CFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

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

The skinny: East Division semifinal, Sunday, 1 p.m. (CBC). OK, I picked the Argos to win the Grey Cup. At the time, every team was full of hope. I'll stick with my pick, but I'd say the Argos are in trouble. Their offence has been a nightmare of inconsistency and they're coming off back-to-back mediocre offensive efforts in losses to Saskatchewan and Montreal. Before fumbling last weekend's regular-season finale to decide first place in the East, the Argos had the Als by the throat. They let them get away. Up 20-11 after three quarters, the Argos ran away from what got them their lead, the running game. Ricky Williams and John Avery combined for 133 yards on 25 carries on the day, with all but a few in the first half. It was the punishing running of Montreal's Robert Edwards that decided the game 24-20 for the Als. If you aren't concerned about Toronto's attack, these stats, courtesy of Dan Ralph at CP, might change your mind: seventh in points scored (16.7 a game) and rushing (89 yards a game) and last in passing (216 yards a game). The Argos need to run the ball, but that's tough to do against the Bombers, who thwart the run as well as any team in the CFL. The Argos must find a way to get Avery and Williams going to open up play-action and the pass. The Bombers may have an easier time on the run because, as good as Toronto's defence is, it's vulnerable against the run. That's where Charles Roberts comes in. The speedy Bomber, this year's CFL rushing champion with 1,609 yards, has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in all three games this season against the Argos. And Winnipeg will need every inch of turf Roberts can gain. The Bombers lost quarterback Kevin Glenn to an ankle injury during their 26-16 loss in B.C. last Saturday. While it looked fairly severe, Glenn is saying he'll be ready for the Argos. If he's not, the Bombers are likely to struggle because there's a drop-off in skill after Glenn. Basically, Winnipeg has no capable backup. The winner plays at Montreal Nov. 12 in the East final.

Cody's call: Argos 21-19

Saskatchewan (9-9) at Calgary (10-8)

The skinny: West Division semifinal, Sunday, 4 p.m. (CBC). A couple of stats jump out immediately: The Stampeders are 8-1 this season at McMahon Stadium, while the Roughriders are 3-6 on the road. These numbers can't be ignored. The Stampeders feel invincible at home, a huge advantage. Also, they took two of three from the Roughriders. But Saskatchewan still will be a team to be reckoned with. The 'Riders and their rooters are passionate about football and their teams don't go away easily. Expect to see a lot of green jerseys at McMahon tomorrow because Roughrider fans love to travel. The obvious major matchup in this game is Calgary's splendid offence, guided by quarterback Henry Burris, against Saskatchewan's rugged defence. Both units are among the best in the CFL. The Stamps are No. 1 in total offence (383 yards a game) and rushing yards a game (134, largely due to the flying feet of Joffrey Reynolds, who finished second to Roberts with 1,541 yards) and second in points with 25 a game. Burris pitched a league-best 23 TD tosses and receivers Nik Lewis and Jeremaine Copeland are both dangerous game-breakers. The Stamps surrendered only 27 sacks all season, fewest in the league. It's an important stat because the Roughies really like to get after opposing quarterbacks. Indeed, Saskatchewan's 51 sacks were second in the league. It will certainly be one of the major battles in a game shaping up as a war. Who will win? My heart says Saskatchewan -- and it would be even better if ex-Western Mustang Andy Fantuz were to get the winning TD -- but my head says Calgary. The winner plays B.C. in the West final Nov. 12.

Cody's call: Stampeders 27-21

Regular season record

Last week: 2-1; final: 40-32


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