Stampeders by Ryan Ballantine

We all know that Calgary would be in the 2020 Grey Cup following a 13-5 regular season after which they would have hosted and won the West Final.

The reason they win another championship is the weather. A minus-two degree forecast in Regina has the Stamps exactly where they need to be as a team that has only faltered in severely adverse weather conditions the last several years.

Bo Levi Mitchell gets ring No. 3 to cement himself as the greatest quarterback in the history of the Calgary Stampeders. For a franchise that has fielded all-time greats like Henry Burris, Dave Dickenson, Doug Flutie, and Jeff Garcia, that’s a remarkable accomplishment.

Edmonton Football Team by Tom Gazzola

Hot starts and cold finishes — that’s been the downfall for the green and gold over the past couple of seasons. Throw in a lack of discipline and you’ve got a bad mix.

With Scott Milanovich at the helm — taking over for the always passionate and intense Jason Maas — a more composed approach would have helped Edmonton stay the course through the rigors of an eighteen-game season.

The offensive talent is there and a healthy Trevor Harris knows how to lead his team to the big dance. The question for this club comes on defence where long-time CFL defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe enters his first year with the team.

Would his unit be able to hold up and limit opponent big plays? If it does, that paves the way to Grey Cup glory for Edmonton.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats by Josh Smith

Believe it or not, the Tiger-Cats actually improved their roster after going a franchise-best 15-3 one year ago.

Free agents Patrick Levels, DeVier Posey and Don Jackson were added to team-friendly contracts, while linebacker Larry Dean was brought back into the fold from Edmonton.

Combine the new additions with Jeremiah Masoli’s M.O.P. return to the lineup — yes, I’m saying Masoli would have won M.O.P. in 2020 — and you have the perfect recipe to end the CFL’s longest Grey Cup drought.

Montreal Alouettes by Moe Khan

Mission complete: the Montreal Alouettes win their first Grey Cup since 2010, ending the second-longest title drought in the CFL. The reason why? The improved quarterback play of Vernon Adams Jr.

Going back to last year’s home playoff loss to Edmonton, Adams Jr. tossed three interceptions, including a dagger while trying to tie the game late. He lives up to sky-high expectations and his improvement carries the team to the pantheon of Canadian football.

The addition of running back James Wilder Jr. and his Grey Cup experience provides a renewed sense of optimism for an offence that lost a huge piece of the puzzle when William Stanback left for the NFL.

Finally, the Alouettes’ offensive line used to be criticized for giving up too many sacks. With the time and rapport developed by this position group, they bring back memories of the dominant Himalayan Mountains that the team employed in the mid-2000s that avalanched opposing defensive fronts.

Ottawa Redblacks by Santino Filoso

The tandem of Paul LaPolice and Nick Arbuckle orchestrates a potent offensive attack that boasts explosive playmakers across the board in John Crockett, Brad Sinopoli, R.J. Harris, Anthony Coombs and DeVote Dedmon.

Led by veterans Antonie Pruneau, Cleyon Laing, Avery Ellis, Kevin Brown, Don Unamba and Sherrod Baltimore, Mike Benevides’ defence overwhelms opponents.

Lewis Ward continues to prove he’s the best thing to come out of Ottawa University in forever (except for maybe Brad Sinopoli). Standout play in all three phases of the game results in a return to Grey Cup glory for the men in red and black.

Saskatchewan Roughriders by Joel Gasson

After a steady off-season following a first-place finish in the West Division in 2019, the Riders’ offence takes a massive step forward in 2020 under the stewardship of new offensive coordinator Jason Maas.

Breakout star Cody Fajardo is now capable of closing the opportunities they missed in last year’s West Final (and no, not just a clack off the uprights).

Defensive coordinator Jason Shivers builds off a solid 2019 and takes his defence to another level in 2020 with the ever-improving A.C. Leonard and Cam Judge. The 2020 Riders might be the best Grey Cup winning team in team history.

Toronto Argonauts by Justin Dunk

New general manager, new head coach, new quarterback all row together and the Argos sail to the Grey Cup.

Michael “Pinball” Clemons provides the energy, Ryan Dinwiddie handles the X’s and O’s and Matt Nichols proves he can holdup for an entire season while playing at an elite level and guiding the ship. Toronto charts out the course in uncharted waters with a rookie bench boss and totally revamped crew.

Part of the hometown gang which came back to play in double blue, Juwan Brescacin displays his game-breaking ability on the Mosaic Stadium turf and provides the most memorable play of the Grey Cup on an ultra athletic deep ball catch which secures the cup for the Argos.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers by John Hodge

What do you get when to take the 2019 Grey Cup champions, change almost nothing, and have them compete again in 2020? In this case, you get the 2020 Grey Cup champions.

Sure, losing Paul LaPolice (Ottawa Redblacks) and Chris Streveler (Arizona Cardinals) is tough, but the return of virtually an entire championship starting lineup us too much to ignore.

Willie Jefferson continues to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks while Adam Bighill leads the defence his his middle linebacker position. Meanwhile, the ageless Andrew Harris rushes for another 1,000-yard season, taking pressure off Zach Collaros over the course of a full eighteen-game season.

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