The CFL Final Four is set. The semi-finals have been and gone. Just as it’s next man up every time a player goes down, in the playoffs it’s a next game up culture. None of the four remaining teams can afford to rest on their laurels. No time for looking back, only onto the next games, – the East and West finals.
Yet again no crossover team will be going to the Grey Cup. The league will probably be happy too because they have an all Western and all Eastern Final coming up meaning they have a guaranteed East-West match-up to come in the Grey Cup itself.
The East Final
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-10) at the Ottawa REDBLACKS (11-7)
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa REDBLACKS will meet on Sunday, November 18 at TD Place for an opportunity to represent the East Division in the Grey Cup.
These two Division foes have squared off three times this season. On each occasion it has been Ottawa who have taken home the spoils. They won in Hamilton in week 7 by a score of 21-15. They also guaranteed a bye week and won the East Division by taking a home and home series 35-31 and 30-13 in weeks 19 & 20.
Hamilton demolished BC in their semi-final match-up by 48 points to 8. Because of that despite those previous losses, they will be feeling pretty good about themselves going into this one.
I don’t know if one team has ever beaten another 4 times in a CFL season (regular and playoffs). Ottawa being 3-0 against Hamilton, at home and rested might feel pretty confident of doing just that.
Most of the games between these teams have been competitive. Neutrals will hope for more of the same.
The West Final
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11-8) at the Calgary Stampeders (13-5)
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders will meet on Sunday, November 18 at McMahon Stadium for an opportunity to represent the West Division in the Grey Cup.
These two Division foes have squared off twice this season. Calgary beat Winnipeg in week 11 by a score of 39-26 at McMahon Stadium. Winnipeg won the second meeting between the clubs in week 20 by a score of 29-21 at Investors Group Field.
Calgary went on a 3 game losing streak and were limping into he playoffs before winning when the chips were down to take the West Division crown.
The Stamps Bo Levi Mitchell has had a stellar year despite an injury plagued receiving corps. Calgary fans will be hoping he can carry the team into the Cup for the fourth time in five years, and the third year in a row.
Winnipeg come into this one feeling good about themselves. Apart from a meaningless end of season loss where they rested players they were in form down the stretch. Before this year they hadn’t been to the Grey Cup since 2011, which was also the last time they won a playoff game.
Matt Nichols and the team got a monkey off their back winning in the playoffs in Regina last week. Now neutral observers will be hoping both teams go into this one full of confidence and able to deliver a playoff classic.
One Game Away
This is always an exciting time of year in the CFL. You have to love the playoffs when teams go head to head in an all or nothing contest.
For fans of both these teams the excitement and tension will be building. We are just one game away from the 2018 Grey Cup now and we won’t know who will be contesting it until these games are played out. Bring it on!
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