Predicting the 2017 Canadian Football League

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The new CFL season kicks off this week, and the 5thDownUK will be bringing you all the news and updates throughout the season, both here on our website and the 5thDownUK Podcast.

We’ve got a team of experts from across the pond to tell you everything you need to know about the Canadian version of gridiron.

To get ready for the upcoming CFL season we’ve asked a few pundits to give us their previews for the year:


Marshall Ferguson, commentator for the Hamilton Tigercats

Who will win the Grey Cup?

Edmonton – Mike Reilly will be in his second season under Jason Maas offensive system. New GM Brock Sunderland has infused energy into the organization and the defence is as talented as ever especially up front with Mike Benevides as their leader on the sidelines.

Who is your dark horse for 2017?

Toronto – If Ricky Ray were paired with Jim Popp and Marc Trestman five years ago they would be a surefire favourite. In 2017 they’re a mystery but a team with loads of young talent and a veteran QB leading the ship. Very similar to the Ottawa Redblacks last season.

Which player is your one-to-watch?

BC QB Johnathan Jennings – That guy has more talent than most QBs in this league. He has been surrounded by speed and playmakers this offseason and if he can learn how to manage a game the BC Lions are as dangerous as any team in the CFL

Follow Marshall on Twitter: @TSN_Marsh


Rod Pedersen, commentator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders

Who will win the Grey Cup?

I’ve got B.C. picked to finish in first place in the CFL West Division, and then likely to advance to the Grey Cup in Ottawa. After seeing them firsthand last week (a 42-10 preseason win over the Riders in Vancouver), I’m even more certain they’ll be the team to beat. Calgary will always be near the top as long as John Hufnagel is in charge but the Lions already seem like a team on a mission. Anything less than a Grey Cup appearance will be a bitter disappointment for them.

Who is your dark horse for 2017?

I’ve got to go with my Roughriders. They’re in the toughest division in the CFL but if they’re able to beat Winnipeg and Edmonton in their head-on matches, that would go a long ways to securing third place in the West and a playoff berth. Not much is expected from the Riders by those outside this province and their showing in B.C. last week left them with a good share of detractors even inside the Rider Nation. However this club seems fine with the “underdog” tag, and flying under the radar.  I wouldn’t sleep on them.

Which player is your one-to-watch?

My player to watch through training camp and the preseason was Roughriders wide receiver Duron Carter and he didn’t disappoint. He scored the first-ever touchdown in the new stadium in Saskatchewan in the first preseason game, and made a highlight reel catch the next week at BC. He’s a player that you’ll always know is on the field! Many believe he’s the best receiver in the CFL and could the best overall player in the league if he keeps his head on straight. Unfortunately that’s been a big problem for him throughout his career so his first season in Green & White promises to be very intriguing.

Follow Rod on Twitter: @rodpedersen


Check us out for your CFL news throughout the season, and subscribe to our podcast, 5thDownUK, for your weekly CFL round-up.

You can also watch CFL games live on BT Sport throughout the season.

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