It's Brady's bunch

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos have caught a massive break.

But can the last place team in the West Division actually capitalize?

The Montreal Alouettes will go to battle against Edmonton tonight at Commonwealth Stadium without regular quarterback Anthony Calvillo and top receiver Ben Cahoon.

"If there is ever a time to get a win on Montreal it is when those two guys are out," said Edmonton receiver Kamau Peterson.

"To me, (they are) their two best players."

Calvillo is on the shelf with a shoulder injury.

Cahoon - the CFL leader in receptions with 65 - has a chest injury.

So, the Als will send Marcus Brady behind centre and will throw rookie Eric Deslauriers into Cahoon's spot.

"To me, I want to say 75 to 80% of their offence goes to those two (Calvillo and Cahoon)," added Eskimo defensive tackle Ron Warner.

But Montreal did claw-out a win against B.C. last weekend without Calvillo and Cahoon - for part of the game.

The recipe for success will be the same this week - hand the ball to rookie running-back Jarrett Payton, hoping for the best.

The son of legendary Chicago Bear Walter Payton, Baby Payton - as he is called in the Eskimo locker-room - is the reigning CFL offensive player of the week for his 119 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Lions.

And he's about to face an Edmonton defence that has been run over this year.

Like never before, the Eskimo front seven have to rise to the challenge to keep the club's playoff hopes from sinking to further depths.

"I think we are on the field a lot," continued Warner, on why the defence is giving up an average of 135 rushing yards a game, the most in the league.

"A lot of the guys are getting fatigued.

"But it is crunch time now.

"We got to knock the running game out.

"We stop it in the first half, but it is the second half that is getting us."

Edmonton wants to force Brady into the limelight, making him throw the ball against a secondary that is starting to establish some consistency.

Although defensive back Stanford Samuels watched yesterday's walk-through practice with a walking cast on his injured foot, he will play tonight.

It means Edmonton will start the same secondary for back-to-back games, a major irregularity this year.

If the Green and Gold are able to slow down Payton - like they did Jesse Lumsden - the defensive line can then turn to some other adjustments made this week in practice.

"We have got some new plays in for us to get after the quarterback a little more," said Warner.

A good team will be able to accomplish it all.

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WHO HAS THE EDGE?

Quarterback - Eskimos

Defensive line - Alouettes

Running back - Alouettes

Linebackers - Alouettes

Receivers - Eskimos

Secondary - Alouettes

Offensive line - Eskimos

Return game - Alouettes

Coaching - Alouettes

Kicking - Alouettes


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