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Weekly Predictions

Week 6

Essex vs. Guelph

The Essex Ravens coming off what most would say was a lackluster performance against the Warriors squad. But keep in mind that at the end of the year, a 1 point win or a 70 point win it doesn’t matter. The Ravens offense has been an inconsistent part of their team all year long and it has to be frustrating for the Essex coaches because the talent is in place, they just fall asleep at times. Quarterback Jake Heydon is extremely explosive in the pass game at times but other times he’s susceptible to human errors and turns the football over. If these Ravens want to be where they expect to be, Heydon will need to take care of the football and be smarter. He has a few of the best WRs in the league in Justin Pope (missed week 4) and Ethan McKinnon that help him make plays down field. Ravens runningback Boriz Wright has been the consistent key to the Ravens offense and he was missing against Mississauga so we'll see if he's back - that being said the Ravens OL deserves credit as well. The Ravens defense in terms of points against has been pretty good so far but I know for a fact they haven't been as good as they can be. Against the pass the Ravens are relatively solid and have had good play from their backend besides a hiccup against Burlington week 1. Against the run the Ravens haven't been very good and it has kept their opponents in manageable 2nd downs and keeps the Ravens potent O off the field allowing them to doze off. 

The Guelph Gryphons are a struggling football team and I'm not sure there’s really a much better way to put it. That continued this week against Ottawa losing 47-7 and giving up 450 yards offense. I feel bad for the Gryphons because they are young and slowly getting better (you can see improvements each week) but with the competitiveness of this league and how talented these teams are, it’s just a mismatch. Moving forward the Gryphons will NEED more out of their run game. They need the big boys on their OL and the backs that get carries to step up for this team to compete in any game. Their defense is constantly on the field with terrible field position and like I continue to say with the teams you're playing extra possessions and time of possession are massive keys to winning. Luis Alfieri has been consistent on the Gryphons defense leading them in tackles and being the lone soldier out there making plays at times, Guelph needs a few more guys to step up on both sides of the ball. 

This game won't be close and the Ravens will most likely have their backups in early (2nd or 3rd Quarter). If Boriz Wright is healthy and plays, look for him to get his carries early then he and Heydon will give way to their backups and remain healthy moving forward. Look for the Gryphons to make baby steps every week for the rest of the year - this is just another mismatch.  

Week 6 Prediction: Ravens 38 – Gryphs 0

Burlington vs. Kingston

Burlington moved to 4-0 on the season in an impressive way making this ‘Insider' look a bit foolish with last weeks pick. That being said the Stamps need to put consistent games together for the first time this year. They looked like world beaters this past weekend jumping out to a 31-7 lead on the Spears. Keagan Hall was throwing the ball well all night long with great accuracy and precision but will need to clean up the INT moving forward into coming weeks and playoffs. The Stamps ran the ball effectively all night long but the run game was not needed to be the leader because Hall and his receivers were making plays and putting up yards early, look for Burlington to give their big back Munoz 12-17 carries this week and get him rolling. On defense the Stamps had a great day with the help of their offense jumping out to a big lead and forcing the Spears to be passing only. That makes life a lot easier on a defense when teams basically have to become one dimensional. The Stamps pass defense hasn't been as good as they'd like to be moving forward; but maybe I'm just nitpicking. The Stamps defense steps up in big games and makes timely big plays when the game calls for it. I expect Burlington to shut down the Kingston run game and make them beat them with the pass, which is what most teams would call their secondary option below running the football. 

Kingston had a great first half against a better Cambridge Lions team and looked as if it might be a close game all the way through. The Grens had their passing and run game going early in the first half but it slowly came to a halt as the OL got tired and QB Robbie McAdam was no longer making good throws. If this Grenadiers offense wants to be a solid unit with the ability to score in the run and pass game they will need more consistency from every single position. The big boys up front for Kingston haven't had a complete game yet and that’s unacceptable. This Kingston OL is a big bunch and has the ability to be the best unit that the Grens have if they play together and consistently. Coming into this week against the Stamps they have their hands full but against Cambridge for the first half they stepped up to the plate. On Defense their defensive back end will need to play better when it comes down to a 1on1 ball; sometimes somebody just needs to make a play and the Grens haven’t had that yet. I expect Kingston to build on the momentum they had at the end of the first half last week, put the second half behind them and move forward knowing they have the ability to compete with anyone. 

Burlington has a better pass game and QB, but I think the true mismatch here is the consistently ability the Stamps have to run the ball and wear teams down with big backs such as Munoz. Look for the Stamps to run the ball at an excellent clip and win this game decisively. Don't sleep on Kingston though because if any team has an off day they will jump at the opportunity to claim the W. 

Week 6 prediction: Stamps 44 – Grens 20

London vs. Hamilton

London's run game of late has been stellar and it hasn't been against defensively weak teams; they ran the ball consistently on both Essex and Durham. It seems as if the Mustangs have found a new 2 headed monster in Cam Guest and Shane Cameron which has lead them to a new found success on offense. Whether it be Ethan Chambers or Brian Harkness, the Mustangs have to expect more out of the QB position going forward. You have to expect that teams playing London will now stack the box and dare them to throw the ball, and if that's the case Chambers or Harkness needs to take advantage. On defense the Stangs need to be better all-around and continue the momentum they have off the big win in Durham. So far this season they’ve allowed most teams to get up early on them and that doesn't work in London’s favour. Look for someone in this London front 7 to step up huge this week and make a couple plays to take the reins as the Mustangs leader on this side of the ball. 

Hamilton coming off what everyone would consider a successful road trip beating Cumberland 29-17 and improving to 3-1. Ticats QB Daniel Eldridge has been on fire for the past two weeks throwing for 800 yards in that time with 7 touchdowns which has put him into the league lead for yards. Eldridge continues to spread the ball around to his talented bunch of receivers and the proof is in the pudding with 3 having 200+ yards and 1 not far behind with 160+, this kind of depth at WR allows Hamilton to have a different guy step up each and every week. The Hamilton run game has been good not great but RB Juwuan Smith has started to get rolling in recent weeks and moving forward look for the Ticats to get a consistent run game going to only help Eldritch and company more. On defense the Ticats have been stellar against the run only allowing around 400 yards on the season but against the pass, they’ve been mediocre at best. If this Hamilton defense wants to be one of the best units in the league they will need more out of the backend on defense - more plays need to be made instead of given up. Look for the Ticats playmakers on defense to prove me wrong this week and get turnovers, stops and sacks this week against the Mustangs. 

Hamilton is the better team this week and even though London has been getting better this isn't a feasible matchup for a team just trying to get better. Look for the Ticats to be up big at half. 

Week 6 prediction: Ticats 45 – Stangs 10

Durham vs. Ottawa

I think the Sooners are one of the more talented and deep teams in the league this year but I don't think we've seen Ottawa at their best; and we definitely haven't seen all of their playmakers break through. Not including Lubemba the Sooners have 4 runningbacks with 100+ yards and have clearly shown the ability to run the ball no matter who is taking the handoffs. As much as I'd like to believe having a stud run game and lackluster pass game will win a championship... it won't. If this Ottawa teams wants to improve as an offense and team in general they will need to get more out of their pass game and whoever plays QB will need to be more consistent. Both Wesley Tshimanga and Bryce Russell haven't been gun slingers but have gotten the job done thus far - the Sooners will need more out of one or maybe both these guys to continue improving. On defense the Sooners have been great all year long holding opposing offenses to minimal yardage and points in every game so far this season. Ottawa has given up less than 600 total yards in 4 games so far and has continually shown that they are likely the best defense in the East and maybe the league. Having 10 guys with double digit tackles, 7 guys with a sack and multiple guys with 3 INTs through only 4 games is super impressive and this defense is one nobody will want to see moving forward. 

Durham coming off a hard fought loss to a stingy and powerful London team is hoping to bounce back against one of the top teams in their division. The Dolphins came out of the gate firing on offense last week looking like world beaters in both the pass and run game putting up points and yards at will. QB Jaden Richards has put up a lot of yards thus far in the season both in rushing and passing putting up over 1000 total yards through 4 games, Richards put up 250+ passing yards this past week but was unable to lead the Dolphins to a victory. Durham simply didn't run the football enough last week against London. It is unacceptable to run the ball 10 times for 62 yards. Yes, you read that right, only TEN TIMES. Durham will need to have balance on offense if they want to win games moving forward especially coming down the stretch against good defenses. On defense Durham played a pretty good game only allowing 20 points and barely any pass yards at all, although they allowed way too many rushing yards and it ended up costing them in the end when the Stangs ran the clock down and kept possession. Durham will need more out of their front 7 in order to shut down this Sooner run game this week. If the front 7 this week isn't better it could be a long day for the Dolphins because everyone and their grandmother knows Ottawa is going to run the football – it’s whether or not you can stop it. 

Ottawa's defense is elite and Durham is inconsistent and unbalanced. I expect Ottawa to get their downhill run game going early and never look back. 

Week 6 prediction: Sooners 31 – Dolphins 10