Realty One

Thursday, October 4, 2018



They're the first CFL team to clinch a post-season berth. On Monday, the Calgary Stampeders can become the first squad to cement a home playoff game.

Calgary (11-2) can sew up home-field advantage for a playoff contest on Thanksgiving Monday with a win or tie over the Montreal Alouettes (3-11) at Molson Stadium. Should the Als manage to pull off the monumental upset, the Stampeders still would secure a home playoff contest if Winnipeg, B.C. and Edmonton all lose this week.

There's a very good reason why home-field advantage is important to the Stampeders. They're a stellar 7-0 this season at McMahon Stadium.

The game also has playoff implications for Montreal, which will be eliminated from post-season contention with a loss.

On paper, the Als-Stampeders game appears to be a huge mismatch. Calgary has the CFL's best record and is 7-0 versus East Division competition while Montreal has the league's worst mark and is a dismal 1-8 against Western clubs.

Johnny Manziel makes his fifth start this season for Montreal, searching for his first CFL win. The former Heisman Trophy winner threw two TD passes - his first on Canadian soil - in the Alouettes' 34-29 loss last weekend to Saskatchewan but still finished 9-of-16 passing for 138 yards and was sacked five times.

Prediction: Calgary.


At Ottawa, the Redblacks (8-5) can clinch a home playoff game with a win or tie or Toronto loss to B.C. The Redblacks have not played since a 28-15 home victory over Edmonton on Sept. 21 when rookie kicker Lewis Ward hit seven field goals to boost his streak to a CFL-record 37 straight. Winnipeg (7-7) comes off an impressive 30-3 road win over Edmonton as Kevin Fogg forced a fumble, recovered another and had a 71-yard interception return for a TD.

Prediction: Ottawa.

TORONTO AT B.C., Saturday

At Vancouver, B.C. (6-7) returns to B.C. Place, where the Lions 5-1 this season. The Lions desperately need a win to remain in the West Division playoff picture and erase the memory of last weekend's 40-10 road loss to Hamilton, which will clinch a home playoff date with a loss by Toronto (3-10). The Argos are 0-6 on the road and would be eliminated from post-season contention with a loss and wins by both Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Prediction: B.C.


At Regina, the Roughriders (9-5) come in on a roll, having won six of their last seven overall. Last week, Zach Collaros had 394 passing yards - his first 300-yard game this year - against Montreal. The Eskimos (7-7) have dropped two straight and quarterback Mike Reilly, last year's MVP, has 440 yards passing, one TD and three interceptions over that span. Duke Williams (shoulder), the CFL's leading receiver, is expected to play for the home side.

Prediction: Saskatchewan.

Last week: 3-1.

Overall: 39-22.

(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)

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