1. (1) B.C. — Going deep three times with plenty of time left on clock against Riders was puzzling, but comeback attempt was thrilling to watch.
2. (2) Montreal — They never win in Hamilton so they must be thankful that all of their Ivor Wynne Stadium visits are in the past.
3. (3) Calgary — Another impressive rushing effort from Jon Cornish sets up huge showdown in Vancouver this week.
4. (4) Saskatchewan — Knocked off teams in front of them past two weeks but now they need to keep momentum going on the road.
5. (5) Toronto — They beat Winnipeg with their backup QB. Big deal. Now the schedule gets tougher with Riders coming to town.
6. (8) Hamilton — Ticats are an enigma. Great one week and horrible the next, so they are probably due for letdown in Edmonton.
7. (6) Edmonton — Went winless in September for the first time in the team’s long history, with three of those five losses against the Stamps.
8. (7) Winnipeg — Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Buck Pierce is struggling with injuries. Same old story in Bomberland.
BY THE NUMBERS
73.4 — Yards rushing allowed per game by the B.C. Lions defence after 13 starts. With Adam Bighill swallowing up ball carriers — his 13 tackles Saturday set a franchise record — and a strong defensive front led by Khalif Mitchell, the Lions are stifling the run this season. The next-best defence at stopping the run are the Roughriders at 92.1 yards allowed per game along the ground.
47% — Defenders are being a bit more reckless with their hands this season, and it’s costing their team major yardage. Face-masking infractions are up 47% this season compared to this point last season. Those penalties aren’t insignificant as they come with a 15-yard jump for the team getting offended.
5-17 — Since the start of 2007, when quarterbacks make their debuts as starters, they have a 5-17 record. Eskimos QB Matt Nichols was the latest to suffer defeat, as Edmonton lost 39-15 to the Stampeders on Friday. The last QB to win his debut as a starter was Stamps pivot Drew Tate a year ago at this time.
29.1 — Point per game allowed by the East Division this season. That’s a staggering total, considering that the West Division clubs have allowed just 22.0 points per game. There is more scoring in the East, but no team in that division has a positive point differential. The Argonauts come the closest at minus-4. This might explain why the West has a 15-9 record against the East this season.
UPCOMING GAMES (ALL GAMES ON TSN)
Hamilton at Edmonton, Friday, 9 p.m. EST
The Tiger-Cats can take control of the final playoff spot in the East Division by handing the Eskimos their fifth straight loss. The Eskimos have dropped their past two home games by a combined three points. Kerry Joseph gets the ball looking to avenge a 43-point loss from three weeks ago.
Our pick: Eskimos by 5
Calgary at B.C., Saturday, 10 p.m. EST
In Week 5, the Lions held Jon Cornish to minus-1 yard on six carries as B.C. crushed the Stamps. Since then, Cornish has torn up the rest of the CFL’s West Division. He looks for redemption against a hurting Lions team that could be without receivers Arland Bruce and Geroy Simon.
Our pick: Stamps by 1
Winnipeg at Montreal, Monday, 1 p.m. EST
This is a triple whammy for the Bombers. Buck Pierce is hurting and may not play, the Alouettes are 6-1 at home this season and are coming off a humiliating loss in Hamilton. Even with S.J. Green out, the Als are a powerful force when motivated as they should be with the Argos chasing them down for first place.
Our pick: Alouettes by 20
Saskatchewan at Toronto, Monday, 4:30 p.m. EST
The last time they Riders went into Rogers Centre, they were struggling with a new head coach. They lost, and promptly went home and fired Greg Marshall. Much has changed in a year. This year’s new head coach, Corey Chamblin has them playing well. In Argo camp, everything surrounds the health of QB Ricky Ray. If he plays, they have a better chance to win.
Our pick: Riders by 6
Jamel Richardson will get 100 receiving yards this week. Coming off a year when the Montreal Alouettes receiver had 12 100-yard games but was shut out of consideration for the CFL’s most outstanding player award (the Montreal media didn’t nominate him), it seemed like he would be motivated to replicate his 2011 season. But injuries have slowed the Als slotback and S.J. Green took over as the go-to guy. Now Green is hobbled by a knee injury, so expect Richardson to take control of the receiving corps again. The struggling Blue Bombers are the perfect opponent for that.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
“Hey Ringless Milt...I’m sacrificing stats 4 TEAM success, maybe if U weren’t so concerned with PERSONAL stats U’d have a ring” #cfl #tsn
@MiltStegallTSN stop lying & get a clue or get off TSN as a lying analyst, Jones is runnin stuff he never has b4, I got 2 1on1 rushes 2night
@MiltStegallTSN Oh and I just did some statistical calculations myself...you’re still on pace for zero championships
— Argos defensive end Ricky Foley in response to criticism from TSN analyst Milt Stegall (a former Blue Bombers receiver) about his lack of sack totals in the Chris Jones defence
CFL STARS OF THE WEEK
QB Henry Burris, ’Cats — 326 yards and career-high five TDs on 28-of-32, plus 34 yards rushing
LB Adam Bighill, Lions — Second straight award after franchise-best 13 tackle in loss to Riders
KR Trent Guy, Als — Second straight award after counting 190 yards on 10 kick/punt returns
RB Jon Cornish, Stamps — Rushed for 180 yards and two TDs on 20 carries in a victory