2012 CFL Playoff Preview

It is almost the moment that the CFL has been building up to for an entire season as the Grey Cup will be handed out in two weeks. For the CFL this is more than just another year and another Grey Cup as it represents a very special anniversary for them and all of the CFL fans. It will be the 100th time that the Grey Cup is handed to the CFL Champion. It represents one of the oldest traditions in sports and more than that it is a chance for the CFL to showcase their sport on a massive scale. The 100th Grey Cup is a big chance for the CFL to gain some fans where they have fallen short before. The CFL is extremely popular in the heartland of the country in places like Saskatchewan, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Other than that there are limited fans elsewhere who will follow their team until something else comes along, not so much for Hamilton. The worst offenders of this are from Toronto where there are diehards but they are few and far between. The Toronto Argonauts have the worst attendance in the CFL and they have for more than a decade. It was not always that way though as the Argonauts were the talk of the town in the 1990s when Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky, and John Candy bought the team. During this period the Argos were successful and were selling out games but it was short-lived as the fans began to die out with new ownership and less success on the field. The Argos are an essential part to the CFL whether people want to believe it or not and the Grey Cup is a chance to bring the Argos and the CFL in Toronto back into the forefront. With plans for a week-long festival that includes parties, a film festival, and plenty more the CFL is going all out to not only celebrate the history of a great league but to also bring some relevance into Toronto. It is a big year for the CFL and they are coming near the end. They will do everything they can to make this the biggest event in the history of the CFL but the one thing they can’t control is who will make it. Six teams still have a shot at entering the history books and all will have a shot in the 2012 CFL playoffs this year as there is plenty to look for as they all give their everything to do it.

 

Eastern Division

 

 

 

The Eastern Division has seen a bit of a shift this season and in the playoffs will see a bit of an anomaly in the playoffs. The Edmonton Eskimos are far from the East but thanks to the crossover rule will play in the East for the playoffs. The Eskies started the season off with a good enough record as they were not a dominant team but were winning games. Then came a 5 game losing streak in the middle of the season and a 3 game losing streak to end their season. They have been up and down all year as their offence has been good and then terrible. They will enter the playoffs on the downslide and will be looking to end a three game losing streak in the most important games this year. They will take on another up and down team in the Toronto Argonauts for the Semi-Finals. The Argonauts have extra motivation this year as they are hoping to play in the Grey Cup at home in the Rogers Centre. There have been games where the Argos look unstoppable on offence and then their defence is sloppy. There are also games where the offence has looked terrible and their defence has kept them in it. The problem with counting them out though is that they have way too much talent on the field to not think that someone will step up when the game is important. One team they or the Eskimos will need to go through is the Montreal Alouettes who were back on top this year. There is not much new about this team which means good things for the Als as they have been the top team in the East for years. Behind the arm of Anthon Calvillo the Alouettes still remain one of the best teams in the playoffs and will be a favorite to go to the Grey Cup from the East. The season has shown something though as the Alouettes are no longer the dominant team they used to be as they are beatable. They have shown this year that there are ways to beat them unlike the last few years when they looked solid all around. The Alouettes are still the best team in the East and will be the team that everyone needs to get through to get to the Grey Cup as they will still be the favorites out of the East.

 

Eastern Semi-Finals:
Toronto Argonauts 48 – 41 Edmonton Eskimos
– The Edmonton Eskimos will go in to the matchup with some confidence beating the Argos twice this year but the Argonauts are looking like a different team lately and will surprise the Eskimos as they will have the better offence on the day

 

Eastern Final:
Montreal Alouettes 38 – 37 Toronto Argonauts
– The Argonauts are a much different team when they have Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert in the lineup and both will play a big role against the Alouettes although it will not be enough as the Alouettes will get through the Boatmen to go to another Grey Cup

 

Western Division

 

 

 

The Western Division was easily the best division in the CFL this year as every team needed to fight their hardest to have a chance. With the Eskimos gone to the East the remaining teams will fight it out and look to make it two years in a row for Western teams. With a loss by the Eskimos the Saskatchewan Roughriders were able to stay in the West for the playoffs. The Riders has a season of stages much like the rest of the league. They began the season with three straight wins and followed it up with 5 straight losses. The Riders then went 5-1 in the next 6 games only to end the season with a 4 game losing streak. The Riders can be great but lately have been in trouble as they do not look like the same team that started the season. They will take on the Calgary Stampeders as they look to get back on track but will have a tough battle. The Stamps were very close to becoming the Western Division champions and all after a scary start to the season. Before the season many believed that Drew Tate would be a major player for the Stamps and help guide them to a battle for the top spot. That wouldn’t quite happen as Tate would go down in week 2 and would be out for the rest of the season. The Stamps then looked to Kevin Glenn to lead them and he did just that after a few shaky games. He would do well to help the team keep everything going along with a record-breaking season by Jon Cornish. If they hope to get to the Grey Cup they will need to go through the best team in the CFL and defending Grey Cup Champions the B.C. Lions. The Lions continued their late 2011 season success into the 2012 season as they continued to be the best team in the league. Led by a great defence and Travis Lulay the Lions once again shot up the standings and remained the top team in the West. Much like the Alouettes the Lions are not the team they were at the end of the 2011 season though as they were not as dominant as the end of 2011 saw. The Lions are still the favorites to win it all this year but they could be upset and are far from unbeatable.

 

Western Semi-Finals:
Saskatchewan Roughriders 38 – 31 Calgary Stampeders
– The decision to start Drew Tate is not a great one as the Stamps would be better served to ride the horse that brought them there, aka Kevin Glenn, as Tate will struggle and the Riders will surprise everyone with the win

 

Western Finals:
B.C. Lions 44 – 31 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Riders will be riding a high from their win in the semi-finals but they will meet the very tough Lions in the finals and will be outmatched by a better team in both facets as the Lions will get the chance to repeat as Grey Cup Champions

 

100th Grey Cup:
B.C. Lions 56 – 53 Montreal Alouettes
– The matchup that many thought would take place in 2011 will now be for the 100th Grey Cup as the two best teams in the last two years go head to head and the Lions will come out on top as the team with the better defence for their second Grey Cup in as many years

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