CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

Ottawa (5-8) at Toronto (7-5)

The skinny: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. (TSN). The Ottawa Renegades continued their free-fall last week in Calgary, losing 45-23 -- yikes -- to the Stampeders, a gutsy, surprising team that is down to its No. 3 quarterback -- Danny Vimprine, 24, a six-foot-two, 225-pounder out of Memphis. Now, Vimprine was OK against the Renegades, completing 10 of 21 for 162 yards and a touchdown after replacing injured Jason Gesser, who was replacing injured Henry Burris. But it was Stamps running back Joffery Reynolds and his 185 yards and two TDs on 29 carries that really did in Ottawa. Come to think of it, the Renegades, owners of the CFL's most porous defence, can't stop anything. The only thing that can stop the mistake-prone Argos this night is themselves.

Cody's call: Argos 27-20

Edmonton (8-5) at Hamilton (2-10)

The skinny: Friday, 7:30 p.m. (TSN). The Eskimos, the dominating version most of us expected to see this season, were out in force last weekend when the previously unbeaten B.C. Lions visited Commonwealth Stadium. The Eskies beat B.C. 37-20, the Lions' first loss after 11 wins. The victory improved Edmonton to 8-5 and gives the Eskimos a leg up, on hard-charging Saskatchewan and Calgary in the chase for second in the West. The Roughies and Stamps are both 7-6. The feeling among the Eskimos is that the B.C. game was their first solid, start-to-finish performance of the season. Highlights included: Tony Tompkins' tie-breaking 85-yard kickoff return for a TD in the fourth quarter; quarterback Ricky Ray completing 26 of 30 passes for 260 yards and a touchdown; running back Ron McClendon rambling for two TDs and ageless Joe Montford collecting two sacks. The Eskimos couldn't possibly lose to the Ticats, could they?

Cody's call: Eskimos 33-17

Montreal (6-6) at Calgary (7-6)

The skinny: Saturday, 7 p.m. (CBC, RDS). The hot-and-cold Montreal Alouettes spotted the Winnipeg Blue Bombers a 14-3 first quarter lead, then caught fire and put up double figures in points in each of the last three quarters. The Als amassed 613 yards of offence and scored four second-half touchdowns. And while Winnipeg's Charles Roberts (150 yards on 22 carries) outdid Montreal's Robert Edwards (121 yards on 16 lugs), in their matchup, it was a Edwards' TD runs of one and 15 yards that meant more to the outcome. The Als should not have lost 51-46 to Winnipeg on July 22. Last week's result was more in tune with the teams' talents. Meanwhile, Calgary can't be counted out. If Joffrey Reynolds can continue to run the ball well, and if the Stamps defence doesn't wilt, it might just be a great game.

Cody's call: Alouettes 31-28

Saskatchewan (7-6) at B.C. (11-1)

The skinny: Saturday, 10 p.m. (TSN). This one shapes up as the game of the week. With their unbeaten season out the window after their loss to Edmonton and first place in the West all but locked up, the Lions need to get back to basic, smash-mouth football. They don't get another shot at the Eskimos till Oct. 28, the second-last week of the season, so there's no need to dwell on the loss. It's likely just a blip in any case. B.C.'s problem is this week's opponent is the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who have won four in a row and look as good as any team in the CFL. In their 24-13 win over the Argos last week, Saskatchewan unleashed its one-two running punch of Kenton Keith and Corey Holmes, who shredded the Arghs for a combined 242 yards. The Rider D is a threat as well. (Ask Toronto.) The turning point in Saskatchewan's dispatching of Toronto came in the second quarter when the Roughriders stuffed the Argonauts three straight times from the one-yard line. This 'Rider bunch is rough, and getting rougher.

Cody's call: Lions 24-21

Season record

Last week: 3-1; overall: 37-20


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