Saskatchewan and Hamilton got off to rough starts and were at the bottom of their respective divisions for a long strethc to start the season, but both are now in a position to make a playoff push.
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Ottawa Redblacks
Friday, 7 p.m. EST
Ryan Lindley will make a second straight start for Ottawa (5-8-1) with veterans Trevor Harris (shoulder) and Drew Tate (shoulder-arm) both ailing. Lindley was just 16-of-36 passing for 151 yards with a pick in his first CFL start, last weekend’s 29-9 loss to Winnipeg. Kevin Glenn returns under centre for Saskatchewan (6-6) after giving way to Canadian Brandon Bridge last weekend against Calgary. The Riders are 2-4 on the road but 3-1 against East Division clubs.
Hodge: Redblacks have no hope without Harris or Tate. RIDERS
Dunk: Lindley leads to a loss. RIDERS
Busby: RedBlacks are in trouble without their veteran QBs. RIDERS
Edwards: Ryan Yucky, amirite? RIDERS
Gasson: Riders defence can win this on their own. RIDERS
Filoso: Ottawa’s just too banged up. RIDERS
Smith: Another Lindley starts means another L for Ottawa. RIDERS
Totals: RIDERS 7 REDBLACKS 0
Montreal Alouettes at Calgary Stampeders
Friday, 9:30 p.m.
No other CFL team has been able to match what the Montreal Alouettes did July 24.
Montreal beat Calgary 30-23 at McGill Stadium that night, halting the Stampeders’ 19-game regular-season win streak. And it’s the only defeat the defending West Division champions have endured this season. The two teams meet again Friday night, this time at McMahon Stadium going in completely different directions. Calgary (11-1-1) sits atop the West Division with the CFL’s best record and riding a 16-game home win streak. Montreal (3-10) is last in the East Division, having lost six straight and eight-of-nine games since downing the Stampeders.
Hodge: Consequences. STAMPS
Dunk: Andrew Buckley can start and win this game. STAMPS
Busby: No matter who the Stamps start at running back, this is no contest. STAMPS
Edwards: Ticats lost 60-1 in Calgary. Montreal says “hold my beer.” STAMPS
Gasson: Do we see Andrew Buckley? STAMPS
Filoso: Montreal already beat Calgary once, this week they do it again. Just kidding. STAMPS
Smith: Do I really need to give a reason? STAMPS
Totals: STAMPS 7 ALS 0
Toronto Argonauts at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Toronto (6-7) looks for a season-high third straight win to not only remain atop the East Division but clinch the season series with Hamilton (3-9). Running back James Wilder Jr. has run for 331 yards the last two games but the Argos are 0-7 at Tim Hortons Field and 1-5 on the road. The Ticats are 3-1 under interim coach June Jones and Alex Green rushed for 140 yards in last weekend’s 24-23 road win over the B.C. Lions.
Hodge: Ticats burned me in this match-up week one. ARGOS
Dunk: Victor Butler creates havoc. ARGOS
Busby: East Division gets muddied as Ticats make this late surge. TICATS
Edwards: Just to make life interesting. TICATS
Gasson: Toronto is figuring it out. ARGOS
Filoso: Toronto is surging at the right time. ARGOS
Smith: A Ticats win keeps this interesting and I always vote for interesting. TICATS
Totals: ARGOS 4 TICATS 3
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Edmonton Eskimos
Saturday, 9:30 p.m.
Edmonton (7-5) comes off the bye looking to snap a five-game losing streak, which began Aug. 17 with a 33-26 road loss to Winnipeg (9-3). The Bombers have won two straight and seven of their last eight and scored over 30 points nine times this season. But they’ll be minus defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman (seven sacks) for the rest of the year. The Eskimos have allowed 30 or more points in four of their last five losses and scored over 30 points just once in that span.
Hodge: Aaron Grymes could be the difference in a very close game. ESKS
Dunk: Grymes helps get a greasy win. ESKS
Busby: This will be an offensive shootout, but bye week did home side some good. ESKS
Edwards: Man, I do not trust either of these teams. BOMBERS?
Gasson: They have to win eventually. ESKS
Filoso: Hard to trust the Esks until they prove otherwise. BOMBERS
Smith: The Bombers are the better team, but Edmonton needs this one badly. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 5 BOMBERS 2