Pivot-al moment

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:37 PM ET

It is the type of game fans should have circled on their calendars weeks ago.

The Edmonton Eskimos on the road against the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday (11 a.m., CHED, TSN2) is a tilt that has so much intrigue it is a shame it's head-to-head with a smorgasbord of NFL games.

Both teams enter the contest at 7-4.

Both teams are writing great storylines so far.

The Esks are rebounding from two non-playoff campaigns.

The Als are thriving under first-year head coach Marc Trestman.

But this game also features the two top quarterbacks in the CFL - Ricky Ray for the Esks and Anthony Calvillo for the Als.

And that match-up is where this tilt will likely be won and lost.

VERY SIMILAR

Ray leads the league with 3,672 passing yards. Calvillo is second at 3,557.

Ray has a 66.7 completion percentage this season. Calvillo is at 66.5%.

Ray threw four interceptions last Saturday. Calvillo threw three picks last week.

You get the picture, they are two very similar pivots in many areas.

In fact, if you go back the last four seasons, many stats are eerily similar.

Since the start of 2005, Ray has thrown for 17,834 yards. Calvillo has chucked the pigskin for 17,435 yards.

Ray has 85 touchdown throws in that span. Calvillo has 98.

And by the way, they have each played exactly 60 games in the last four seasons.

"They both have a good understanding of where to go with the football," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia, who was Calvillo's offensive co-ordinator for two years in Montreal before coming West.

Added Edmonton's offensive co-ordinator Rick Worman: "They are both very accurate passers. They both have a terrific mind for the game."

But there are also some differences between the two gunslingers.

'DIFFERENT PLAYER'

For starters, Ray is 28 years old and in his sixth CFL season. Calvillo is 36 and in the middle of his 15th CFL campaign.

"He is such a different player than I am," said Ray on Calvillo.

"He has got the big arm. Makes a lot of plays with the strength of his arm.

"I am a touch passer and he is a guy that fires it in there. When you watch him play it looks like he is throwing a 100-mile-per-hour fastball every time he throws it."

Added Maciocia: "AC can throw the ball from the short side of the field to the wide side of the field on a rope. He can thread it out there.

"Ricky's arm strength is precision and on touch. He may throw the ball out there before you come out of your break.

"AC can get it out there a half a second or three-quarters of a second later than Ricky would."

Worman believes Ray would win the foot race with Calvillo and actually has better mechanics.

"I think Ricky is a little bit more technically sound. He takes his appropriate drop and hits his last plant foot and releases the ball on timing routes," said Worman.

"I see Anthony - sometimes (he jostles his feet).

"If you can get a rush on Anthony it will disrupt his rhythm and timing. If you get a rush on Ricky, he stays pretty calm."

The pivots didn't go head-to-head last year. But the wait for this game is now down to just four days.


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