Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CFL this Week -- Week 4By Paul Wiecek

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Edmonton Eskimos (3-0)

at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-0)

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. TV: TSN

Bombers line: The Bombers are off to their hottest start since 2003 and will make just two changes to the roster that won in Montreal last week, substituting veteran receiver Romby Bryant for the injured Aaron Kelly and returning lineman Zach Anderson to his customary spot on the D-line in place of Kashawn Fraser.

Edmonton line: The Eskimos have owned the turnover battle this season and come into this week at a mind-boggling plus-nine. That's seven turnovers ahead of the next closest team and a big part of the reason the Esks also lead the CFL in yards against at just 281 yards surrendered per game this year.

Bottom line: Two evenly matched teams makes you wonder if a loud crowd at Investors Group Field could be the margin of difference.

Toronto Argonauts (1-2)

at Ottawa Redblacks (0-2)

Friday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN

Argos line: Already stung by the loss of Andre Durie for six weeks to a broken clavicle, the Argos got more bad news this week -- receiving yards league leader Chad Owens is out at least three weeks with a bad foot. The good news? The Argos still have the best quarterback in the CFL in Ricky Ray.

Redblacks line: Ottawa football fans waited nine years for the return of football to the nation's capital -- and then waited three more weeks when the Redblacks opened their inaugural 2014 season with a bye and then two road games. It will be a historic night in Ottawa, which cannot help but give the winless Redblacks a lift.

Bottom line: Ottawa went backwards last week in Edmonton after what was a pretty good debut versus Winnipeg in Week 2. Does the slide continue, or does it stop here?

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2)

at Calgary Stampeders (2-0)

Friday, 9 p.m. TV: TSN

Ticats line: The general consensus this spring was that the 2013 East Division champion Ticats won the off-season with a long line of high-profile free agent signings. Unfortunately, Kent Austin also forgot to pick up an offensive line along the way.

Stampeders line: Calgary running back and 2013 league MOP Jon Cornish will sit out yet again this week with the lingering affects of a concussion sustained in Week 1. While the Stamps aren't nearly the same team without their stud tailback, they were still more than enough to beat up Toronto at Rogers Centre last week.

Bottom line: The Stamps without a tailback are still better than the Ticats without an offensive line.

Montreal Alouettes (1-2)

at B.C. Lions (1-2)

Saturday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN

Als line: It will be interesting to see how the Alouettes respond this week after a tough loss at home last Friday in which they rolled over late in the fourth quarter to the Bombers.

Lions line: Just when it seem like B.C. was in for a long season -- and QB Kevin Glenn might throw 50 interceptions -- the previously winless Lions surprised everyone but themselves (and CJOB's Bob Irving) by winning in Regina last week.

Bottom line: One team is coming off a big win, the other off a tough loss. And the Lions have only lost three times at B.C. Place since the fall of 2011.

The picks

The Free Press has assembled a panel to offer their predictions every week in 2014. Joining us once again this year are CJOB's Bob Irving, and from the Free Press, sports editor Steve Lyons, columnists Gary Lawless and Doug Brown and football writers Paul Wiecek and Ed Tait:

Irving: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Calgary, B.C.

Lyons: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Calgary, B.C.

Lawless: Edmonton, Toronto, Calgary, B.C.

Brown: Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, B.C.

Tait: Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, BC

Wiecek: Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, B.C.

Last week/Overall

Irving -- 4-0/10-2;

Lyons -- 1-3/8-4;

Brown -- 2-2/6-6;

Tait -- 2-2/6-6;

Wiecek -- 2-2/6-6;

Lawless -- 1-3/5-7

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 17, 2014 D6

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