The Ottawa Redblacks overhauled their roster from 2019, but will it be enough to push for a playoff spot in 2021?
After a brutal 3-15 season in 2019, the Ottawa Redblacks hired Paul LaPolice, fresh off a Grey Cup win with Winnipeg, as the new head coach.
Scoring was a huge issue for Ottawa in 2019 as they averaged a league-worst 14.3 points per game and were the only team in the league that couldn’t crack 300 total points. They’re hoping the signing of veteran quarterback Matt Nichols will help end those issues. Nichols threw for 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions for Winnipeg in 2019 before a shoulder injury in Week 10 shut him down for the rest of the year.
There was a lot of turnover on the offence, which could be a good thing considering how bad they were in 2019. Leading-receiver Dominique Rhymes signed with the B.C. Lions, while wide receivers Brad Sinopoli and Jalen Saunders, as well as centre Alex Mateas all retired.
The Redblacks weren’t any better on defence in 2019, giving up a league-high 31.3 points per game. They signed veteran Cleyon Laing and former NFLer Stefan Charles to shore up the defensive line. Abdul Kanneh should also provide some defensive depth. At the very least, this will be a more experienced team on both sides of the ball.
Ottawa Redblacks 2021 CFL Schedule
The Redblacks aren’t getting any breaks as they’ll start the season against Edmonton, Saskatchewan and B.C. To be fair though, there’s not really any team they’ll feel confident against. The regular season finale in Montreal could be a tough way to end the year, if the Als improve as much as I expect them to improve.
Saturday, August 7 @ Edmonton Elks
Saturday, August 21 @ Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saturday, August 28 vs. BC Lions
Friday, September 3 vs. Montreal Alouettes
Saturday, September 11 @ BC Lions
Wednesday, September 22 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Tuesday, September 28 vs. Edmonton Elks
Wednesday, October 6 @ Toronto Argonauts
Monday, October 11 @ Montreal Alouettes
Saturday, October 16 vs. Montreal Alouettes
Saturday, October 23 @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, October 29 vs. Calgary Stampeders
Saturday, November 6 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Friday, November 19 @ Montreal Alouettes
Ottawa Redblacks 2021 Season Prediction
Ottawa’s win total at Sports Interaction is set at 3.5, which may seem like a low bar, but when you consider they couldn’t hit that mark in a longer 2019 season, it won’t be as easy to hit as it seems. They have the worst Grey Cups odds at +1200 and I only expect that number to grow longer each week. The Redblacks should be a little better than they were in 2019, but not by much.
2021 Projection: 4-10