CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

Saskatchewan (3-3) at Montreal (2-3)

The skinny: Tonight, 7 p.m. (TSN, RDS). What's up with these two? It's only Week 7, so there's no need to hit the panic button, but both the Als and Roughriders are struggling. Each has lost its last two games. First, the Als. It's not just that Damon Allen riddled their defence, which, by the way, is surrendering 35 points a game, for 320 yards and four touchdowns in a 36-24 Toronto victory last week. It's that Montreal failed to get pressure on the 42-year-old grandpa and missed tackles all over the field. The Roughriders? They should have put Ottawa away in the first half when they had the ball 20 minutes, 44 seconds and piled up 273 yards of offence. Instead of being home free, Saskatchewan led the Renegades only 9-2 at the break. The 'Riders began making mistakes in the second half (a botched long snap, a kickoff out of bounds, a Nealon Greene shovel pass that found its way into the wrong hands). Bottom line, the Renegades, one of the CFL's pleasant surprises this season, did in the 'Riders, 21-16. The good news for Saskatchewan is they go into Montreal healthy for once.

Cody's call: Roughriders 30-23

Edmonton (5-1) at B.C. (5-0)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 7 p.m. (TSN). This one shapes up as the week's best game, a heavyweight tussle for first place in the West. The Eskimos have scored more points (176) and given up fewer (119) than any other team this season. Still, the Eskies needed a spectacular game from quarterback Ricky Ray just to sneak by the winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-30 last week -- and they got it. Ray threw for five touchdowns -- giving him a league-best 14 on the season -- while completing 25 of 36 passes for 365 yards. Not all is well in Edmonton. Penalties are a plague. The Eskimos drew 15 flags against the Ticats, including a dozen in the first half alone. The Lions' numbers -- 162 points for, 120 against -- almost mirror Edmonton's, and they've played one less game. Needless to say, B.C. is brilliant on offence. Quarterback Dave Dickenson is on fire, running back Antonio Warren is back and bruisin' and London's Ryan Thelwell was unstoppable in B.C.'s 40-27 win over Calgary last week. He collected 10 of Dickenson's completions for 145 yards and his first two TDs of the season. That gives the Catholic Central grad 27 catches for 351 yards (13-yard average).

Cody's call: Lions 38-35

Ottawa (3-3) at Hamilton (0-5)

The skinny: Saturday, 7 p.m. The Tiger-Cats have done a switcheroo at quarterback -- but not because oft-criticized pivot Danny McManus faltered last week in Edmonton. No, Danny Mac was KO'd by injury. While his career is clearly in decline, the 40-year-old McManus was enjoying his second straight strong outing when he whacked his throwing hand on a teammate's helmet. McManus, tough as they come and stoic in the face of injury, couldn't hide his pain. He's likely out for a while, meaning either newly-acquired Khari Jones or Marcus Brady will get the start. Brady, little used this season, went in when Danny Mac came out in the third quarter, completing 15 of 24 passing tries for 160 yards, two TDs and an interception. He probably deserves to start vs. the Renegades, but may not. The Ticats need a win and Ottawa, as well as it's playing, is beatable.

Cody's call: Tiger-cats 28-20

Winnipeg (1-5) at Calgary (2-3)

The skinny: Saturday, 7 p.m. (CBC). The math didn't add up. According to the final stats sheet for Calgary's 40-27 loss to B.C. last week, the Lions had the ball for 42 minutes, 57 seconds and the Stamps had it 18:03. Hmm, that adds up to 61 minutes -- which can't be. But any way you figure it, the Stamps' defence was on the field way too long. The good news is Calgary QB Henry Burris made good use of the little time he had with the pigskin. Stellar for a second straight week, he completed 16 of 23 for 309 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also ran one across the line. Calgary running back Joffrey Reynolds is a handful as well, averaging close to 100 yards a game. So the Stamps have reason to feel positive. In bowing 34-27 to the East-leading Toronto Argos Monday, the Bombers, for the most part, were ineffective and uninspired. The Argos were playing their second game in 90 hours and lost Damon Allen to an ankle injury early in the third quarter.

Cody's call: Stampeders 28-24

Season record Last week: 3-2; overall 17-8


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