That the B.C. Lions sport a 2W-0L record is no surprise. To begin with, they are the defending Grey Cup champions. And both their games were at home too, against inferior East Division opponents in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (final score 33-16 ) and Hamilton Tiger Cats (39-36).
That the Riders are also 2W-0L though, is a surprise. Not a massive one, but considering all the off-season changes that were made in Riderville, I doubt even the most hardcore Rider supporters expected them to waltz into Hamilton in the CFL opener on June 29 and pound the Tabbies 43-19. Last week’s tepid 17-1 victory over the QB-less Eskimos was much less impressive (game photo above). Still, Edmonton does have a formidable defence. And while the Rider offence definitely struggled, the Green & White were in control of the game throughout.
Does that mean Rider fans should be optimistic heading into this tilt at Mosaic Stadium (TSN, 1 p.m.)?
Probably not. But at this early stage in the CFL season Rider head coach Corey Chamblin couldn’t ask for a better test for his squad. In my mind, the Lions at this point are clearly the better team. But if it’s a hot/humid day like last Sunday, it will almost certainly exact a toll on the Lions as the game wears on. It’s been cloudy and cool on the coast, while the Riders have been practicing and playing in conditions like that for over a month now.
After this game, the Riders and Lions meet three more times this season: in Vancouver on Aug. 19, back in Regina on Sept. 29, and in B.C. on Nov. 3 to close out the CFL season. So regardless of who wins today’s battle, there’s still plenty of football to be played.