Baltimore-edmonton Today

October 16, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Line: Edmonton by 4 1/2

Radio: WJFK (1300 AM)

Records: Baltimore 10-4, Edmonton 10-4

Last week: Baltimore beat Las Vegas, 22-14. Edmonton edged Hamilton, 33-32.

On the sidelines: Baltimore's Don Matthews has a career overall record of 106-63-1 in 10 CFL seasons. Ron Lancaster is 39-21 in four seasons with the Eskimos, winning the 1993 Grey Cup.

Roster changes: Baltimore -- OLB Matt Goodwin replaced CB Kwame Smith. Edmonton -- CB Damion Lyons replaced CB Brandon Hamilton.

What Baltimore has to do to win: Take advantage of every possession inside the red zone. Edmonton is second in the league in scoring defense. Baltimore cannot afford mistakes or misfires down on the goal line. Presenting offensive balance is another must. RB Mike Pringle powers the CFLs' No. 1 rushing game against the Eskimos' No. 4 rush defense. QB Tracy Ham resuscitated the passing game and needs to play well. On defense, the challenges are containing QB Damon Allen and SB Eddie Brown. Punt returner Gizmo Williams, if healthy, is another major concern.

What Edmonton has to do to win: Nullify Baltimore's pass rush with Allen's scrambles. The Eskimos need to keep Baltimore guessing on defense. Their second-ranked pass rush (37 sacks) must work against the CFL's second-best pass protection unit (18 sacks given up). In a critical matchup, Edmonton must find a way to control Pringle and the running game. It can also tip the balance with a strong punt-return game from Williams.

Injury report: Baltimore -- OLB Matt Goodwin (shoulder) will play; LB Alvin Walton (hamstring) will not play. Edmonton -- QB Damon Allen (shoulder) is probable; WR Gizmo Williams (hip flexor) is questionable; CB Ed Berry (groin) is out.

Outlook: These teams match strength against strength -- Baltimore's running game and pass protection against Edmonton's defensive front and pass rush. Baltimore is 6-1 on the road, Edmonton 6-1 at home. Both clubs have excellent special teams. Both quarterbacks are scramblers. If Baltimore has the edge, it is Pringle, who has four straight 100-yard rushing games and 1,444 yards. The Eskimos' Lucius Floyd has 550 yards. Edmonton is the defending Grey Cup champion. It could come down to a field goal at the end, pitting Donald Igwebuike against Sean Fleming. It's a tough game to win on the road. A Baltimore win here enhances its Grey Cup credibility.

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