Sizing up the Cup combatants

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Perry Lefko sizes up the two sides, position by position, and comes away without being able to give either team a distinct advantage on paper.

QUARTERBACK

Als have experience in Anthony Calvillo, playing for the third time in the last four Cups, but team is vulnerable with backup Ted White. Esks starter Ricky Ray hasn't slumped in recent weeks, but backup Jason Maas is hot.

Edge: Even

RECEIVERS

Als have four players who caught 1,000 yards or more and are predominantly a passing team and Ben Cahoon is a big-play guy. Edmonton has two big-play receivers in Jason Tucker, who led the league with 1,411 yards, and Derrell Mitchell.

Edge: Montreal

RUNNING BACKS

Edmonton's Troy Davis has been a big factor in the playoffs and is hungry playing in his first Cup. Eric Lapointe moves from backup to starter and is equally capable if he doesn't get hurt.

Edge: Edmonton

OFFENSIVE LINE

Als' line is consistently strong, particularly in pass protection. Edmonton's line has been a work in progress and may be vulnerable facing Montreal's active, blitzing scheme, likely off the edge.

Edge: Montreal

DEFENSIVE LINE

Eskimos play with a four-man front that is slightly banged up on the edge. Montreal's front four is active, but is aided with support coming from all angles.

Edge: Montreal

LINEBACKERS

Eskimos are solid against the pass and the run with a combination of toughness and speed. Als employ their experienced 'backers in their blitz scheme, but are using a rookie in the middle.

Edge: Even

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Esks are solid across and particularly capable up the middle with veteran Kelly Wiltshire. Als' back end is only as effective as the rush up and could be vulnerable in man-to-man coverage.

Edge: Edmonton

SPECIAL TEAMS

Als have a strong returner in Ezra Landry, while Eskimos counter with Tony Tompkins, but don't be surprised if the strategy is to kick away from them. Edge in kicking goes to experienced Sean Fleming.

Edge: Edmonton

COACHING

This is really an intangible because it's all about which team handles the game plan, but Don Matthews' experience far outweighs that of Eskimos counterpart Danny Maciocia, who is in his first year of coaching.

Edge: Even


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