Season record: 11-13
Last week: 3-1
Edmonton (4-1) at BC (2-3)
The Eskimos are probably the hottest team in the CFL right now and are getting production from every position. Having not allowed a touchdown in 45 straight possessions, the Eskimos also own the league's top defence. That stout defence will be up against a struggling Lions' offence who only managed to put up a mere 13 points against a mediocre Bombers' unit, largely thanks to Travis Lulay's struggles leading to a league-worst passing-offence. The seven-year veteran is in a slump, and he won't have as good as of a rushing-attack or pass-protection against Edmonton to help him out. BC's defence, meanwhile, isn't playing much better, therefore even without Shakir Bell, I think Edmonton will find ways to put the ball in the end-zone.
Montreal (2-3) at Ottawa (3-2)
Expect another barn-burner at TD Place as two East Division foes clash on Friday Night. Both teams are anchored by solid defences, so I think Ottawa's defensive backs will be play a large role in the outcome of the game. The league's top secondary, as I've continuously proclaimed since the off-season, were spectacular in their last outing against Calgary and are matched up against a far less intimidating corps of receivers versus Montreal. Coming off a great showing before their bye week, Ottawa's offence will be faced with a tough task against Montreal's dominant defence. I doubt they'll find success with Chevon Walker on the ground against Noel Thorpe's unit, instead relying on Henry Burris and his bevy of receivers to move the chains through the air. It's hard to say if they'll be able to consistently do so, but if 'D-Block' can slow down SJ Green, they'll be getting the ball back to the offence enough for them to gain some traction.
Saskatchewan (0-6) at Toronto (3-2)
This game is a no-brainer. In their home-opener, the Double-Blue host a depleted Roughriders team undergoing some midseason changes and controversy. The Argos are a better team than they showed last week against Hamilton and will want to prove so at home in front of their fans. Trevor Harris and his dynamic group of receivers will have their way with Saskatchewan, while Brandon Whitaker will have a great opportunity to get back on track against a porous run-defence. Fortunately for the Riders, rookie pivot Brett Smith wont be dealing with a ferocious pass-rush every time he drops back and will have some time to find his weapons against an inexperienced Toronto secondary. Running the ball is no easy feat against the Argos, but they'll be without linebacker Cory Greenwood when these teams square up, opening up some space for whoever's toting the rock for Saskatchewan. Pending the play of Smith, the Riders' offence might do alright against Toronto, but they proved earlier in the season that it takes a whole lot more than a good offence to win football games.
Winnipeg (3-3) at Hamilton (3-2)
In my mind, this game's simple and comes down to two things: the Ti-Cats' undefeated streak at Tim Horton's Field and Winnipeg OC Marcel Bellefeuille's proven inability to put together a game plan against a blitz-heavy defence. Drew Willy ranks last among quarterbacks with a 42% completion percentage versus the blitz, and that number will have to be much higher if the Bombers want to win in Hamilton. When these two teams met in week two, the Bombers' defence surrendered 37 points to the Ti-Cats' offence, however it might just be Richie Hall's unit that'll have to carry this Bomber team. The defence has come a long way since week two, while the Cats will also be without Andy Fantuz and CJ Gable on Sunday. Containing Zach Collaros and co. is still a tough task nonetheless, so I'll go on record and say the Tiger-Cats remain undefeated at Tim Hortons field with a win over the Bombers.