'Cats next for Argos

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

With their most recent crazy win behind them, the Argos know more madness awaits next weekend in Hamilton.

But even the most optimistic of Tiger-Cats supporters will be hard-pressed to muster much confidence for the Labour Day Classic.

Not the way their rivals are suddenly looking like a force in a CFL Eastern Division that shows little resemblance to what it did at the beginning of the month.

As solid as they have been during their three-game winning streak, the Argos are trying to remember the law of the CFL, where almost anything goes.

"You find things are going to mutate during the course of the season," Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said after his team moved to .500 with a wild 18-15 comeback win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday night.

"I said it a few weeks ago and I'll say it again. It's probably going to mutate a couple of more times."

With their current success, the Argos (5-5) not only have tied Winnipeg for second in the division, they suddenly are within range of first-place Montreal (7-3.)

Like the Blue Bombers, the Alouettes have dropped their past three and have looked miserable in the process.

Even with the wild times that can happen on Labour Day, the Argos should be clear favourites for the clash at Ivor Wynne Stadium. With a return date at the Rogers Centre the following week, it's not inconceivable the Argos could run their win streak to five.

REAL SHOT

"At this point we've got a legitimate shot to have a home playoff game and a legitimate shot to get back (to Winnipeg for the Grey Cup)," Clemons said.

"But the next couple of weeks we are just going to to focus on Hamilton and getting a win there on Labour Day, which is always a tough thing."

Though much attention is being paid to the exploits of the offence -- particularly the play of quarterback Damon Allen -- the past couple of weeks, Clemons saved his biggest kudos to the defence.

After the offence and special teams struggled in the first half at Winnipeg, the defence dug in to shut out the Bombers in the final 30 minutes to allow for the comeback.

"We are hitting our stride now, something we would have liked to do a lot earlier," Argos linebacker Mike O'Shea said of the league's stingiest defence. "We would have liked to help our team out when we were struggling with the injury bug but that didn't really happen."

BRIEFLY

Running back John Avery decided to have some fun with his teammates by being carted through the Winnipeg airport on a wheelchair yesterday. Avery was nursing a sore foot he banged up late in the fourth quarter Friday and will undergo tests this week ... Thanks to a 10-day break between games, Clemons has given his troops a lenghty rest. The team won't return to full practice until Wednesday.


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