Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Week 16 in the CFL

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Lions (9-5) at Stampeders (11-3)

  • Today: 8 p.m. TV: TSN
  • B.C. line: The Lions lost at BC Place for the first time all season last week, falling 31-17 to a Saskatchewan Roughriders team that was riding a four-game losing streak coming into that game. The loss to Saskatchewan was the first in three starts for Lions backup QB Thomas DeMarco, who will once again get the ball in relief this week of still injured Travis Lulay.
  • Calgary line: The Stamps got the free space on the bingo card last week and took fullest advantage, clubbing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence for 622 yards, including 256 yards on the ground, in a 38-11 thrashing at McMahon Stadium. Calgary improved to 6-1 at home -- same as B.C. -- and will carry a two-game winning streak into this weekend.
  • Bottom line: Calgary is the best team in Canada right now. Hands down.

 

Eskimos (3-11) at Roughriders (9-5)

  • Saturday: 3:30 p.m. TV: TSN
  • Edmonton line: Take away Edmonton's two wins last month over the Bombers and the Eskimos haven't won this season since Week 2. They're disorganized on the field and even worse off of it, where the front office and coaching staff has spent the past week trying to explain how and why they hopelessly mishandled Mike Reilly's concussion in Week 14.
  • Saskatchewan line: The Riders will debut their newest player acquisition this week, sliding DE Alex Hall on to a defensive line that was already pretty good even before they acquired the CFL sack leader from Winnipeg last Sunday.
  • Bottom line: Edmonton is awful.

 

Blue Bombers (2-12) at Alouettes (6-8)

  • Monday: noon TV: TSN
  • Blue Bombers line: Winnipeg has lost four games in a row -- and six in a row on the road -- but if you're a fan looking for some kind of glimmer of hope, it does bear reminding that Winnipeg's only win on the road this season came in Week 2 over the Alouettes at Stade Molson.
  • Alouettes line: Montreal would clinch the third and final playoff position in the East Division with a win over Winnipeg this weekend. An Als victory would simultaneously extinguish the playoff hopes of Winnipeg and the crossover hopes of the Edmonton Eskimos.
  • Bottom line: Bombers fans can give thanks on Monday that this turkey will be over soon.

 

Argos (9-5) at Tiger-Cats (7-7)

  • Monday: 3:30 p.m. TV: TSN
  • Toronto line: The Argos had a four-game winning streak going -- all of it coming in a historic run on the road -- heading into last weekend, but spoiled their homecoming with a 33-19 loss to Hamilton at Rogers Centre. With last weekend's loss, the Argos are now just 3-4 at home, but, weirdly, 6-1 on the road.
  • Hamilton line: The statistics this season suggest one of the hardest things to do in the CFL is to win both ends of a back-to-back series with another team, which is exactly what Hamilton is trying to do against Toronto this weekend. On the plus side, Hamilton already beat Toronto on the road last weekend and have home-field advantage this weekend. On the down side, home-field advantage is no advantage at all when you're playing the Road Warriors that are the Argos.
  • Bottom line: Bet the Argos on the road.

 

THE PICKS

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: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Toronto
  • Lyons: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Toronto
  • Lawless: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Toronto
  • Brown: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Toronto
  • Tait: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Hamilton
  • Wiecek: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Toronto

 

  • Last week/overall: Tait 1-3/35-21; Wiecek 1-3/34-22; Lyons 2-2/34-22; Lawless 2-2/34-22; Brown 1-3/33-23; Irving 3-1/33-23

 

-- Paul Wiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 11, 2013 C5

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