CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:02 AM ET

Calgary (3-4) at Montreal (4-3)

The skinny: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. (TSN, RDS). The Alouettes are back. Back-to-back victories -- 42-13 over Saskatchewan two weeks ago and 18-10 over Toronto last week -- say so. The Als are doing good things these days. Their much-maligned D dominated the Argos, chasing backup quarterback Michael Bishop to the showers at halftime. All in all, Montreal's defence was the model of consistency, forcing the Argos into four turnovers (two interceptions, a fumble and an on-downs) and collecting three sacks. Even though starting running back Eric Lapointe (hamstring) has been on the shelf for two weeks, his replacement, Robert Edwards, has raced for 271 yards, including 124 vs. the Argos. You can't ask more of a backup. With Montreal playing like this, the Stamps just might take a licking.

Cody's call: Alouettes 37-20

Ottawa (5-3) at Winnipeg (2-6)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 8:30 p.m. First-place Ottawa Renegades. Say that fast 10 times and you may well fall over laughing. At 5-3, the Renegades have played one more game than Toronto and Montreal, who share second spot in the East at 4-3. But five wins matches Ottawa's victory total for all of last season when they struggled to 5-13 after bolting out of the gate 3-0. They started 1-2 this season, but have been gangbusters since. In last week's 22-17 win over Saskatchewan, the Renegades did it with defence down the stretch -- interceptions by Korey Banks and Bo Rogers in the final four minutes. Banks' pick led to QB Kerry Joseph's 10-yard TD sprint with 3:18 remaining. Winnipeg embarrassed Hamilton 44-14 last week, giving the Bombers wins this season over two beasts from the East. Montreal is their other victim.

Cody's call: Renegades 24-17

Hamilton (0-7) at B.C. (7-0)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 10 p.m. (TSN). Talk about a matchup between teams headed in opposite directions. The 7-0 Lions are easy to explain. They have bite on both sides of the ball; special teams, too. London Catholic Central grad Ryan Thelwell leads B.C.'s classy crop of pass catchers with 32 snags. His numbers also include 432 receiving yards -- 13.5 yards a grab -- and two touchdowns. The 0-7 Tiger-Cats, thumped by 30 points last week in Winnipeg, are much tougher to figure out. "It's all of us," Ticats head coach Greg Marshall said following last week's bombing. "All of us need to take a good, hard look at what we're doing, coaches included." One thing, the 'Cats offence is a killer -- it's killing them. You can't score fewer than 20 points a game and win in the CFL. Injured Danny McManus (passing hand) may be ready to go against B.C., but probably not. Is that bad news or good?

Cody's call: Lions 30-15

Toronto (4-3) at Edmonton (5-2)

The skinny: Saturday, 9 p.m. (CBC). Bruised ankle aside, Damon Allen looked so good in the second half of last week's Argo loss to the Als, you might question the decision not to start him. Michael Bishop got the nod instead and got the Argos off on the wrong foot. With Bishop completing just six of 11 passes for 41 yards in the first half and the Argos down 14-0, the Argos turned to Allen for the final half. The 42-year-old rallied his guys admirably -- as he has a way of doing -- by completing 21 of 30 for 246 yards and a TD. The Als weren't kind to the old guy, either, taking away a fumble and an interception. The Eskimos are coming off a bye week, so they'll be rested. Ricky Ray of the Eskies has thrown for more yards (2,388) and touchdowns (16) than other CFL quarterbacks, although with an efficiency rating of 94.6, he trails both B.C.'s Dave Dickenson (117.7) and Allen (106.0). About the only place the Eskies are hurting is at running back.

Cody's call: Eskimos 23-22

Season record Last week: 2-2; overall: 21-12


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