Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION


with Paul Wiecek

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at ESKIMOS (5-8)

Today, 8 p.m. TV: TSN

Ticats line: The Ticats have the second-worst road record in the CFL at just 1-5. Care to take a guess as to the identity of the only team in the league with a worse road record? Give you a hint: they wear blue and gold.

Eskimos line: The Eskimos, on a five-game losing streak, demoted offensive co-ordinator Marcus Crandell to quarterbacks coach this week. A very wise man who used to handle these weekly synopses promptly tweeted that the Esks might have been better off if they'd just made Crandell the actual quarterback. Like he said.

Bottom line: Somebody's got to win.

STAMPEDERS (8-5) at LIONS (9-4)

Saturday, 9 p.m. TV: TSN

Stampeders line: There are two horses in Calgary this season -- that annoying white one on the sidelines and the record-breaking one in the Calgary backfield named Jon Cornish, who leads the league with 1,127 rushing yards already this season and, barring injury, is going to easily eclipse Normie Kwong's record for rushing yards in a season by a Canadian.

Lions line: The Lions put up a stinker in Regina last week that looked to be as much about a lack of focus as anything. Head coach Mike Benevides will have drilled his troops hard in practice this week and wandering attention spans should not be a problem in a stadium where the Lions are 5-1 this season.

Bottom line: Game of the week.

BOMBERS (3-10) at ALOUETTES (8-5)

Monday, noon TV: TSN Radio: CJOB

Als line: The Als were embarassed in Hamilton last week and will be without league-leading receiver S.J. Green this week. The good news is they're 6-1 at home this season and they're playing Winnipeg this week.

Bombers line: The Bombers were prohibitive underdogs before the team announced Buck Pierce wouldn't be able to go and Joey Elliott would line up under centre. At 3-10, they're basically playing for pride at this point. This week should tell you how much -- if any -- they still have left.

Bottom line: It wouldn't be the first time in the last six weeks Winnipeg was blown out. But it also wouldn't be the first time in the last few years a Winnipeg-Montreal game came down to the dying minutes of the fourth quarter.


Monday, 3:30 p.m. TV: TSN

Saskatchewan line:The Riders were looking like a bit of a joke a couple weeks ago at 5-6 but back-to-back wins, including last week over league-leading B.C., suddenly have them within a game in the West of second-place Calgary, who are in B.C. this weekend. On the downside, the Riders have won just twice on the road all season.

Argos line: The status of injured QB Ricky Ray is still uncertain for this week, but the sense of urgency in Toronto surrounding that situation has diminished since backup Jarious Jackson showed himself last week to be a more than capable replacement in a 29-10 win in Winnipeg.

Bottom line: Pick 'em.


(straight up)

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 writer Paul Wiecek:

Irving: Hamilton, BC, Montreal, Toronto

Lyons: Edmonton, BC, Montreal, Toronto

Brown: Edmonton, BC, Montreal, Saskatchewan

Lawless: Hamilton, BC, Montreal, Saskatchewan

Wiecek: Edmonton, BC, Montreal, Toronto

LAST WEEK (overall): Irving 2-2 (34-18); Lyons 3-1 (34-18); Brown 2-2 (29-23); Lawless 2-2 (27-25); Wiecek 1-3 (23-29)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2012 C2

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