CFL Power Rankings: A Changing Landscape

What were you expecting when we finally came out of that weather delay in Ottawa on Thursday night?

The REDBLACKS and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had been idle for over an hour, while lightning passed and sheets of rain laid themselves over TD Place. Two teams that had taken very different paths over the last five seasons emerged from their respective locker rooms. We won’t fault you if you leaned on the side of history.

History would suggest that something would have gone wrong for the REDBLACKS and that despite another out-of-character game from the Bombers, they’d take advantage of the reset that the delay provided and that they’d find a way to pick up their first win of the season. Over the last few years, one of these teams has found its way to victory and the other to defeat. Right?


The REDBLACKS’ defensive stand and win over the Bombers was a perfect start to what turned out to be another unsettling week of action that makes you question some of the things you might have thought you knew about the teams in this league.

In the wake of that, we see the Bombers as far back in the Power Rankings presented by AMSOIL that you can possibly get. We will say this: the season is young and these rankings are only a reflection of the first two weeks of play. We anticipate a climb from our ninth-ranked team over its coming 16 games.

Let’s get into this week’s rankings.

1. Montreal Alouettes (2-0)

Last Week: 1
Last Game: 23-20 win over Edmonton
Next Game: Vs. Ottawa, Thurs. June 20

Worth noting: The Als held off the Elks to jump to 2-0. A week after Cody Fajardo and Tyson Philpot teamed up to do damage to the Bombers, Fajardo looked to running back Walter Fletcher (82 yards on the ground plus a touchdown, with 61 receiving yards and a touchdown) to lead the Als to a tough win over the Elks. The Als finally head home to raise their 2023 Grey Cup banner this week and interestingly, they will open Week 3 with the first inter-East-Division play of the season, as they host the REDBLACKS.

2. Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-0)

Last Week: 2
Last Game: 33-30 win over Hamilton

Next game: Vs. Hamilton, Sun. June 23

Worth noting: If you’re a Riders’ fan, the high is still lingering for you after Sunday night’s dramatic comeback win over the Tiger-Cats. The Riders showed tremendous resilience in picking up their second come-from-behind win of the season. Head coach Corey Mace might like a more simple journey to a win for his team, but there are lots of things to like in this undefeated-thus-far squad. Trevor Harris going 32-45 for 390 yards and a pair of touchdowns — despite losing Shawn Bane Jr. and Jerreth Sterns to injury in the game — is just one encouraging sign. After Sunday’s thriller, we can’t wait to see what these two teams do again on Sunday in Regina.

3. Toronto Argonauts (1-0)

Last Week: 3
Last Game: 35-27 win over BC (Week 1)

Next game: Vs. Edmonton, Sat. June 22

Worth noting: The Argos will look to re-generate their momentum coming out of their bye week. They’ll get a tough test from an Edmonton team that could have been 2-0 after going against the top-two teams in these rankings to open the season. Jake Ceresna had a great debut with the Argos in Week 1, with four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. What can he do in his first game against his former team? How will the vets of the Argos’ defence fare against McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who they know well from his five-year run in Double Blue? The offensive side of the ball was exciting in Week 1; the Argos’ defensive effort will be something to watch on Saturday.

4. BC Lions (1-1)

Last Week: 4
Last Game: 26-17 win over Calgary

Next game: At Winnipeg, Fri. June 21

Worth noting: Somehow, regardless of the standings, the Lions and Bombers seem to find a way to have a heavyweight clash early in the season. Last year they were two undefeated titans colliding in Week 3 and the Lions came away with the win. This year, they meet in Week 3 with neither team boasting a winning record yet. The Lions looked like their high-octane selves in their win over the Stamps and with the memory of how their last two seasons have ended, have no shortage of reasons to go into Princess Auto Stadium, primed on getting above the .500 mark and pushing their divisional rivals into a deeper hole. As much as the Bombers will play with a hunger to win, this is a great opportunity for Vernon Adams Jr. and the Lions.

5. Calgary Stampeders (1-1)

Last Week: 7
Last game: 26-17 loss to BC
Next game: Vs. Winnipeg, Sat. June 29

Worth noting: A positive sign for the Stamps, just a couple of games in: Jake Maier is fifth in the league in passing yards, with 591 and has thrown four touchdowns to one interception. The teams listed at spots 1-4 are an early season upper tier. That the Stamps sit just outside of that, after the difficult season they had a year ago is another early positive sign for them. They’ll come out of their bye week and host the Bombers in Week 4, where a very interesting West Division could be continuing to take shape.

6. Ottawa REDBLACKS (1-0)

Last Week: 8
Last Game: 23-19 win over Winnipeg 
Next game: At Montreal, Thurs. June 20

Worth noting: The weather around the start of the Dru Brown era was far from ideal, but the outcome is enough to give REDBLACKS fans a good feeling about their team. Their win last week marks the first time since the 2021 season that the REDBLACKS have a winning record (Week 1, 2021). For those who still consider them a question mark of a team at this point, we should get a better sense of where the REDBLACKS stand this week as they take on the stiff challenge of heading into Molson Stadium to face the Alouettes.

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2)

Last Week: 9
Last game: 33-30 loss to Saskatchewan 
Next game: Vs. Saskatchewan, Sun. June 16

Worth noting: The high that Riders fans feel after Sunday’s game is a hangover feeling for Ticats fans. Sunday night’s loss was a pure heartbreaker, with C.J. Evans being in the right place at the right time (worst place/worst time, depending on your perspective) to pull the spotlight away from Bo Levi Mitchell (27-38 passing, 380 yards, three touchdowns and the one interception) and the Ticats’ offence. All of that said, we saw Mitchell play his best game in Black and Gold on Sunday and we saw some of those new receivers like Shemar Bridges and Steven Dunbar Jr. start to look a little more comfortable in the offence. After a game of the year candidate in Week 2, the Week 3 rematch in Regina will be one to watch.

8. Edmonton Elks (0-2)

Last Week: 6
Last Game: 23-20 loss to Montreal
Next game: At Toronto, Sat. June 22

Worth noting: What to make of the Elks? In their defence, they’ve lost a pair of close games to the top two teams in the rankings. However, we have the winless teams at the bottom of our rankings and the Elks sit at eighth as they search for their first win of the season. While McLeod Bethel-Thompson is fourth in the league in passing yards with 636, he’s tied for the leading league in interceptions now with three (joined by Zach Collaros), and two of them coming in their loss to the Als. Mistakes have hurt them in their first two games. They’ll have to be sharp as they head into Toronto this week.

9. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (0-2)

Last Week: 5
Last Game: 23-19 loss to Ottawa
Next game: Vs. BC, Fri. June 21

Worth noting: We said it last week when they were at No. 5 and we’ll say it again this week with them at No. 9: this feels strange. Zach Collaros is yet to throw a passing touchdown and has three interceptions; the Bombers have allowed five sacks in two games, giving them the second-worst total in the league and they’re last in scoring, at 15.5 points per game. Those are all bad stats, but also things that as we head into Week 3 of the season, could change in one game. Injuries are a factor in their slow start. Brady Oliveira sat out last week’s loss to Ottawa and Kenny Lawler is on the six-game injured list with a fractured arm. Another star receiver, Dalton Schoen, sat out Monday’s practice with a hip issue. Time will heal some physical wounds and we still think that the Bombers will find their way back to the upper levels of these rankings.

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