With Edmonton trailing 37-7 in the fourth quarter, Reilly engineered a wild 27-point comeback but it wasn't enough as the Calgary Stampeders held on for the 37-34 win at McMahon Stadium. Reilly was 16-of-35 passing for 246 yards and four touchdowns but also threw two interceptions and was sacked seven times.
The loss was the seventh straight for Edmonton (1-8) and fifth this season by three points or less. But that was of little comfort to GM Ed Hervey, who publicly ripped his team Tuesday while benching offensive lineman Simeon Rottier indefinitely and yanking the play-calling duties from offensive co-ordinator Doug Sams.
Head coach Kavis Reed, signed to an extension earlier this season, will remain on the sidelines through to the end of the season.
Calgary (7-2) has issues of its own, the inability to protect a 30-point lead notwithstanding. Starter Kevin Glenn suffered a leg injury Monday and gave way to backup Bo Levi Mitchell. It's unclear if Glenn will play in the rematch Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.
If not, Levi Mitchell would likely start.
Maurice Price was a key offensive figure Monday with five catches for 165 yards and three TDs but running back Jon Cornish ran for just 60 yards on 17 carries.
Hervey's very public rant might light a fire under the hard-luck Eskimos. But it doesn't address the issue of Edmonton's inability to keep opposing defences off Reilly.
Pick — Calgary.
B.C. Lions (6-3) versus Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-5) at Guelph,, Ont., on Saturday afternoon
B.C. beat Hamilton 29-26 last week as quarterback Travis Lulay finished 26-of-36 passing for 359 yards and three TDs while running for another. It marked Lulay's first 300-yard game of the season however the Lions had to withstand a late Tiger-Cats rally before claiming the win.
That improved B.C.'s home record to 5-0. But the club is just 1-3 away from B.C. Place Stadium, giving up an average of 31 points per road contest.
Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris was 28-of-35 passing for 340 yards and two TDs while giving up an interception. Burris was also sacked six times.
But after earning all of their wins against Winnipeg (three) and Edmonton, the Ticats showed they can play with B.C. Burris's two-yard TD strike to rookie Greg Ellingson with 24 seconds remaining made it a three-point game before the Lions ended the threat by recovering the onside kick.
East Division teams rarely enjoy success in B.C. however the Ticats showed a resiliency that should carry over to this contest.
Pick — Hamilton.
Toronto Argonauts (5-4) at Montreal Alouettes (4-5) on Sunday afternoon
Rookie quarterback Tanner Marsh is the toast of the town in Montreal after leading the Alouettes to consecutive victories. But an even bigger factor in those wins has been a rugged defence that allowed just 240 net yards in a 39-38 win over B.C. before giving up 314 total yards in the 20-9 road victory over Toronto on Tuesday night.
Marsh was 18-of-27 passing for 309 yards and a TD and an interceptions in his first CFL start. But the Alouettes' defence withstood an impressive start by Toronto's offence and held the Argos to a single point while Marsh worked out the kinks.
Montreal's defence forced four turnovers and continually pressured sophomore Zach Collaros, who started for Toronto with veteran Ricky Ray out for roughly six weeks with a shoulder injury. Holding the Argos to just a point and recovering Dontrelle Inman's fumble deep in the Alouettes' zone in the second half were all big accomplishments by the Alouettes' unit.
The Alouettes continually overloaded the box to pressure Collaros and it resulted in the Argos managing just nine points. And with such a short turnaround, Collaros and Co. can expect more of the same in Montreal.
Pick — Montreal.
Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-1) at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-8) on Sunday afternoon
A season of misery continues for Winnipeg, which actually had a decent opening half Labour Day before the Riders took control of the contest in the second half en route to a 48-24 victory. Quarterback Darian Durant was a solid 24-of-35 passing for 315 yards and four touchdowns, hitting veteran Geroy Simon and Taj Smith on two TD strikes apiece while surrendering his first interception of the season.
CFL rushing leader Kory Sheets finished with 91 on 20 carries but had two touchdowns.
Winnipeg starter Justin Goltz was 18-of-29 passing for 182 yards and two interceptions. That's hardly inspiring however Goltz hit eight different receivers and rushed for 73 yards and two TDs on five carries.
Linebacker Henoc Muamba was solid with a game-high nine tackles but it's still hard to see how Winnipeg can match up with Saskatchewan for a full 60 minutes.
Pick — Saskatchewan