CFL Power Rankings Week 4: Alouettes remain #1 but the race is tight at the top

For the first time this season, we enter into a week with what feels like a heavyweight battle on our hands.

The Toronto Argonauts will host the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night at BMO Field. Both teams are undefeated and both will remember just how pivotal their last meeting on those grounds were. In the chilly moment back in November’s Eastern Final, the Alouettes stunned the then 16-2 Argos in a dominant 38-17 showing.

In hindsight, the Als were showing us who they are, as they took the final step a week later to down the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and claim the 110th Grey Cup.

More than seven months later, these teams meet again. Some key faces are different, but the game is no less bigger in its stature. The Als haven’t lost yet this season and if you count last year’s run, stand at an ominous 11-0. Led by quarterback Cameron Dukes, the Argos are coming off of a nerve-testing win over the Edmonton Elks that if nothing else, should show you that the Argos are ready for whatever is thrown at them this week.

Friday’s game should carry some weight for next week’s edition of the Power Rankings presented by AMSOIL, as we’ve got the top team squaring off with the No. 3 team in this week’s rankings.

Scroll on to see where your team stands this week.

1. Montreal Alouettes (3-0)

Last Week: 1
Last Game: 47-21 win over Ottawa
Next Game: At Toronto, Fri. June 28

Worth noting: Ever-eager to seek out an edge, the Als have been public about feeling slighted over having to wait until Week 3 of the season for their Grey Cup banner unveiling/home opener. They channelled the feelings of disrespect into a convincing win that saw them run out to a 31-1 halftime lead over the visiting REDBLACKS. With wins against Ottawa (1-1), Edmonton (0-3) and Winnipeg (0-3), the Als should get their toughest test of the season on Friday in Toronto. We’re confident they’ll be ready for it.

2. Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-0)

Last Week: 2
Last Game: 36-20 win over Hamilton

Next game: Vs. Toronto, Thurs. July 4

Worth noting: The Riders head into their bye week at a perfect 3-0. After eking out comeback wins in their first two games, the result of their third game was a convincing one, as they controlled the pace against the Ticats a week after Trevor Harris and Bo Levi Mitchell enjoyed a QB duel in Week 2. The bye comes at a perfect time for Harris, who went down with a leg injury on Sunday. There seemed to be little concern about the veteran pivot’s long-term health, with head coach Corey Mace saying after the game they held him out for cautionary reasons. Still, a week to rest up and get treatment certainly doesn’t hurt for a team that’s 3-0 for the first in three years.

3. Toronto Argonauts (2-0)

Last Week: 3
Last Game: 39-36 win over Edmonton
Next game: Vs. Montreal, Fri. June 28

Worth noting: It’s astonishing to think about just how much change the Argos saw in the off-season and yet their on-field product, new faces in important places and all, just rolls on and continues stacking wins. Their Saturday win over the Elks was the grind-it-out kind of victory that should only bolster the confidence of first-year starter Cameron Dukes and his teammates. No doubt the incoming Alouettes were watching and saw a young player look like a vet in some tense game situations. Friday’s game will be must-see viewing.

4. BC Lions (2-1)

Last Week: 4
Last Game: 26-24 win over Winnipeg

Next game: Vs. Edmonton, Thurs. June 27

Worth noting: The Lions are back above .500 and likely know better than to take the 0-3 Elks lightly. If the Lions focus on themselves and their strengths — Vernon Adams Jr. led the offence to 500 net yards in Week 3 — they’ll have a good shot at improving to 2-0 at BC Place. The Lions are clicking offensively, as anyone that took Adams and Alexander Hollins on their CFL Fantasy team last week will attest, their defence is pulling its weight, too. The Lions are third in the league in sacks, with seven and are third in opponents passing yards, with 280.

5. Calgary Stampeders (1-1)

Last Week: 5
Last game: 26-17 loss to BC (Week 2)
Next game: Vs. Winnipeg, Sat. June 29

Worth noting: The Stamps come out of their bye week and will look to build on the positives they’ve seen in this young season. They were 1-1 a year ago as well and while they hung around in the first few weeks of the season, they never got back above the .500 mark again. A win against the Bombers would give them a leg up on a division rival and could be an important tone-setter to let them know this year will be different from the 2023 season. Another sign that this team is on a different path this year? Jake Maier has thrown just one interception to four touchdowns and has the third-highest QB efficiency rating in the league (123.9).

6. Edmonton Elks (0-3)

Last Week: 8
Last Game: 39-36 loss to Toronto

Next game: At BC, Thurs. June 27

Worth noting: As Pat Steinberg pointed out in this week’s MMQB, the 0-3 mark is discouraging, for sure, but there are positives to gleam from this Elks’ squad. They’ve lost their last two games by three points each and fell victim to a Lirim Hajruallahu walk-off field goal at BMO Field last week. A win at BC Place feels like a tall order, but it shouldn’t carry an impending feeling of doom for anyone on the Elks’ roster, or wearing Green and Gold that’s feeling down and out. In a week where the city felt Stanley Cup heartbreak, there is opportunity for the Elks to make an 0-3 comeback of their own and start to lift spirits locally.

7. Ottawa REDBLACKS (1-1)

Last Week: 6
Last Game: 47-21 loss to Montreal 
Next game: Vs. Hamilton, Sun. June 30

Worth noting: Sometimes even the team with the lumberjack ties will run into a buzzsaw. The REDBLACKS took a drastic swing in the wrong direction last week, after an encouraging win over the Bombers in Week 2. Week 4 gives them a long stretch of prep, as they’ll host the winless Ticats on Sunday. As we learn what type of team the REDBLACKS will be this year, we’ll watch to see how they respond in a game where they’re slightly favoured.

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (0-3)

Last Week: 9
Last Game: 26-24 loss to BC
Next game: At Calgary, Sat. June 29

Worth noting: Bad news for the winless Blue Bombers (it feels SO strange to write that): they get a rested Stampeders team on Saturday that comes out of a bye week. For the first time since 2012, the Bombers are 0-3. We still think that Mike O’Shea, Zach CollarosWillie Jefferson et al will figure things out in Winnipeg and get their season on track. Last week’s game against the Lions was winnable and the Bombers aren’t far from climbing up the standings and these rankings. Collaros finding the end zone — he’s yet to throw a TD pass this season — will be a huge step in that direction for the team.

9. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-3)

Last Week: 7
Last game: 36-20 loss to Saskatchewan 
Next game: At Ottawa, Sun. June 30

Worth noting: A week after a thrilling but heartbreaking finish against the Riders, the Ticats were handled in more convincing fashion at Mosaic Stadium. As the Ticats zero in on win No. 1, they’ll set their focus on TD Place and the REDBLACKS on Sunday. With Ottawa also starting slow and the Als and Argos off to strong starts this year, this divisional battle is especially important for both teams. Consistency has been a problem early on for the Ticats. If the Week 2 version of the team shows up, it feels like a winnable game. If the mistake-laden Week 3 version steps onto the field, it could be a long and fruitless day for the Ticats.

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