Week 10 of the CFL season is capped off with the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts back home for the first time in over a month. The Boatmen are looking to bounce back at BMO Field after their first defeat of the season against a scrappy Redblacks team.
CFL Week 10 Preview: Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-5) @ Toronto Argonauts (6-1) Sunday, August 13, 7 PM ET, BMO Field, TSN, CFL+ (U.S./International)/TSN1050 Toronto
- Point Spread: The Toronto Argonauts are 10-point home favorites. Over/Under: 46.5
- Projected Weather Forecast: Partly cloudy skies. Low 16C. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 km/h.
The last time the Toronto Argonauts went four weeks or more during the regular season without playing a home game at BMO Field was a year ago when they were greeted and then defeated by an underdog Ottawa REDBLACKS team 23-13 in the Six.
Although both East rivals are very different from the teams they were last Summer, could history repeat itself again in 2023?
CFL Week 10: Deja Vu For The Double Blue?
Bob Dyce’s Ottawa led-squad is much better this season than a year ago when the winless Paul LaPolice-led team stunned the Argonauts at BMO.
The Redblacks have played a much more exciting brand of football than they did in 2022. And it’s transpired despite the team going through four different starting quarterbacks. Landing eventually on promising first-time CFL quarterback Dustin Crum, who has given the team hope.
Six of Ottawa’s games have been decided by one score or less. They have won and lost games in equally dramatic fashion.
However, despite an improved level of play from Ottawa in 2023. The oddsmakers highly doubt that there will be a repeat of a Redblacks upset again in Toronto. Bettors are betting on Ryan Dinwiddie’s team being bitter after last week’s lackluster performance against the Stampeders.
The defending champs have been installed as ten-point home favorites and are getting back star quarterback Chad Kelly, who exited last week’s first Argos loss of the season in Calgary with an ankle injury.
A 6-0 start had many perceiving a talented Toronto team as unbeatable. But there have been some holes exposed in the Boatmen’s boat the last few weeks. The Argos have shown some vulnerability and flaws, all of which came to light in last week’s loss to the Stampeders.
Was Week 9 a one-time fluke for the Argos? Or the start of a trend for Toronto?
Toronto Argonauts Week 10 Depth Chart/Injury Report
Toronto is getting back Chad Kelly. That’s the great news. The not-so-great news on offence is that the Argos will be without WR Damonte Coxie (ankle) for a third consecutive game.
The good news defensively is that Superstar dime back Adarius Pickett (hip) is back in the lineup despite starting the practice week limited.
In the trenches defensively, the Argonauts will be without Jared Brinkman, who has been placed on the six-game injured list.
The Boatmen are getting a new mix on their offensive line as Isiah Cage returns to the lineup at left tackle with Trevon Tate out. Darius Ciraco also returns to the starting lineup at centre.
Ottawa Redblacks Week 10 Depth Chart/Injury Report
Ottawa is fairly healthy coming into this matchup. Receivers Nate Behar (Achilles) and Bralon Addison (Achilles) were listed as full participants during practice this week. Behar will be in the lineup. Addison sits another game. The Redblacks will be without starting Offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais (ankle). Hunter Steward steps in for him on the interior.
Keys To An Ottawa Victory
The book is out on how to play the Boatmen. Ottawa needs to borrow from what teams have done against Toronto recently.
In recent weeks, opposing offences have countered the Argos’ aggressive defence by playing a ball-control-styled attack with high-percentage quick passes. It started in Montreal, made its way over to Hamilton, continued in TD Atlantic with Saskatchewan, and was executed perfectly by Calgary a week ago.
What it’s accomplished is keeping the Argonauts’ offence off the field. And has limited Toronto’s big-play defence from feasting on game-altering turnovers and sacks.
The Argos have barely averaged over 20 minutes of possession in their last two games. Toronto’s defence has held firm on the scoreboard but hasn’t been able to get off the field.
The strategy against Toronto’s offence has been blitzing the Argonauts’ on first downs to prevent players like A.J. Ouellette from getting to the second level in the run game. The follow-up to that is playing physically against Argo receivers on obvious passing downs.
A key matchup to watch is superstar pass rusher Lorenzo Mauldin against Toronto’s offensive line. A week ago, Calgary moved Mike Rose all over the formation to exploit one on one matchups. Expect the returning Isiah Cage to be tested.
Dustin Crum can be his offence’s and defence’s best friend by exercising patience in taking what Toronto gives him. Crum has the mobility to make big plays and extend drives. But staying disciplined in the passing game will be what aids Ottawa toward victory.
Keys To A Toronto Victory
Someone needs to step to the forefront of Toronto’s passing attack.
Kurleigh Gittens Jr. has had a quiet season to this point. Damonte Coxie has shown some signs of a potential breakout. The Argos’ other receivers have taken turns making plays. But overall, consistent big plays from the position have been lacking. Toronto’s receiving corps is not winning enough battles to keep defences honest and out of the box in the run game.
Defensively, the Argonauts must find a way to get off the field on second down. It’s time for Corey Mace to present a counter punch to combat the high percentage of quick passes opposing teams have executed against his defence by playing more press-man coverage. Trust that your pass rush will get home.
Toronto has to get back to their aggressive style of play on defence. They are allowing offences to dictate the pace. Force Dusting Crum to stay in the pocket and challenge you down the field.
Anytime the Argonauts face a Bob Dyce-led special teams. They need to be at their best to combat his unit. Ottawa has made a game of things in years past against Toronto based on their success on specials.
CFL Week 10: Ottawa Redblacks @ Toronto Argonauts Prediction
Unliked a week ago, where I saw a Calgary victory coming from a mile away. I am not sure how this game will go.
This game means a lot for Ottawa’s season. The Redblacks are 0-3 in the East division, and a win against the Argos would keep them afloat in the playoff race. I expect Ottawa to be competitive and have a shot at winning this game.
Toronto has a bye upcoming. And the truth is that they need it. They have been showing chinks in their armor over the last few weeks. Sometimes when a team is winning, its flaws are overlooked. But everything came to light a week ago. The Boatmen should bounce back after last week’s wake-up call. But I don’t have a lot of confidence that they will. Having Chad Kelly healthy will help. But it will take more than that.
I expect a close game between the Argonauts and the scrappy Redblacks, with Toronto stealing one late.
Toronto Argonauts 23 Ottawa Redblacks 21
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