Week 15 picks: Can the Bombers punch their playoff ticket?

Edmonton Eskimos Adarius Bowman (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Calgary Stampeders during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday September 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.
Edmonton Eskimos Adarius Bowman (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Calgary Stampeders during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday September 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Edmonton Eskimos (6-7) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (8-5)
Fri., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m. EST

Winnipeg lost 36-34 last week to Calgary to end its seven-game win streak. But the Bombers rallied impressively from a 30-7 deficit to take a 34-33 lead with 20 seconds left before Rene Parades’ game-winning 52-yard field goal. Matt Nichols threw for 287 yards with two TDs and an interception while Timothy Flanders ran for 95 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Edmonton beat B.C. 27-23 last week as Shakir Bell ran for 108 yards and a TD and Adarius Bowman had six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. The Bombers can clinch a playoff spot with a win and an Argos loss.

Drew Edwards: A bunch of real victories, followed by a moral one, followed by another real one. BOMBERS
Justin Dunk: Last week showed Winnipeg is legit. This week they prove it. BOMBERS
John Hodge: There’s only one CFL team playing better football than Winnipeg right now. They’re not playing on Friday. BOMBERS
Joel Gasson: Edmonton needs it but Winnipeg is just a bit better. BOMBERS
Ian Busby: Previous two meetings decided by less than a TD. I’m giving the edge to the visitors for some strange reason. ESKIMOS
Josh Smith: Bombers might be better, but Edmonton is more desperate. Give me the rabid animal backed into a corner. ESKIMOS
Santino Filoso: My head says Winnipeg but my gut thinks Mike Reilly pulls out a tough road win ESKIMOS
Totals: BOMBERS 4 EKSIMOS 3

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Calgary Stampeders (11-1-1) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-7)
Sat., Oct. 1, 4 p.m. EST

Calgary has won 10 straight and is on a 12-game unbeaten streak. But the Stampeders will play for the first time since the tragic shooting death of defensive back Mylan Hicks on Sunday. The Stampeders are unbeaten against East teams but have struggled recently putting opponents away. Hamilton head coach Kent Austin will watch from the spotter’s booth after being fined $10,000 and banned from the sidelines for one game by the CFL after making contact with an official last weekend.

Drew Edwards:  There’s a difference between controversy and emotion. STAMPS
Justin Dunk: Calgary has been the best team in the CFL this season. Hamilton has been… STAMPS
John Hodge: West bests East. Again. STAMPS
Joel Gasson: there’s a part of me that wants to take Hamilton. I might have even done it before Calgary went through what they did. Emotional group with plenty to play for now. STAMPS.
Ian Busby: After emotional week in Calgary, focus turns to football. The Stamps are good at football. STAMPS
Josh Smith: Ticats are 13-1 at Tim Hortons Field in games Zach Collaros starts and finishes, and Calgary has never played at The Donut Box against Zach Collaros. TICATS
Santino Filoso:  Calgary is a team in mourning but the Ticats are a team struggling with injuries STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 6 TICATS 1

Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris (7) throws the ball past the hands of B.C. Lions' Alex Bazzie (53) during first half CFL action on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris (7) throws the ball past the hands of B.C. Lions’ Alex Bazzie (53) during first half CFL action on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa RedBlacks (6-5-1) at B.C. Lions (8-4)
Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 p.m. EST

Home field hasn’t always been an advantage for B.C., which is just 3-2 at B.C. Place Stadium compared to 5-2 on the road. The Lions boast the CFL’s top rushing attack (106.9 yards per game) and receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux had seven catches for 164 yards and two TDs in last week’s loss to Edmonton. Ottawa counters with the league’s top aerial game (343.9 yards per contest) but has allowed 36 sacks, second-most in the CFL. The Lions boast a defence that’s registered 39 sacks, second only to Winnipeg (41).

Drew Edwards: Body clock rock. LIONS
Justin Dunk: B.C. hasn’t been great at home. But they are great enough. LIONS
John Hodge: See above. LIONS
Joel Gasson: Tough roadie. LIONS
Ian Busby: By the time this starts, many fans in Ottawa will be in bed or drunk. That might be best not to watch. LIONS
Josh Smith: Late start, cross-country trip, and B.C. is a better team. LIONS
Santino Filoso: The dreaded 10 p.m. West Coast start might be too much for Ottawa to overcome LIONS
Totals:

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Toronto Argonauts (5-8) at Montreal Alouettes (3-9)
Sunday, Oct. 2, 1 p.m. EST

Toronto holds down third in the East but defending Grey Cup-champion Edmonton is fourth in the West Division. And with both teams having five regular-season contests remaining, the Argos have ground to make up in order to clinch a post-season berth. The Argos definitely need a spark, having lost six of their last seven games. Despite that, they’re just two points behind second-place Hamilton and three points back of first-place Ottawa, the only East Division team with a winning record. The Als will have a new head coach when they face the Argos. Jacques Chapdelaine makes his first appearance as the club’s head coach, replacing Jim Popp, who remains the full-time GM.

Drew Edwards: Montreal has talent… and addition by subtraction. ALOUETTES
Justin Dunk: New coach, new play-caller, new result. ALOUETTES
John Hodge: If any of this week’s games had to run against the NFL, this was the wrong match-up to feature. Toronto in an ugly one. ARGOS
Joel Gasson: This feels like a coin flip to me. ARGOS.
Ian Busby: First game with a new coach coming off a bye. Same ugly result for Alouettes. ARGOS
Josh Smith: Terrible team with a new coach vs. bad team with maybe a new QB. Give me the home team. ALOUETTES
Santino Filoso: New coach = a new way to lose for Montreal ARGOS
Totals: ARGOS 4 ALOUETTES 3

Season records
Dunk: 36-20-1
Edwards: 34-22-1
Smith: 34-22-1
Filoso: 34-22-1
Hodge: 33-23-1
Busby: 27-29-1
Gasson: 22-32-1

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