CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

Ottawa (5-4) at Montreal (4-5)

The skinny: Today, 7:30 p.m. (TSN, RDS). Alouettes head coach Don Matthews is not a happy man and says heads will roll if things don't improve quickly. The Als' 36-26 loss in Edmonton last week was their second straight defeat and dropped them below .500. Last year, the Alouettes were 8-1 after nine games. The Als are second in the CFL in points for (282), behind only B.C. (284), and seventh in points allowed (286), ahead of only Hamilton (300) and Winnipeg (286 with one more game played). The Renegades, a surprising yet inconsistent lot, are coming off a bye week that followed an embarrassing 38-17 bombing in Winnipeg. Ottawa moved the ball at will, but couldn't finish. Bet on the Als being in an ugly mood.

Cody's call: Als 27-24

Winnipeg (3-7) at Saskatchewan (3-6)

The skinny: Sunday, 7 p.m. (TSN). Loser gets custody of the basement in the West Division. Both are coming off narrow defeats, but there's a difference. The Roughriders lost 19-15 to unbeaten B.C., the CFL's brightest light these days, while the Kablooie Bombers surrendered Hamilton's first win of the season, 41-39. The Roughies had no business losing. They led the Lions 15-5 with time running out and star pivots Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers out with wounded wings. Bottom line, Saskatchewan collapsed against B.C.'s No. 3 Buck Pierce and lost its fifth game in a row. The Bombers can take away some positives from their loss. QB Kevin Glenn is a warrior, throwing for 416 yards and three touchdowns (plus two interceptions) against the Ticats. Milt Stegall collected his 117th career TD, tying Allen Pitts's CFL record, and Charles Roberts continues to give the Bombers a fearsome ground attack.

Cody's call: Roughriders 30-20

Edmonton (6-3) at Calgary (4-5)

The skinny: Monday, 3 p.m. After splitting back-to-back home games, the Eskimos will stampede into Calgary to renew football's Battle of Alberta. The Eskies also will try to renew a great pitch-and-catch relationship between quarterback Ricky Ray and wideout Jason Tucker. In last week's 36-26 trimming of the Als, Ray threw for 438 yards -- his second straight 400-yard passing effort -- and Tucker made nine snags for 217 yards. While Tucker did catch an early TD pass, the Eskimos also benefited mightily from his later receptions (45, 20 and 82 yards) that set up rushing touchdowns that blew open a game that was tied 19-19 late in the third quarter. In last week's 25-16 loss to the Argos, the Stamps matched Toronto in all facets but one -- special teams and it killed them.

Cody's call: Eskimos 37-21

Toronto (6-3) at Hamilton (1-8)

The skinny: Monday, 5:45 p.m. (TSN). My favourite e-mail in the last few days was the one that arrived from TSN saying they were going to pick up the ball from fumbling CBC, which has locked out 5,500 workers, and show the Labour Day Classic. We all win. The Ticats are no longer toothless after their wild 41-39 win over Winnipeg last week. Who do they have to thank for it? Danny McManus, the Cat most often on the receiving end of the critics' claws this season. Danny Mac completed 20 of 29 passes for 440 yards and three TDs. The Argos needed two kick-return TDs from Bashir Levingston and an inspiring hit from Robert Baker to defeat Calgary. Neither the Argos nor Ticats possess high-scoring attacks. If this one comes down to defence and special teams, take the Argos.

Cody's call: Argos 24-14

Season record Last week: 4-0; overall: 26-15


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