CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Saskatchewan (9-8) at Edmonton (6-11)

The skinny: Tonight, 9 p.m. (TSN). The defending Grey Cup champion Eskimos are coming off perhaps their best game of the season -- a 30-20 thumping of Montreal, a team with plenty at stake. Too bad it's the final weekend of the regular season and the champs have played like chumps most of the way, a development that will cause the Esks to miss the playoffs for the first time in 35 years. Apparently, they can still be dangerous. The Roughriders are coming off a big game, too -- a 13-9 victory over Toronto, which is in a dogfight with the Alouettes for first place in the East. The 'Riders had their playoff faces on against the Argos, holding them to just 164 yards of total offence, 11 first downs and no touchdowns. Former Western Mustangs star Andy Fantuz, a Chatham native, continues to be a treat to watch. The Rider rookie snagged a pair of passes (his 22nd and 23rd catches of the season), including a 12-yarder from Kerry Joseph in the second quarter that stood up as the winning touchdown.

Cody's call: Eskimos 24-22

Montreal (9-8) at Toronto (10-7)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 3 p.m. (CBC). This game will decide first place in the East Division, a prize worth winning because it's the holder's free ticket to the East final. So, who wants it? Neither, it seems, judging by the way both played last weekend. The Als were flat and ineffective in losing to the Eskimos, who had nothing on the line but pride. The Argos' offence went AWOL in a dreadful loss to Saskatchewan. If the Argos win or draw tomorrow, they finish first, Montreal finishes second and Winnipeg gets third. However, if the Als prevail (and the Blue Bombers beat B.C.), Montreal finishes first, the Bombers get second and the Argos fall to third. This one is a tossup. The Als have won just two of their last 10 and, shockingly, appeared unfocused and uninterested against the Eskimos. The Argos, brilliant on D, must find a way to resuscitate their attack.

Cody's call: Argos 22-17

Winnipeg (9-8) at B.C. (12-5)

The skinny: Tomorrow, 10 p.m. (TSN). Excuse the Lions if they seem a little uninterested. Their work in the regular season is done and, for them, this game will be about staying healthy and giving quarterbacks Buck Pierce and Dave Dickenson enough work to stay sharp. After tomorrow, the West-winning Lions don't play till the West final Nov. 12 in Vancouver. This game is big for Winnipeg. The Bombers will catch second in the East if they tame the Lions and Montreal beats Toronto tomorrow. Winnipeg has been the class of the East recently, as the Als and Argos stumble. While this is secondary to his team's fate, Bomber slotback Milt Stegall needs just one touchdown to tie the CFL career record of 137, currently shared by Mike Pringle and George Reed. With Bomber back Charles Roberts having locked up his second straight rushing title (1,560 yards), Stegall should see the football a lot.

Cody's call: Lions 24-21

Season record

Last week: 2-2; overall: 38-31


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