December 10, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Thursday, 6:30 p.m.; TV: TSN
Winnipeg line: The Bombers officially have nothing left to play for after they were eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Argos at Investors Group Field Saturday. The good news is Winnipeg is playing an Argos team that is 7-2 on the road but just 3-4 at home.
Toronto line: The Argos would clinch first place in the East Division with a win over Winnipeg this week and will have running back Chad Kackert, who missed last week's game with a shoulder injury, back in the lineup this week.
Bottom line: The Argos are lousy at home, but need this win a lot more than the Bombers do.
Friday, 9 p.m.; TV: TSN
Edmonton line: The Eskimos are riding a four-game losing streak and are actually flattered by a regular-season record in which two-thirds of their wins this season came last month against the equally hapless Blue Bombers.
B.C. line: The Lions have lost three in a row but are 6-1 this season at home. Running back Andrew Harris missed his flight last week, capping off what's been a season of disappointment for the Winnipeg native. Trouble in Lotusland?
Bottom line: B.C.'s slumping and will finish third in the West no matter what happens the final two weeks. On the other hand, Edmonton is just plain bad.
Saturday, noon; TV: TSN
Montreal line: The Alouettes embarrassed Hamilton 35-6 last weekend and looked for that one day at least to be much the better team. The win came in the first career CFL start of Montreal QB Troy Smith, the former Heisman Trophy winner who has quickly evolved from a long-term Jim Popp "project" to what looks like a viable everyday starter.
Hamilton line: The Ticats looked awful last week, but they've laid an egg a few times this season and then responded the very next week with a vastly improved effort. The stakes are high: A second loss in a row to Montreal this week would leave the two teams tied for second in the East with just one game remaining and Montreal owning the tiebreaker if it comes to that.
Bottom line: The Ticats are 5-3 in Guelph this season.
Saturday, 6 p.m.; TV: TSN
Saskatchewan line: The Riders are riding a three-game winning streak that included an impressive 35-14 dismantling of B.C. at Mosaic Stadium last week. Riders QB Darian Durant is now second only to Henry Burris in passing yards this season and has a TD-interception ratio of 30-11.
Calgary line: The Stampeders are the best team in Canada and have now won four in a row and eight of their last nine. And they're 7-1 at home, which is where they'll be for the West final next month if they can clinch first this week with a win over Saskatchewan.
Bottom line: Take Calgary until someone beats them again. There's a good chance it won't be until next year.
-- compiled by Paul Wiecek
The Free Press has assembled a panel 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: Toronto, B.C., Hamilton, Calgary
Lyons: Toronto, B.C., Hamilton, Calgary
Lawless: Toronto, B.C., Hamilton, Calgary
Brown: Toronto, B.C., Hamilton, Calgary
Tait: Toronto, B.C., Hamilton, Calgary
Wiecek: Toronto, B.C., Montreal, Calgary
Last week/overall: Tait 3-1/41-23; Wiecek 3-1/39-25; Lyons 3-1/39-25; Lawless 3-1/39-25; Brown 3-1/38-26; Irving 2-2/37-27
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 24, 2013 D5