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This week in the CFL -- Week 19

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B.C. Lions quarterback Buck Pierce (above) is expected to get some playing time against the Stampeders along with No. 1 QB Travis Lulay, who is returning from injury.

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B.C. Lions quarterback Buck Pierce (above) is expected to get some playing time against the Stampeders along with No. 1 QB Travis Lulay, who is returning from injury. Photo Store

ALOUETTES (7-10) AT ARGONAUTS (11-6)
Today: 6 p.m. TV: TSN

Montreal line: The Alouettes limp into Toronto this week after an epic choke against the Tiger-Cats last weekend that saw them squander a 23-10 fourth-quarter lead -- and home-field advantage in the East semifinal -- with a shameful late collapse.

Toronto line: The Argos have first place wrapped up in a neat little bow and will sit starting QB Ricky Ray on the final weekend of the regular season, meaning Ray will finish this season having completed a franchise record 77.2 per cent of his passes. With Ray sitting, Argos backup Zach Collaros will likely see his final sustained action of the season before becoming the CFL's most coveted free agent this winter.

Bottom line: The Argos with Collaros at QB are still better than the Als with anybody.

 

STAMPEDERS (14-3) AT LIONS (10-7)
Today: 9 p.m. TV: TSN

Calgary Line: The Stampeders are riding a league-leading five-game winning streak heading into the final week of the season. And while they have nothing left to play for until the post-season, history suggests head coach John Hufnagel will not want to limp into the playoffs off a stinker.

B.C. line: The Lions got a huge performance last week from former Bombers pivot Buck Pierce, who came in off the bench and went 11 of 14 for 141 yards and three TDs in a come-from-behind win over Edmonton. Expect Pierce to play again this week, but B.C. starter Travis Lulay, who's been hurt for months, is finally expected to also get some limited playing time as the Lions hope to have Lulay ready to start in the West semifinal next week.

Bottom line: Keep betting Calgary until they lose.

 

TIGER-CATS (9-8) AT BOMBERS (3-14)
Saturday: 1 p.m. TV: TSN

Hamilton line: The Ticats secured a home playoff game last week with their win over Montreal. Ticats head coach Kent Austin said starting QB Henry Burris will play enough against Winnipeg this week to get ready for the playoffs, but not any more than that. Austin also said Thursday that some other unspecified Ticats starters won't be playing at all this week.

Winnipeg line: The Bombers are seeking to avoid tying the franchise record for the worst regular-season record, set by the 1998 Bombers at 3-15. But the upside of a loss to Hamilton would be it would guarantee the Bombers a small consolation prize -- Winnipeg would draft second overall in the 2014 CFL Draft, behind only the new Ottawa Redblacks franchise.

Bottom line: The Bombers have won more often on the road this season -- twice -- then they have in their shiny new football palace -- once.

 

ESKIMOS (3-14) AT ROUGHRIDERS (11-6)
Saturday: 4 p.m. TV: TSN

Edmonton line: The Eskimos have two wins against Winnipeg this season, but just one win against the rest of the league. Edmonton will in all likeihood this week be playing their final game under head coach Kavis Reed, who is expected to be fired at the end of this season.

Saskatchewan line: The Riders, as usual, are much better at home this season -- 6-2 -- then they are on the road -- 5-4. All of which works out well for them in a month in which they will host the West semifinal and the Grey Cup. Expect to see only limited playing time out of starter Darian Durant this week, with backup Drew Willy mopping up.

Bottom line: Are you bored yet?

 

-- compiled by Paul Wiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2013 0

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