Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

WEEK 17 IN THE CFL

with Paul Wiecek

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BLUE BOMBERS (4-11) at ARGONAUTS (7-8)

Tonight, 6 p.m.; TV: TSN Radio: CJOB

Bombers line: The big news is Buck Pierce will be back at starting quarterback after missing the last two games with concussion symptoms. But Pierce is just one of a lot of moving parts for Winnipeg this week, including yet another new SAM linebacker in Demond Washington.

Argos line: Like the Bombers, the Argos are also getting their starting quarterback -- Ricky Ray -- back this week. Toronto lost two of their last three with Ray out of the lineup nursing a knee injury, with the only win coming Sept. 29 at Canad Inns Stadium when Jarious Jackson beat the Bombers.

Bottom line: The Bombers are 1-6 on the road this season, but the lone win came in Montreal the last time out. The Argos would like to win this week; the Bombers need to win or they're eliminated from playoff contention.

ESKIMOS (7-8) at LIONS (11-4)

Tonight, 9 p.m.; TV: TSN

Eskimos line: QB Kerry Joseph looked reborn last week as the Eskimos won their second in a row, 37-20 over Saskatchewan.

Lions line: The Lions are the best team in Canada and appear to be peaking at exactly the right time.

Bottom line: The Lions are 6-1 at home this season, while the Eskimos are 2-5 on the road.

ALOUETTES (9-6) at ROUGHRIDERS (8-7)

Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; TV: TSN

Alouettes line: The Alouettes have been wildly unpredictable the past month, registering losses to league sad-sacks Hamilton and Winnipeg but then going into Toronto last week and beating up the Argos.

Roughriders line: Last weeek the Riders defence made an Edmonton offence that is last in the league in many categories look like the second coming of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana.

Bottom line: The Riders need it more. And they're 5-2 at home this season.

TIGER-CATS (5-10) at STAMPEDERS (9-6)

Saturday, 6 p.m. TV: TSN

Ticats line: The Ticats are tied with Winnipeg for the worst road record in the league at 1-6 and are riding a two-game losing streak.

Stampeders line: Calgary can lock up second place in the West Division with a win over Hamilton and a Saskatchewan loss to Montreal.

Bottom line: John Hufnagel teams usually win the games they're expected to win. This would definitely fall in that category for Calgary.

THE PICKS (straight up)

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 lead football writer Paul Wiecek.

It's probably never happened before and it might never happen again, but this week all five of us have made the exact same selections: Toronto, B.C., Saskatchewan and Calgary.

Last week (overall): Lyons 1-3 (37-23); Irving 1-3 (36-24); Brown 2-2 (34-26); Lawless 1-3 (30-30); Wiecek 3-1 (28-32)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2012 C4

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