Rick Zamperin: Plenty at stake as CFL teams race down the stretch

With four weeks left in the Canadian Football League’s regular season, there is still much to be decided between the lines.

And that’s the exact scenario the CFL wants to be in: make every game count right up until the end.

The Toronto Argonauts are playing out the string as they struggle towards the finish line of another non-playoff year, while the Ottawa Redblacks need a miracle to make the post-season. Ottawa has to win out and hope Edmonton and B.C. don’t get to at least 15 points in the standings. The Lions visit the Eskimos on Saturday, so for this week at least, the Redblacks are cheering for B.C.


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The 2019 season has included a few surprises along the way.

Most CFL pundits expected the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to run away with the East Division crown but did anyone foresee that happening after star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli went down with a season-ending ACL injury and was replaced by the inexperienced Dane Evans? The Cats have become one of the most dominant teams in recent league history.

The Montreal Alouettes are coming off a season sweep of Calgary thanks to a dramatic victory at home on Saturday. Once thought of as a team in rebuilding mode, Montreal — winners of five of their last seven — has played some impressive football of late.

It looked like the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were well on their way to steamrolling to a West Division title after starting 5-0 but they are 4-6 since, including a 20-6 loss against Saskatchewan over the weekend.

Speaking of the Roughriders, QB Cody Fajardo and his mates are the hottest team in the league, ripping off nine wins in their last 10 games to grab sole possession of the top spot in the West.

Calgary has won four of its last five games, yet something seems to be a little off with the defending champion Stampeders. For a club that is used to dominating its opponents, 10 of Calgary’s 14 games this season have been decided by seven points or less, and their record in those games is 5-5.

The Edmonton Eskimos are in a slump. They’ve won just one of their last six games and are a very different team without injured quarterback Trevor Harris. Thanks to Edmonton’s hot start, it needs just one more win, or a B.C. loss, and the Eskies are playoff-bound.

The B.C. Lions are roaring now after a horrific start to the 2019 campaign. Sitting at a dismal 1-10 four weeks ago, the Lions have won their last four games and are suddenly in the playoff hunt with a must-win game this weekend in Edmonton.

Looking into my crystal ball, the Ticats will clinch the East, Edmonton will earn the crossover playoff spot, and Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg will finish No. 1, 2, 3 in the West.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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