CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Hamilton (3-11) at Calgary (7-7)

The skinny: Tonight, 7 p.m. (TSN). The Stampeders are coming off a bye week; the Tiger-Cats are back after saying bye-bye to their playoff hopes. Hamilton stomped the Edmonton Eskimos 40-14 two weeks ago and seemed ready to get back into the playoff race. All that good feeling evaporated last Friday when the Ticats were tamed and declawed 43-21 by the Ottawa Renegades, the struggling squad the Tabbies were chasing for third place in the East. Earlier in the week, the Ticats made instant Grey Cup contenders of the Eskimos by shipping them star running back Troy Davis, giving Edmonton the running attack it desperately needed. The Tiger-Cats should be playing for jobs, pride, fun, but they don't seem very hungry as the season slips away. Calgary is home and has a chance to pull even with Saskatchewan for third in the West.

Cody's call: Stampeders 31-24

Saskatchewan (8-7) at Edmonton (9-6)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 3 p.m. (CBC). Expect the battle in the West to be ferocious with the Eskimos and Roughriders right in the thick of things. Edmonton has a precarious two-point hold on second place just ahead of Saskatchewan. And now running back Troy Davis has been plugged into their offence. So, the Eskimos' attack can no longer be characterized as one-dimensional: they have the running game to go along with what is arguably the best passing game in the league. Davis ran 19 times for 119 yards versus the Argos in Monday's 17-13 Edmonton win. Edmonton QB Ricky Ray said Davis's addition makes the Eskimos tougher to defend against and gives them the ability to run the clock down. The Roughriders shouldn't be too hard on themselves. They'd won five in a row and, in losing 38-34 to the Alouettes last Saturday, fell to a pretty fair football team.

Cody's call: Eskimos 33-30

B.C. (11-3) at Montreal (8-6)

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. (TSN, RDS). While the Lions are still firmly in front out West, their aura of invincibility has been smashed. Three straight losses, even after an 11-0 start, will do that. Injuries to their star quarterbacks Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers will do it, too. The Alouettes have the golden arm of QB Anthony Calvillo to pick them up. He did it again in Montreal's 38-34 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday. With his team trailing and facing a second-and-31 early in the fourth quarter, Calvillo connected with Kerry Watkins on a 62-yard reception to the Roughriders' 14. Shortly thereafter, Calvillo ran in from four yards out for what turned out to be the winning TD. Bottom line: The Als share top spot in the East with Toronto. The Lions likely only need to get healthy at QB to return to championship form. No question, though, watching them struggle the last three weeks has shaken our confidence in them. Is it B.C.'s year?

Cody's call: Alouettes 36-33

Toronto (8-6) at Winnipeg (5-10)

The skinny: Sunday, 4 p.m. (TSN). The Argos will have to be careful. The Ka-blooie Bombers blew up the B.C. Lions on Thanksgiving Day. The Bombers have won two of their last three, so their playoff flame hasn't been completely extinguished. But it's close. Winnipeg, whose taming of the Lions was its lone win against a West Division team (to go with four against the East), must finish fourth in the West and have a better record than the third-place finisher in the East, which is currently 6-8 Ottawa. With three games left, the Bombers must keep winning. They'll need their relentless D to keep on playing the way it did versus the Lions because Damon Allen and the receiver-rich Argos have a tendency to make mistakes when the heat goes up. The Argos didn't stop Edmonton's Troy Davis last week. Will they have better luck against Charles Roberts of the Bombers? And they'll need to keep an eye on Milt Stegall, who scored four TDs on four catches against the Lions.

Cody's call: Argos 24-21

Season record

Last week: 0-4; overall: 37-24


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