Playoff positioning remains up for grabs in the final week of the regular season.
There’s a Canadian quarterback starting too. Outside the Als-Ticats meaningless affair, there are three enticing matchups.
Montreal Alouettes at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, 7 p.m. EST
Hamilton (5-12) looks to improve to 6-4 under interim head coach June Jones. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 438 yards and four TDs in last week’s 41-36 loss to Ottawa while Brandon Banks (13 catches, 193 yards, two TDs) recorded his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game. Rookie Matt Shiltz makes his first CFL start for Montreal (3-14), which has lost 10 straight games.
Hodge: It doesn’t take forensics to see how this game will end. TICATS
Dunk: Ticats keep purring to end the season. TICATS
Gasson: can’t take anyone else. TICATS
Edwards: Hard to give a Shiltz about this game. TICATS
Busby: Mercifully these two teams end this season. TICATS
Filoso: This one will be out of reach by half-time TICATS
Smith: Hamilton sends the fans home happy. TICATS
Totals: TICATS 7 ALOUETTES 0
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary Stampeders
Friday, 9:30 p.m. EST
Dan LeFevour will start for Winnipeg (11-6), which has lost two straight. LeFevour is in his fifth CFL season but is just 2-5 as a starter. Running back Andrew Harris, who suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit in last weekend’s 36-27 loss to B.C., will play needing 33 rushing yards to hit 1,000 and 60 to surpass league leader William Powell of Ottawa. Calgary is 7-2 versus Western teams and Jerome Messam is second overall in league rushing with 986 yards.
Hodge: LeFevour vs. Buckley — not exactly the match-up we all wanted to see. STAMPS
Dunk: Canadian QB starting for Calgary. STAMPS
Gasson: too many injuries in the peg. STAMPS
Edwards: The Bombers have more to play for but the Stamps are still the Stamps… I think. STAMPS
Busby: Going against the norm here as the Bombers have more on the line. BOMBERS
Filoso: I believe in Buckley STAMPS
Smith: Total toss up with both teams starting backup QBs. It’s in Calgary, so give me the home side. STAMPS
Totals: STAMPEDERS 6 BOMBERS 1
Edmonton Eskimos at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saturday, 7 p.m. EST
Edmonton can finish second in the West with a victory and Winnipeg loss or tie. The Eskimos have been streaky all year, opening the season 7-0 then dropping six straight before embarking on their current four-game win streak. Saskatchewan would clinch third with a win and visit Winnipeg in the West semifinal while relegating the Eskimos to the East Division. But an Edmonton win would make the Riders the Eastern crossover team.
Hodge: Riders ride at home. RIDERS
Dunk: Eskimos want a home playoff game. ESKS
Gasson: Toss up. RIDERS
Edwards: I don’t trust either one of these teams as far as I can throw Duron Carter. ESKS
Busby: The visitors are a streaky bunch and right now they have positive momentum. ESKS
Filoso: Hard to bet against Edmonton with a home playoff game on the line ESKS
Smith: Edmonton likes to streak and the Riders will be on the road in the playoffs regardless. ESKS
Totals: ESKS 5 RIDERS 2
Toronto Argonauts at B.C. Lions
Saturday, 10 p.m. EST
Toronto (8-9) needs a tie or win to clinch first in the East and home field for division final. The Argos come off the bye well rested but are 2-7 versus West Division teams and just 2-6 on the road. Jonathon Jennings threw for 408 yards and four TDs last weekend against Winnipeg but the Lions have dropped their last two home games versus Eastern clubs and are 3-5 overall at B.C. Place.
Hodge: I predicted in June that the winner of the East would have eight wins. Here we are. LIONS
Dunk: Toronto wants to party in Van City Saturday night. ARGOS
Gasson: Toronto takes first. ARGOS.
Edwards: Look at Marc Trestman’s face. Look at it. Now pick the Lions. I didn’t think so. ARGOS
Busby: Some of Ricky Ray’s greatest games have come in BC Place. This isn’t one of them. LIONS
Filoso: In the last two seasons, Toronto is 4-15 vs the West. On top of that, they’ve lost seven Western road games in a row LIONS
Smith: Toronto has something big to play for: a home date in the East Final. ARGOS
Totals: ARGOS 4 LIONS 3