With a 12-2 record so far this season, we’re poised for three more inter-divisional match ups this week. With just six of 20 weeks played, the Bombers have a two-game lead on the Redblacks for a crossover spot – and those two teams play on Friday.
Calgary Stampeders (4-1-1) at Toronto Argonauts (3-3)
Thursday, Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Toronto finishes a stretch of three games in 11 nights against a team coming off a 60-point explosion. Calgary scored eight touchdowns in its lopsided home win over Hamilton and was able to get all three of its quarterbacks into the game. Ricky Ray became the Argos all-time passing leader in last week’s 38-27 road loss in Saskatchewan and has recorded six straight 300-yard passing games. But the Stampeders’ defence is ranked first in fewest offensive points allowed (18.2 per game) and forced turnovers (13) and second overall in sacks (13), all of which makes this a tough ask for a team playing such a condensed schedule.
Hodge: West > East. STAMPS
Edwards: Calgary wins this 61-1. Just kidding. But still. STAMPS
Dunk: Short week plus travel for the Stamps too, but that won’t matter. STAMPS
Gasson: Both teams have had similar rest, Calgary is just better. STAMPS
Filoso: Trestman and Ray will keep things respectable but still. STAMPS
Busby: Blowout win doesn’t help with avoiding overconfidence. ARGOS
Smith: This will likely be closer than people expect after last week’s results, but Calgary is just better. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 6 ARGOS 1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-2) at Ottawa Redblacks (1-4-1)
Friday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m.
After playing three times in 11 nights, Ottawa (1-4-1) returns to action for the first time since a 27-24 road setback in Toronto on July 24. Quarterback Trevor Harris is second overall in passing (1,939 yards) and first in TD strikes (12) while Greg Ellingson (39 catches, 642 yards, three TDs) remains the league’s leading receiver. Winnipeg (3-2) scored two touchdowns and recovered an onside kick with under a minute remaining to earn an improbable 41-40 comeback win over Montreal last week. But the Bombers will be without receiver Weston Dressler (23 catches, team-high 342 yards, two TDs) due to injury.
Hodge: Ottawa’s rested and has everything to prove. REDBLACKS
Edwards: Why is Hodge picking against the Bombers? WHAT DOES HE KNOW? REDBLACKS
Dunk: Nearly everyone is on Ottawa. Mo Leggett back tho. BOMBERS
Gasson: It’s slowly coming together for Ottawa. REDBLACKS
Filoso: This is a game Ottawa has to have. REDBLACKS
Busby: That comeback win will awaken Mike O’Shea’s team. BOMBERS
Smith: Two evenly matched teams, but Ottawa won’t surrender a 12-point lead with 1:40 left. REDBLACKS
Totals: REDBLACKS 5 BOMBERS 2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-5) at Edmonton Eskimos (5-0)
Friday, Aug. 4, 9:30 p.m.
Hamilton (0-5) is the CFL’s only winless team following an embarrassing 60-1 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. On Saturday, the Ticats continue their western road trip visiting the Edmonton Eskimos (5-0). But Edmonton won’t be taking Hamilton for granted. The Eskimos needed Mike Reilly to engineer a 75-yard drive – capped by a 15-yard TD strike to Vidal Hazelton with 23 seconds remaining – to secure a 31-28 road win at Tim Hortons Field on July 20.
Hodge: Hamilton’s season is quickly slipping away. ESKIMOS
Edwards: June Jones isn’t walking through that door. Oh, wait… ESKIMOS
Dunk: Until proven otherwise you can’t pick Hamilton. ESKIMOS
Gasson: Do I dare? No. ESKIMOS
Filoso: Two streaks go in, only one emerges unscathed. ESKIMOS
Busby: A 59-point loss followed by in-fighting. Ticats are road kill. ESKIMOS
Smith: Edmonton will lose at some point just not this week. ESKIMOS
Totals: ESKIMOS 7 TICATS 0
Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-3) at B.C. Lions (4-2)
Saturday, Aug. 5, 7 p.m.
Duron Carter’s one-handed TD grab has dominated the highlight reels but Kevin Glenn did throw for 340 yards and four touchdowns to lead Saskatchewan (2-3) past Toronto on Saturday. Cameron Marshall added 110 rushing yards and the defence recorded five sacks. But the Riders are 0-2 both on the road and within the West Division. Travis Lulay threw two TD passes and ran for another as B.C. (4-2) lost its season series with the Eskimos. Former starter Jonathon Jennings dressed for the game but Lulay is expected to remain under centre.
Hodge: Saskatchewan stays in the West Division basement. LIONS
Edwards: The fact I even had to think about this worries me. LIONS
Dunk: Rout the Riders, as the t-shirts on the team site say. LIONS
Gasson: Riders defence tends to start slow, BC is too good to blow that. LIONS
Filoso: B.C.’s offence > Saskatchewan’s defence. LIONS
Busby: It’s never easy going into BC Place Stadium, let alone when Wally’s Warriors have been stung. LIONS
Smith: Riders won’t get help of some questionable command centreing this week. LIONS
Totals: LIONS 7 RIDERS 0