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Many playoff questions still exist heading into final week of CFL regular season

November 01, 2017 - 12:48 PM

There's no shortage of intrigue heading into the final week of the CFL regular season.

Three of the four games are meaningful and will have a direct bearing on the final standings, home dates and matchups. The six playoff teams have been determined but only the Calgary Stampeders (13-3-1) know for sure where and when they'll play once the post-season begins.

The B.C. Lions (7-10) will definitely miss the playoffs but will have a say on what team finishes atop the East Division. That will then determine who'll host the conference semifinal and final leading up to the Grey Cup, which will be held Nov. 26 at TD Place in Ottawa.

Calgary might've already secured its playoff berth but has plenty to play for Friday night versus Winnipeg (11-6). The Stampeders have dropped two straight games for the first time since 2012 and don't want spend their bye week before the West final answering questions about their three-game losing streak.

The Stampeders haven't lost three straight since 2007 and have not gone into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak since 1957.

Then there's the matter of the Blue Bombers, who'll try to clinch second spot in the West facing the league's top-ranked squad without starter Matt Nichols (leg). And the Edmonton Eskimos (11-6) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-7) will determine who'll cross over into the East Division for the playoffs.

Let the fun begin.

Montreal Alouettes versus Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Friday night)

Hamilton (5-12) looks to improve to 6-4 under interim head coach June Jones. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 438 yards and four TDs in last week's 41-36 loss to Ottawa while Brandon Banks (13 catches, 193 yards, two TDs) recorded his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game. Rookie Matt Shiltz makes his first CFL start for Montreal (3-14), which has lost 10 straight games.

Prediction: Hamilton.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers versus Calgary Stampeders (Friday night)

Dan LeFevour will start for Winnipeg (11-6), which has lost two straight. LeFevour is in his fifth CFL season but is just 2-5 as a starter. Running back Andrew Harris, who suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit in last weekend's 36-27 loss to B.C., will play needing 33 rushing yards to hit 1,000 and 60 to surpass league leader William Powell of Ottawa. Calgary is 7-2 versus Western teams and Jerome Messam is second overall in league rushing with 986 yards.

Prediction: Calgary.

Edmonton Eskimos versus Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday night)

Edmonton can finish second in the West with a victory and Winnipeg loss or tie. The Eskimos have been streaky all year, opening the season 7-0 then dropping six straight before embarking on their current four-game win streak. Saskatchewan would clinch third with a win and visit Winnipeg in the West semifinal while relegating the Eskimos to the East Division. But an Edmonton win would make the Riders the Eastern crossover team.

Prediction: Saskatchewan.

Toronto Argonauts versus B.C. Lions (Saturday night)

Toronto (8-9) needs a tie or win to clinch first in the East and home field for division final. The Argos come off the bye well rested but are 2-7 versus West Division teams and just 2-6 on the road. Jonathon Jennings threw for 408 yards and four TDs last weekend against Winnipeg but the Lions have dropped their last two home games versus Eastern clubs and are 3-5 overall at B.C. Place.

Prediction: Toronto.

Last week: 1-3.

Overall: 51-25-1.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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