Week 19 Picks: Riders say goodbye, the Stamps chase history

cats argos collaros running.JPG

Edmonton Eskimos (8-8) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-9)
Fri., Oct. 28, 7 p.m. EST

Zach Collaros will start for Hamilton after missing two games with a head injury. The Ticats clinched a home playoff game with last week’s 39-36 overtime win over Ottawa which also kept their hopes to finish first in the East Division alive. Edmonton has clinched a playoff berth and could be visiting Tim Hortons Field next month as the West Division crossover opponent. The Eskimos trail both B.C. and Winnipeg by four points with two games remaining and are 3-3 versus Eastern opponents while the Ticats are 2-7 against Western teams.

Dunk: Collaros is back and it’s time for Hamilton to get rolling.TICATS
Smith: Give me the team that has way more to play for that is also playing at home with their franchise quarterback back under centre. TICATS
Edwards: Kent Austin’s teams usually find a way to play their best football right about now. TICATS
Filoso: With a chance at hosting the WSF still possible, I don’t buy that Edmonton is content to head East in the playoffs. ESKS
Hodge: Collaros’ return only means something if he recaptures his 2015 form. Hasn’t happened yet. ESKS
Busby: The star QB is back but it’s the Eskimos attack that complicates things. ESKS
Gasson: Edmonton will be hoping to bounce back. Ticats are inconsistent. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 4 TICATS 3

Andrew Harris

Ottawa Redblacks (7-8-1)  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-6)
Sat., Oct. 29, 4 p.m. EST

A huge test for Ottawa considering it’s just 2-5-1 versus West Division rivals. The Redblacks had a chance to clinch first in the East last weekend but lost in overtime to Hamilton. Quarterback Henry Burris was 31-of-41 passing for 418 yards with three TDs and two interceptions. Winnipeg comes off the bye week tied with B.C. for second in the West Division. Matt Nichols threw for 301 yards and a TD in a 35-32 win over the Lions on Oct. 14, the Bombers’ second straight over their conference rivals.

Dunk: The East Division is downright awful against the West.  BOMBERS
Smith: Winnipeg is coming off a bye and are oh-so-close to clinching a home playoff game. Ottawa just has too many flaws right now. BOMBERS
Edwards: Ottawa feels like a team on the brink. Not the good kind. BOMBERS
Filoso: The Bombers have surrendered 44 completions of 30+ yards and been torched for a league-worst 414 yards per game. That’s a bad matchup vs Ottawa’s explosive (and CFL-best) offence REDBLACKS
Hodge: Winnipeg is getting healthy at just the right times. BOMBERS
Busby: Nice way to clinch the division for the ageless Henry Burris. REDBLACKS
Gasson: Ottawa has a lot to play for but Winnipeg wants that home playoff game. BOMBERS

mosaic stadium cp

B.C. Lions (10-6) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-11)
Sat., Oct. 29, 7 p.m. EST

After dropping two straight to Winnipeg, B.C. beat Edmonton 32-25 last week to move into a second-place tie in the West Division with the Blue Bombers. Quarterback Jonathon Jennings threw for 272 yards and two TDs to Manny Arceneaux, who finished with eight catches for 132 yards. Running back Jeremiah Johnson also rushed for 108 yards. Saskatchewan had its four-game win streak halted last weekend by Montreal as quarterback Darian Durant finished 23-of-35 passing for 188 yards and no TDs.

Dunk: Mosaic farewell equals a proper send-off. RIDERS
Smith: Taylor Field sees its last hurrah, and while I would love to take the Riders in this one, the Lions need it more. LIONS
Edwards: History matters. RIDERS
Filoso: Still think B.C. is the second best team in the West LIONS
Hodge: Playing on emotion only gets you so far. LIONS
Busby: So about that idea that Riders would be easy pickings down the stretch. RIDERS
Gasson: The Riders and the Nation will be amped up for this one giving Taylor Field the Rider goodbye it deserves. RIDERS
Totals: RIDERS 4 LIONS 3

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Andrew Buckley (15) and Juwan Brescacin (83) celebrate a touchdown against the Edmonton Eskimos during overtime CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday September 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Calgary Stampeders (15-1-1) at Montreal Alouettes (5-11)
Sun., Oct. 30, 7 p.m. EST

Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders will chase CFL history this weekend. Calgary visits the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday afternoon to conclude its regular season. A win would give the Stampeders the best regular-season record in CFL history, slightly better than the 16-2 mark the Edmonton Eskimos established in 1989. Montreal (5-11) will miss the CFL playoffs but is coming off a 19-14 win over Saskatchewan as Vernon Adams Jr. was 11-of-24 passing for 177 yards and a TD in his CFL debut. But Calgary’s defence is the league’s stingiest, allowing just 20.7 points per game.

Dunk: That’s right, I said it. ALS
Smith: History is made. STAMPS
Edwards: History matters. STAMPS
Filoso: Nothing on the line for either team, but Calgary is chasing history STAMPS
Hodge: Calgary extends its unbelievable winning streak without breaking a sweat. STAMPS
Busby: Record-setting weekend for the Stampeders and the CFL. A dull end to the week likely. STAMPS
Gasson: Als D will fight again but STAMPS.
Totals: STAMPS 6 ALS 1

Season records
Dunk: 46-26-1
Smith: 46-26-1
Filoso: 43-29-1
Edwards: 43-29-1
Hodge: 42-30-1
Busby: 38-34-1
Gasson: 34-38-1

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