Game 16 Preview – Argos at Eskimos
Well the Ottawa REDBLACKS comeback in Regina ruined my amazing intro line, so for now you get.
Argos have clinched a play-off spot.
Argos have clinched a home play-off spot.
Argos have one more job to do and that’s finish first in the East.
No Walk on the Wilder Side
James Wilder Jr. is out and Brandon Whitaker is back. I can see the Argos perhaps struggling to find a running game that works with the smaller Whitaker in the back field over the freight train that is Wilder Sr.. If Whitaker isn’t successful early then I fully expect Martese Jackson to see quick touches to utilize his speed. Edmonton’s run defence was below average last week so they really luck out with the injury to the Argos emerging work horse in Wilder Jr..
Taking a Gable
C.J. Gable’s 111 yards on 22 carries was textbook ball possession for the Eskimos last week. The high flying receiving corps has cooled since the start of the year so establishing a running game on a wet soggy day last week in Montreal was paramount for the Eskies comeback win. Gable is making good money in the CFL and was heading into free agency and now has a chance to play some play-off football in the West which just loves their CFL more than the East. He’s playing for a Grey Cup and a contract.
Sour Lemon Ball
The Argos won’t get any sympathy about the injuries they are facing from the Eskimos and all season long they have managed to keep it together but the two injuries to Marcus Ball and Shawn Lemon have me really concerned. Lemon plays on the DL but he’s almost like a defensive captain out there taking on the role of a middle linebacker when it comes to coaching and adjusting. Marcus Ball has been intimidating, you have games where you don’t see him in the highlights because teams avoid his side of the field. Right now , Mike Reilly can look back at what Brandon Bridge put together and challenge the Argos corners and safeties. Bridge had the Argos guessing last week and that doesn’t win games on D.
Every week through their tough times I was picking them to win games. Mike Reilly’s hat collection would be a big story if they hadn’t hit the slides by losing 6 in a row after winning 7 in a row to start the season. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine the Argos meeting the Eskimos once again in the play-offs during the cross-over. Edmonton was on its way to setting a franchise record for injuries so getting healthy is maybe more important that executing for now as the Lions have fallen out of play-off contention and playing in the East play-offs is a far easier route to the Grey Cup.
Don’t forget Martese Jackson pulled a missed FG into a 125-yard touchdown return the last time these teams played.
By Peter T. Kourtis
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