Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CFL this Week -- Week 9By Paul Wiecek

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Montreal Alouettes (1-6)

at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-3)

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

Alouettes line: The Als are in the midst of a league-worst five-game losing streak and for the second week in a row will go with former Bombers pivot Alex Brink as their starting QB. Brink is 3-5 as a starter in his CFL career but has never won on the road (0-3).

Bombers line: The Bombers are riding a two-game losing streak and have also lost their last two at home. They beat Montreal in the Week 3 meeting between the two teams, but it took a last-minute game-winning touchdown pass from Drew Willy to Julian Feoli-Gudino to put the Bombers over the top.

Bottom line: The records suggest this should be a Bombers walkover, but the Als have a pretty good defence. Don't be surprised if this one is a tight, low-scoring affair.

Toronto Argonauts (3-5)

at Edmonton Eskimos (6-1)

Saturday, 3 p.m. TV: TSN

Argos line: Argos QB Ricky Ray needs 367 passing yards to become just the sixth CFL quarterback in history to go over the 50,000-yard mark. The other five are legends -- Ron Lancaster, Damon Allen, Danny McManus, Anthony Calvillo and Henry Burris.

Eskimos line: The Edmonton defence under rookie head coach Chris Jones has been dominating, yielding just 115 points through seven games this season. Only the Calgary Stampeders have given up less points -- 114 -- and the Argos defence has been the most generous of all, giving up 208 points this year.

Bottom line: The Eskimos are eight-point favourites.

Calgary Stampeders (6-1)

at Ottawa Redblacks (1-6)

Sunday, 2 p.m. TV: TSN

Stampeders line: Calgary running back Jon Cornish -- last year's Most Oustanding Player in the CFL -- expects to finally return to action this weekend after missing the last six games with a concussion sustained in Calgary's season opener on June 28.

Redblacks line: Former Bombers cornerback Jovon Johnson returns to the Ottawa lineup this week after missing Ottawa's last three games with a bicep injury, the first games the 2011 Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the league has ever missed with an injury in his eight-year CFL career.

Bottom line: Calgary looks like a Grey Cup contender. Ottawa looks like an expansion team.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-2)

at B.C. Lions (5-3)

Sunday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN

Roughriders line: Saskatchewan opened the 2014 season at 1-2, but has since rattled off a league-best four-game winning streak and now look like the defending Grey Cup champion they are. They don't always win pretty, but they find a way.

Lions line: The Lions were humbled 23-6 in their own building by the Bombers on July 25 and appear to have taken the loss to heart, rattling off three straight victories since. Injured Lions QB Travis Lulay is slowly working his way back into the lineup, but word out of Vancouver this week is Kevin Glenn is once again expected to start.

Bottom line: The safest bet in the CFL used to be to take the Lions at BC Place, where they were almost unbeatable the past three seasons. But no longer -- B.C. is just 2-2 at home in 2014.

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, Edmonton, Calgary, B.C.

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

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

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

Wiecek: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

Lawless: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

Last week/overall

Irving: 3-2/24-9; Lyons: 4-1/21-12; Tait: 4-1/21-12; Brown: 5-0/21-12; Wiecek: 4-1/20-13; Lawless: 4-1/20-13

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2014 C9

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