CFL Pass

“Real deal” Esks beat Stamps, clinch home playoff game

Following twelve consecutive losses to the Calgary Stampeders, the Edmonton Eskimos officially have a winning streak of their own against their provincial rivals.

I’m really liking my June prediction of Edmonton over Hamilton in the 103rd Grey Cup, but there’s still plenty of football to be played.

Edmonton’s biggest question coming into the season was whether they could beat the Calgary Stampeders or not. Every game between the two teams has been a slow, defensive battle so while it hasn’t been easy, I think this defensive style of football really fits the Eskimos a little bit better. I wouldn’t want to be hit by *anyone* on that team. (Okay, I wouldn’t want to be hit by anyone in this league, but still…)

Mike Reilly, while underwhelming on the stat sheet, has led Edmonton to five straight wins and had another decent game throwing for 264 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Judging by all the hits he has been taking over the past few weeks, there’s no way he’s one hundred percent. Reilly is a warrior and just finds a way to help his team win.

With the win, Edmonton has clinched a home playoff game but their schedule is about to get really interesting – and it’s not the opponents that make up the interesting part. The Eskies have BC, Saskatchewan and Montreal while they end the season on a BYE week.

If they hang on to first place, that means Edmonton would essentially have a *three-week* break between their November 1st tilt against Montreal and the West Final on November 22nd. It gives the team plenty of time to nurse their nagging injuries because let’s face it: At this point of the year, *everyone* is playing hurt. But it also gives them three weeks to lose focus. This team is the real deal but the tests just get harder from this point forward…

– written by Travis Currah