CFL: One Step From Grey Cup Glory on Playoff Finals Weekend

Al Dannity | Updated Nov 18, 2011

On Sunday four teams will enter and only two will leave. The winners will live on to play for the crown jewel of the Canadian Football League. With places in the Grey Cup at stake, Al Dannity previews this weekend’s two titanic clashes and makes his picks.

Eskimos won’t roll over easy A gritty performance against Calgary last week showed just what this Edmonton team is made of. The Eskimos’ defense came up big when it mattered, forcing several crucial 2 and outs and holding the Stampeders to just a single touchdown all day. Arguably there most important play came in the final moments as Calgary quarterback Henry Burris was sacked on his own 1 yard line on third down. The turnover on downs immediately resulted in an Edmonton touchdown and the focus shifted to this weekend in Vancouver.

The B.C. Lions present a different challenge for the Eskimos. With the 99th Grey Cup set to take place in B.C. Place in 9 days time, the Lions will want to take advantage of the chance to play for the title in their home stadium. Their coach, Wally Buono, may prove to be the Lions’ most valuable asset this weekend. Buono’s learnt a lot from the heartbreak suffered by this team in recent years but he’s also seen their resiliency when they’ve got their backs against the wall. The B.C. coach will have drilled the importance of this opportunity into his team this week, telling them to ignore the 3-1 advantage they enjoyed over Edmonton in the regular season. The Lions will enter this game expecting a challenge and I like them to come out on top in the West Final.

Bombers can spoil Ticats party The Hamilton Tiger Cats ended Montreal’s two year reign atop the CFL last weekend and now they have a shot at taking down the Blue Bombers in the East Final. CFL betting fans have to ask how much the Ticats have left in the tank after that emotionally draining game in Montreal last week. That was nothing short of a slugfest with the Als. Hamilton may have come out on top on the day but there will be a lot of tired bodies making their way to Winnipeg this weekend.

On Sunday they go up against a man who knows all about playing hurt. Buck Pierce has taken some ferocious beatings in his time in this league but the Blue Bombers’ quarterback just keeps on getting back up. The Blue Bombers haven’t lifted the Grey Cup in 21 years and Pierce symbolizes [] the lengths this team will go to in order to end the drought. I like the Blue Bombers to get the job done on Sunday and book their place in Vancouver.