Several teams will be looking for any momentum gained by a win this weekend as they head into their respective bye weeks, while other teams just want their first win at home. Either way there are a lot of great match-ups this week and it kicks off with the Montreal Alouettes hosting the Edmonton Eskimos who are coming off their first loss of the season.
Edmonton Eskimos at Montreal Alouettes
Date: Thursday, August 11, 2011
Time: 6:30PM CST
Team Record: 5-1 | Team Record: 4-2
For the Eskimos, they enter week seven coming off a loss that opened their eyes and showed they are not unbeatable and have some areas of the game to work on. Ricky Ray was sacked four times while picked off another three.
The Alouettes snapped a two-game losing streak after their 36-23 road win over the Toronto Argonauts last Thursday night. Anthony Calvillo was his usual self, completing 83 percent of his passes for over 300 yards and a touchdown.
Thursday night will be another big match-up for Edmonton as it looks to beat one of the better teams from in the East. It's already lost to the best team in the East and will have its hands full with the Montreal Alouettes.
You have the two top passing quarterbacks playing, the top running back for Montreal in Brandon Whitaker and the interception leader in Edmonton's Rod Williams. This will be a shoot-out and anything can happen.
Verdict: Montreal by six.
Calgary Stampeders at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Date: Friday, August 12, 2011
Time: 8:00PM CST
Team Record: 4-2 | Team Record: 1-5
The Calgary Stampeders got their first win at home Saturday night against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to improve to 4-2 on the year—a game behind Edmonton. They are, however, 3-0 on the road and that is where they will be this weekend while visiting Saskatchewan for a divisional showdown.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have already made a move this season by placing Tad Kornegay on waivers and letting him go to B.C. Lions, then followed this up by trading non-import defensive end Luc Mullinder for import receiver Dallas Baker from the Montreal Alouettes.
There is no question that there is a love/hate relationship brewing between quarterback Darian Durant and offensive coordinator Doug Berry. However, if these two want to see success for their football team, they will need to put aside any petty differences and execute a game plan, or more changes will be made.
Calgary will continue with its successful formula behind two backs in Joffrey Reynolds and Jon Cornish. They will also need to rely on receiver Romby Bryant, whose production has been on a steady downturn.
Henry Burris hasn’t been the dominant quarterback the league knows him by so far this season. However, he has put up good numbers through six games and is 4-2 for a reason. Like Calgary last week heading home, Saskatchewan also is winless at home and looking to break that streak.
Verdict: Saskatchewan by four.
Toronto Argonauts at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Time: 6:00PM CST
Team Record: 1-5 | Team Record: 3-3
The Toronto Argonauts were dealt a huge blow Tuesday morning after learning that Kevin Eiben suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will be lost for the season. At the same time, this means Toronto will need to work in a new holder as Eiben shared those duties on special teams as well.
For the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, their three-game winning streak was brought to an end against Calgary with a game-ending interception thrown by Kevin Glenn. It was his first interception since week two and fifth on the season.
Running back Avon Cobourne has given life to Hamilton’s run game with his fourth straight productive game and is third in the league with 398 yards.
Toronto will need Cleo Lemon to get out of the gate fast and on target or it will be a long day for the Double Blue. They will need to have an answer for receiver Dave Stala, who leads the league with six touchdowns.
Verdict: Toronto by three.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at B.C. Lions
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Time: 9:00PM CST
Team Record: 5-1 | Team Record: 1-5
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defense continued its stellar playing with sack leader Odell Willis adding to his numbers, and was joined by rookies Kenny Mainor and Bryant Turner. The team was without long-standing outspoken defensive tackle Doug Brown, but Don Oramasionwu hasn’t missed a beat in his place.
The B.C. Lions got their first win at home and of the season after holding the Saskatchewan Roughriders to just one point in the second half and eleven points overall. Travis Lulay contained the game and did not get out of his zone while putting together drives when it mattered most.
The Blue Bombers will once again be without the services of Doug Brown or Dorian Smith this weekend, and will look for their backups to help lead the team to a big win heading into the bye week.
Winnipeg head coach Paul LaPolice is doing all he can to keep his team calm and collected during its four-game win streak and best record since 1987. LaPolice knows there is plenty more football to be had and anything can happen.
The Lions go up against a defense that is best in the air by limiting teams to just an average of 223 yards a game. If they want to win, they’ll need to contain Lulay who is explosive on the run and running back Jamal Robertson. The Bombers have averaged 100 yards allowed on the ground and is fifth overall on defense.
Verdict: Winnipeg by eight.