CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Ottawa (6-9) at Hamilton (3-12)

The skinny: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. (TSN). Courtesy of last Friday's 34-17 loss to the Calgary Stampeders, the Tiger-Cats have been officially eliminated from the playoffs. (The Stamps' win also erased the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' last hope.) If the Renegades are to have any shot of making the playoffs -- and their chances lie somewhere between slim and none considering they're two victories behind Calgary and Saskatchewan, one of whom will finish fourth in the West -- they need to tame the 'Cats. Just two weeks ago, the Renegades bounced Hamilton 43-21, a win that snapped Ottawa's five-game losing streak. Clearly, the heat is on Ottawa to repeat the thumping. Meanwhile, Marcus Brady still can't get the job done at QB for the Ticats. Brady started against the Stamps, only to get the hook in favour of Danny McManus after completing just seven of 13 passes for 74 yards through three quarters.

Cody's call: Renegades 30-21

Toronto (9-6) at Montreal (9-6)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 3 p.m. (CBC). First place in the East is up for grabs in this one. The Als enter on a four-game winning streak, the most recent victory -- and perhaps most impressive -- coming Sunday against the West-leading B.C. Lions. The Als zapped B.C. 46-44 when former Saint Mary's University star Dave Stala hauled in a 20-yard TD toss from Anthony Calvillo on the final play of the game. Meanwhile, the Argos also prevailed Sunday on the last play of the game -- a 20-yard Noel Prefontaine field goal that toppled the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 35-32. I love the NFL, but you can't beat the CFL for its strange bounces and exciting finishes. If you're a little afraid for the Argos' run defence, you're not alone. Winnipeg's Charles Roberts punctured it for 176 yards on 24 carries. This week's challenge will be Montreal's Robert Edwards, who rumbled for 115 yards and two TDs on just 13 carries.

Cody's call: Alouettes 33-30

Winnipeg (5-11) at B.C. (11-4)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 10 p.m. (TSN). Who in the West is hurtin' more, the first-place Lions or the basement-imbedded Blue Bombers? The Lions have followed their celebrated 11-0 start with four straight losses. Winnipeg has bombed out, a playoff position impossible. It can't get worse than that. There's no reason to think the Lions' funk will extend to a fifth game with Winnipeg coming in. While the Alouettes clearly stole the Lions' thunder last Sunday, nipping them 46-44, there were positive signs. B.C. QB Casey Printers, who went the distance and seems healthy enough after an injury-filled season, completed 21 of 33 passes for 357 yards and four TDs and ran for 100 yards on nine carries. While the Lions mustered 514 yards of offence -- an amazing total -- the downside is B.C.'s D surrendered 578 yards and 33 first downs to Montreal. Season stats for Londoner/B.C. wideout Ryan Thelwell include 61 catches for 901 yards and six touchdowns.

Cody's call: Lions 44-21

Calgary (8-7) at Saskatchewan (8-8)

The skinny: Sunday, 4 p.m. (TSN). This is big. These two West warriors are battling for third spot in the division, an automatic playoff berth. The team that finishes fourth in the West will still make the postseason in all likelihood by virtue of having a better record at season's end than Ottawa, which will finish third in the East. In their lone regular-season meeting on July 23, the Stamps flattened the injury-riddled Roughriders 44-18 at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. Quarterback Henry Burris, a major reason for the Stamps' success this season, was back for the win over Hamilton after missing three games with a thumb injury on his non-throwing hand. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 221 yards and two third-quarter TDs that iced the win. Bet on this one being a barn-burner, with the Roughriders having just a little more fire.

Cody's call: Roughriders 31-28

Season record

Last week: 4-0; overall: 41-24


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