CFL

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CFL this week -- Week 13

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Eskimos (2-9) at Blue Bombers (2-9)
Tonight: 7 p.m. TV: TSN

Edmonton line: There's nothing quite like a date with the Bombers to get you feeling better about yourselves and the Eskimos' win over Winnipeg last week, which snapped an eight-game Edmonton losing streak, did more for that team's psyche than any trip to a therapist ever could.

Winnipeg line: A week after beating the best team in the league -- the Saskatchewan Roughriders -- in the Banjo Bowl, the Bombers came out last weekend and lost to what was at that time the worst team in the league, the Eskimos. It's been turmoil in Winnipeg ever since, with rookies making starts tonight at both offensive tackle positions, the defence a mess of spot starters and yet another change at starting quarterback to Max Hall and at backup quarterback, with Jason Boltus slotted there.

Bottom line: Will the real Winnipeg defence please stand up?

 

Alouettes (4-7) at Tiger-Cats (5-6)
Saturday: 3 p.m. TV: TSN

Montreal line: The Als have lost two in a row after putting together a tidy run to get back into the conversation and they're going to have to go with backup quarterback Josh Neiswander this week after Tanner Marsh -- himself a backup to the injured Anthony Calvillo -- hurt his thumb last week.

Hamilton line: The Ticats appeared to be en route to a huge win last week, up 22-16 at McMahon Stadium late in the game over a Calgary Stampeders team that is normally money at home. But then Ticats QB Henry Burris turned into his alter ego, Hank, and threw a terrible interception that sparked a 10-point Calgary run and a 26-22 Stamps win. That one stung.

Bottom line: Hamilton is nominally the home team in the annual CFL date in Moncton this weekend.

 

Argonauts (7-4) at Stampeders (9-2)
Saturday: 6:30 p.m. TV: TSN

Toronto line: The Argos won their second game in a row last week in impressive fashion, taking down the Roughriders in Regina to improve Toronto's road record this season to a league-best 4-1 and extend their lead in the East to four points over Hamilton.

Calgary line: The Stamps won their 11th straight game at McMahon Stadium in their win over Hamilton last week and -- just like their division rival, the B.C. Lions -- have proven themselves all but unbeatable at home. What's more, Calgary also last week became the first team in the CFL in 2013 to clinch a playoff spot.

Bottom line: Best road team in the league versus a team undefeated at home. Sounds like fun.

 

Lions (7-4) at Roughriders (8-3)
Sunday: 3:30 p.m. TV: TSN

B.C. line: The Lions won the game last week versus Montreal, but lost starting quarterback Travis Lulay for at least the next two games to a shoulder injury. That means the Lions will have to start backup Thomas DeMarco, who has the grand total of 15 completions in two CFL seasons, four of them coming last week in a mop-up role against Montreal.

Saskatchewan line: After opening the season at 5-0, the Riders are now 3-3 in their last six games and will carry a two-game losing streak into this weekend after consecutive losses to Toronto last week and Winnipeg in the Banjo Bowl. Toss last week's arrests of starters Dwight Anderson and Taj Smith into the mix and you've got a Saskatchewan team in turmoil at the moment.

Bottom line: Bet the team with the healthy starting quarterback.

 

THE PICKS

The Free Press has assembled a panel this season to offer their fearless predictions every week. Joining us 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, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan.

Lyons: Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

Lawless: Edmonton, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

Brown: Edmonton, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

Tait: Edmonton, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

Wiecek: Edmonton, Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan

 

Last week/overall: Lyons 3-1/29-15; Tait 3-1/29-15; Wiecek 2-2/28-16; Lawless 3-1/27-17; Brown 3-1/27-17; Irving 2-2/26-18

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 20, 2013 C2

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