Edmonton Eskimos at Toronto Argonauts (+3, 48)
The Argos got an upset win in the last moments of their game against the Calgary Stampeders, but while it might have been their best performance of the season, don’t expect much moving forward.
Quarterback Steven Jyles looked good in the first half but he only threw for 118 yards with one TD and four picks.
The Stampeders really shot themselves in the foot more than anything else and it would be surprising to see the Eskimos, who still have legitimate chance on first place, doing the same.
The Eskimos have piled up seven sacks, six interceptions and allowed only one TD in their last two games. Edmonton will play the Lions next week in a game that could decide first place in the West. But for that game to bare any significance, they first win in Toronto.
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Calgary Stampeders (+1, 52.5)
Drew Tate will orchestrate Calgary’s attack after coach John Hufnagel decided to make a quarterback change and put Henry Burris on the bench. Tate, who took over against the Argos after Burris was pulled, threw for 263 yards with two touchdown passes. Now he’s looking to put an end to a two-game slide.
Ken-Yon Rambo, still nursing an Achilles tendon injury, will miss a third game in a row. Nik Lewis, who has fought a virus, claims to feel much better and has been active in full practices all week.
If the Stampeders’ offense is a disappointment, Saskatchewan’s has been frankly pathetic. Darian Durant, who has a left foot fracture, claims it would be best if he was not starting now that Saskatchewan is out of the playoff picture but coach Ken Miller thinks otherwise.
Last week, in a loss that ended the club’s playoff hopes, kicker Chris Milo scored all 18 points for this team. Now the Roughriders only hope is to spoil any chances the Stampeders still have of finishing first.
Montreal Alouettes at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (+1, 52.5)
The Blue Bombers, after winning seven of the first eight games of the season, have lost five of their last seven. Buck Pierce isn’t helping matters. He had 10 TD passes and six picks in the first eight games but threw 10 picks and only three touchdown passes in the last seven.
The Alouettes head to Winnipeg riding a four-game winning streak. Winnipeg won in Montreal 25-23 in mid-September but lost a few weeks later in front of its home fans at Canad Inns when the Bombers had three chances to win it from the 1-yard line with a few seconds left.
A Montreal win would assure Marc Trestman’s squad of hosting the East division final at the Big O.
B.C. Lions at Hamilton Tiger Cats (+1, 53)
The Lions have won eight in a row and are still in the thick of the West division title, but this has been a short week and last week’s win was costly on the injury front. Receiver Shawn Gore suffered a concussion and won’t play against Hamilton. Rookie Marco Iannuzzi will take his place. Cornerback Dante Marsh also suffered a concussion but practiced all week and might play. Running back Tim Brown is out with a rib injury and will be replaced by Jock Sanders, who joined the Lions only last week. On special teams, Hamid Mahmoudi will replace Jason Arakgi (ankle) and linebacker Solomon Elimimian should miss a second game in a row.
The Tiger-Cats are struggling and coach Marcel Bellefeuille is playing yo-yo with his quarterbacks Kevin Glenn and Quinton Porter. I can’t recall any team having much success alternating quarterbacks during a game like he did last week in Montreal.