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CFL this Week -- Week 5

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Calgary Stampeders (3-0) at Edmonton Eskimos (4-0)

Tonight, 8 p.m. TV: TSN

Stampeders line: The Stamps announced Wednesday that they have placed running back Jon Cornish on the 6-game injured list as last year's Most Outstanding Player in the CFL continues to suffer the lingering effects of a concussion sustained in Week 1.

Eskimos line: The Eskimos continue to lead the league in least average yards surrendered (263) and turnover ratio (plus-10). QB Mike Reilly has won five straight starts dating back to the last game of 2013 and last week led the entire CFL in rushing with 96 yards against the Bombers.

Bottom line: The Eskimos and Stampeders have been a combined 7-0 just once before -- way back in 1995.

 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-1) at B.C. Lions (2-2)

Friday, 9 p.m. TV: TSN

Bombers line: The Bombers haven't won in B.C. since the Lions completed renovations on BC Place in the fall of 2011 and the bookies don't much care for their chances this week, annointing the Bombers eight-point underdogs as of Wednesday.

Lions line: It's been a tale of two Lions teams this season. After an 0-2 start in which the Lions looked lost, they come into this week off impressive wins in Regina in Week 3 and a 41-5 throttling of Montreal at BC Place last week.

Bottom line: The Bombers come into this week off a tough loss, while B.C. is riding a two-week high. But eight points? Seems like a lot.

 

Ottawa Redblacks (1-2) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-3)

Saturday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN

Redblacks line: With their first franchise win last week -- 18-17 over the Toronto Argonauts at home -- Ottawa comes into this week nominally in first place in the anemic division East Division, thanks to a 1-2 record that gives them the same number of points but a game in hand on 1-3 Toronto and 1-3 Montreal.

Ticats line: The defending East Division champions are now the last remaining winless team in the CFL and are already on their third different QB this season, with third-stringer Dan LeFevour expected to be under centre this week.

Bottom line: The game is being played at the temporary Ticats home at Ron Joyce Stadium on the campus of McMaster University. Seating has been doubled to 12,000 seats with the addition of temporary seating.

 

Toronto Argonauts (1-3) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-2)

Saturday, 9 p.m. TV: TSN

Argos line: The Argos have been battered by injuries -- Chad Owens and Andre Durie are still out -- and it's showing up on the field and in the standings. Ricky Ray is a future hall of famer, but he cannot do it all.

Riders line: The defending Grey Cup champions have struggled early and while everyone is saying the right things in Regina about staying calm, the fact the Riders have already gone through two starting tailbacks and could be on to a third with this week's signing of former Bomber Will Ford smacks of premature panic button pushing.

Bottom line: Both these teams need a win, desperately.

 

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: Calgary, B.C., Hamilton, Saskatchewan

Lyons: Edmonton, B.C., Hamilton, Saskatchewan

Lawless: Calgary, B.C., Hamilton, Saskatchewan

Brown: Calgary, B.C., Hamilton, Saskatchewan

Tait: Calgary, B.C., Ottawa, Saskatchewan

Wiecek: Calgary, B.C., Ottawa, Saskatchewan

Last week/Overall

Irving -- 3-1/13-3;

Lyons -- 3-1/11-5;

Brown -- 2-2/8-8;

Tait -- 2-2/8-8;

Wiecek -- 2-2/8-8;

Lawless -- 3-1/8-8

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 24, 2014 D2

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