CFL Pass

CFL Pick ‘em, Week 16½: The almost homeless vs the almost hopeless

So right when you thought – or at least CFLpass thought – that getting at least a 3-1 mark in any given CFL Pick ‘em week was possible, you get *five* games, in two of which the marginally better team has already lost at home. Um, onto that odd fifth game, then!

On this holiday Monday, the Toronto Argonauts will be giving thanks that their depth chart remains enviably deep at QB in this season of the Great CFL Quarterback Massacre; the Montreal Alouettes can be grateful that, though they may not know who’ll be taking the snaps next week, at least the definition of “home game” hasn’t changed.

Because, see, the kneejerk reaction is to go against the Argos simply due to playing in an away venue on six days’ rest – but this is par for the course for the 2015 Toronto Argonauts, who are 6-4 when not playing at Rogers Centre and 2-0 in non-Rogers “home” games. Since week 7, the Argos have had a break of six days or fewer four times, and they’ll get just five days before hosting – maybe – the Stampeders.

Short break or no, however, the Alouettes have drawn the wrong time to be facing these Argos. Since getting throttled in consecutive weeks by the scary Eskimos and Tiger-Cats defences, Toronto has put up 27, 35 and 38 points in subsequent games; with a WR corps deeper than any other CFL team right now, Trevor Harris has managed to pile up a gaudy 936 yards and nine TD passes in the past three “weeks.”

Of course, the Argos’ pinball machine scoring only emerges when not facing an elite defence – and the Alouettes have an elite defence, right? (A call for reassurance that Alouettes fans have been pinning hopes on since about week four.) Well … even those who still believe have got to be shaken after giving up 72 points in the past two games, with the proverbial injury-riddled secondary (now also without Jon Hefney and Jerald Brown) surrendering 716 yards and three TDs in those games. Can we blame Macho Harris if/when we proclaim this defence irrevocably broken?

And that’s just the defensive end. The biggest problem the Argos offence would appear to be facing is “What happens when Ricky Ray comes back?” Now that’s a problem of privilege that Alouettes management would love to have. (Wouldn’t be surprised to see Ray in Als gear next season, come to think of it…)

Week 15 saw the sixth victim guy to play QB for Montreal this season when Duke alum Anthony Boone took over in the second half to throw a couple of garbage-time TDs and an interception – great stuff for Fantaseh football, not so remarkable in real life. The true mystery in Montreal is how S.J. Green has managed to produce a quite decent stat line for a team that’s fielded more quarterbacks than has won games.

Presumably, Rakeem Cato has yet to be officially replaced as starting quarterback, but here’s to thinking Boone’ll be entering this game in the third quarter, if not the second. Cato has been little beyond disappointing after a fair few first games. Beyond this, a couple of guys are gone for the year, Tanner Marsh shall not be mentioned again, and Brandon Bridge has dissolved into the ether.

Even with an otherwise decisive edge on special teams, the nomadic Argos have more than enough to overcome a team that hasn’t really had the luxury of gelling all season: Toronto Argonauts over Montreal Alouettes.

– written by Os Davis