CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

Calgary (9-6) at B.C. (10-4)

The skinny: Today, 10 p.m. (TSN). With time running out on the regular season, the Stampeders can ill afford to lose this one. In fact, you can call it a must-win for them (next week against the Lions, too). The Lions have a few things in their favour over the Stamps, although both teams have locked up playoff berths. Along with having one more win, B.C. leads the season series 1-0 (courtesy of a 43-20 victory July 21 in Calgary) and holds a game in hand. As well, the Lions are the CFL's hottest team, having won eight of their last nine games. B.C. has an embarrassment of riches at quarterback. That's because in last weekend's 28-8 drubbing of the Tiger-Cats --With Dave Dickenson and Buck Pierce on the shelf -- the Lions turned to Notre Dame grad Jarious Jackson. All the 29-year-old did was throw his first two CFL TD passes. The Stamps didn't get licked by the offensively challenged Argos on Saturday, but they were beaten (23-16) nonetheless. The Stampeders put up good numbers: Joffrey Reynolds gained 89 yards on 16 carries and Henry Burris passed for 286 yards, hitting 21 of 34 attempts. Thing is, the Argo defence will give up yards, but not a lot of points. B.C.'s D is the same way.

Cody's call: Lions 27-17

Saskatchewan (7-7) at Montreal (8-6)

The skinny: Monday, 1 p.m. (CBC). The Alouettes, with GM Jim Popp taking on the head coaching duties after the departure of Don Matthews on Wednesday, are back in the win column after a miserable run of six straight losses. Despite that significant skid, the Als still share first place in the East with the Argos. The Alouettes, accused in recent weeks of not being on the same page as a team, are praising a team dinner on the road organized by defensive end Ed Phillion, a 36-year-old Essex native, for bringing the guys together prior to last Friday's 23-20 victory over the Blue Bombers. Hey, whatever it takes. While struggling quarterback Anthony Calvillo was clearly back on the beam, the main man in Montreal's resurgence was running back Robert Edwards. Edwards, who hadn't been getting the ball enough in recent games, firmly established the run for the Als with 109 yards and a TD on 21 carries. This, of course, opened the door for play-action and the Als' successful passing game. The Roughriders are looking up at Calgary, who they'd love to overhaul for second in the West, but because of last Saturday's 30-25 loss Edmonton, they're also peeking back over their shoulder at the Eskimos. Edmonton's win boosted the Esks to 5-9, so there's hope for the defending Grey Cup champions -- although not a lot of it. There's not a lot of value in looking back, but after leading 25-17 midway through the fourth quarter, the 'Riders let this one get away. As for the Als, coaching changes often make a team play better -- for a while, at least.

Cody's call: Alouettes 24-21

Edmonton (5-9) at Toronto (8-6)

The skinny: Monday, 4 p.m. (CBC). The stats, of course, that jump out are Edmonton's 1-6 road record and an 0-5 mark against the East. These teams haven't met this season, so there is no history in that regard. The Argonauts are 2-3 against the West after splitting a home-and-home with the Stampeders the last two weekends. Toronto's 23-16 win over the Stamps last Saturday was a defensive delight for Toronto rather than a strong offensive showing. Ricky Williams finally scored his first CFL touchdown, a nine-yard major that put the Argos over the top. Receiver Tony Miles was another bright light against the Stampeders, snagging five Damon Allen passes for 70 yards. Keith Stokes had a couple of catches for 40 yards and Williams can do damage with receptions out of the backfield. The Argos need to use all their weapons. That defence is good and Toronto's special teams can be truly special on any given day, but the Argos still badly need to get their attack going. The Eskimos have desperation on their side, but not much else. Barring a miracle, Edmonton will miss the playoffs for the first time in 35 years.

Cody's call: Argos 24-21

Season record

Last week: 1-3; overall: 32-26


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