Week 19 picks: Riders welcome Durant to new Mosaic

Darian Durant’s return to Riderville highlights Week 19, but there critical matchups in the other three games for playoff purposes.

Ottawa needs a win to have a chance for first in the East, Winnipeg can lock up a home post-season game by beating B.C. and Edmonton wants to keep a playoff date – if the Bombers lose – at Commonwealth a possibility.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ head coach June Jones stands on the sideline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ottawa Redblacks
Friday, 7 p.m. EST

Hamilton (5-11) is 5-3 under interim head coach June Jones and 4-4 on the road following Sunday’s 43-16 win over Montreal. Ottawa (7-9-1) is just 2-5-1 at TD Place and last played Oct. 13 in a 33-32 decision over Saskatchewan. A victory would move the Redblacks past idle Toronto atop the East Division. Receiver Brad Sinopoli (shoulder) won’t play and is out for the season.

Hodge: Hamilton plays spoiler. TICATS
Dunk: Ticats already knocked Trevor Harris out once. TICATS
Gasson: Ottawa needs to take advantage. REDBLACKS
Edwards: Ticats are feeling it. TICATS
Busby: The real Redblacks have to show up sometime right? Coming off a bye? REDBLACKS
Filoso: Ottawa’s on a roll and the division is up for grabs. REDBLACKS
Smith: Hamilton’s won their last two at TD Place. They make it three. TICATS

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Darian Durant throws a pass. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Montreal Alouettes at Saskatchewan Roughriders

Friday, 9:30 p.m. EST

Darian Durant makes his first visit to Regina since being dealt to Montreal in January. He had two TD passes in a 17-16 season-opening home win over Saskatchewan (9-7) but the Alouettes (3-13) have lost nine straight. Slotback Nik Lewis returns after missing three games (leg). Receiver Duron Carter will play cornerback for a second straight game. He scored on a 43-yard interception return versus Calgary to anchor the Riders’ third victory in four contests.

Hodge: Saskatchewan in a laugher. RIDERS
Dunk: No way one can pick Montreal. RIDERS
Gasson: Durant will come to play but it’s not enough. RIDERS
Edwards: Durant gets all the love and all the losses. RIDERS
Busby: Als are in off-season mode already. RIDERS
Filoso: I’m not sure Montreal could beat the Carabins right now. RIDERS
Smith: For one night, Durant finds some of that old (new) Mosaic magic. ALS
Totals: RIDERS 6 ALS 1

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Justin Medlock stands on the field after missing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Lions at Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Saturday, 4 p.m. EST

Justin Medlock and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have another chance to clinch a home playoff game. Medlock’s errant 40-yard field goal attempt gave the Toronto Argonauts a 29-28 home win over Winnipeg on Saturday night. Had Medlock been successful, the Blue Bombers (11-5) would’ve cemented second in the West Division and their first home playoff contest since 2011. Winnipeg has another opportunity to do so Saturday afternoon when it hosts B.C. (6-10). The Bombers are 6-2 at Investors Group Field, including a 26-20 decision there over the Lions on Oct. 14 when Medlock made all three field goals he attempted. Medlock is the CFL’s scoring leader with 194 points despite having made 46-of-60 field goals this season. His 76.7 per cent average ranks last among league kickers and in a 28-19 win over Edmonton on Sept. 30 he missed all three boots he tried. Winnipeg is just 1-2 since then but there are plenty of reasons why.

Hodge: Bombers finally secure a home playoff game. BOMBERS
Dunk: Injuries are coming at the worst time for Winnipeg. BOMBERS
Gasson: Home date is locked in. BOMBERS
Edwards: Justin Medlock kicks five goals and all is right with the world. BOMBERS
Busby: It all comes together for the Bombers as they look towards a home playoff date. BOMBERS
Filoso: Winnipeg earns a home playoff game. BOMBERS
Smith: Just because. BOMBERS

Calgary Stampeders at Edmonton Eskimos

Saturday, 7 p.m. EST

Calgary (13-2-1) will host the West Division final but has looked out of sorts since a 59-11 win over Montreal on Sept. 29. The Stamps needed a late pass interference call to secure a 28-25 road win in Hamilton, then lost 30-7 last weekend to Saskatchewan, their first home loss in 18 games. Running back C.J. Gable and kicker Sean Whyte resumed practising for Edmonton (10-6), which has won three straight but is 0-2 this year against its provincial rival.

Hodge: Calgary hasn’t lost consecutive games since July of 2012. STAMPS
Dunk: Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps seem immune to losing streaks. STAMPS
Gasson: Calgary plays mad. STAMPS
Edwards: Just to make things more interesting. ESKS
Busby: No chance the Stamps let the Eskimos have life heading into the post-season. STAMPS
Filoso: Edmonton makes a statement. ESKS
Smith: Calgary has nothing left to play for, Edmonton does. ESKS

Season records
Dunk: 53-19-1
Hodge: 52-20-1
Gasson: 51-21-1
Edwards: 50-22-1
Busby: 48-24-1
Filoso: 47-25-1
Smith: 42-30-1