The second week of the CFL seriously complicated our views of who are the best teams and who are the worst teams right now and we’re bound to get some hate for the way these rankings will be sorted out. We’re going to be asked if we are just doing this to stir the pot, but let me reassure you, we spent hours upon hours debating where we should place teams. We had tiebreakers on tiebreakers to decide where some teams should go. Let’s just get right into it!
9. Edmonton Elks
Last Ranking: 7th
Week 2: Vs. Montreal (loss 30-13)
Streak: 2 losses
Next Game: Week 3 @ B.C.
In last week’s power rankings, we had the Ottawa Redblacks in the ninth spot and said “Even though the Redblacks took home a win in the first week of the season, there was never a conversation to rank them higher than ninth.” In a very similar situation, when the Elks were being destroyed by the Montreal Alouettes in their own stadium at halftime, we agreed that if they continued to play that way, they would be in the ninth spot. The Elks have played some terrible football early in this season and a lot of the issues stem from one person, their quarterback Trevor Harris. The amount of talent and potential that Harris has is unreal, but he has never been able to unlock it consistently. This is the worst he has ever looked, and people are starting to call him out. Let’s throw some gas on this fire and show off what Derek Dennis said during the game.
If you’re wondering who the backup is and if they might be able to sort things out, don’t count on it. Taylor Cornelius is the backup and has never taken a snap in the CFL before. This is going to be Harris’ problem to sort out. There’s so much talent on this roster that he needs to figure it out, and soon. Harris currently has a contract through the 2022 season, but he better get to playing better or else that 2022 season is going to be spent as a backup to someone who can get the job done.
8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Last Ranking: 3rd
Week 2: @ Saskatchewan (loss 30-8)
Streak: 2 losses
Next Game: Week 4 @ Montreal
Here is where the controversy is going to start. Let me say to start that this isn’t a death sentence for the Tiger-Cats, but they have some serious issues to sort out. Their schedule has been brutal so far playing two of the best teams in the CFL already, but it is obvious that they can’t compete with the upper class of the league right now. Their offence looks horrible early in this season, but it’s not Jeremiah Masoli that’s the problem, and no, putting Dane Evans in isn’t going to fix anything. The Tiger-Cats offensive line looks like some swiss cheese early in this season having already given up seven sacks in two games and allowing continuous pressure even when no sack is registered. It’s not something they can work around, and through two games, they have only managed to score 14 points. Their defence has been solid at times but overall hasn’t been good enough either. They have given up 49 points this season already. On paper, this is something they should hopefully be able to correct, but these are not the same Tiger-Cats people were picking to win the Grey Cup. They now have a bye week to regroup, but their next test will be the Alouettes and won’t be an easy game for them. They are essentially already into must-win territory for week four.
7. Calgary Stampeders
Last Ranking: 6th
Week 2: Vs. B.C. (loss 15-9)
Streak: 2 losses
Next Game: Week 3 Vs. Montreal
Speaking of teams who look nothing like we expected, the Calgary Stampeders enter our list in seventh after dropping their second consecutive game this season. Last week I wrote “I believe that this is just a blip and they will be back competing for the top spot in the West Division soon, but they have some things to work on for sure,” but I no longer believe this was just a blip. This Stampeders team just doesn’t look that good to me. Bo Levi Mitchell has something wrong with him for sure. He doesn’t look as mobile as he once was as the TSN crew pointed out, and he doesn’t have the weapons around him like he used to that could bail him out at times. Even though they are 0-2 by a combined nine points, they haven’t played great football so far this season. I think there is a better chance that can turn things around and make the playoff by comparison to a team like the Elks, but there are big changes that need to be made. Week three against Montreal will not be easy.
6. Ottawa Redblacks
Last Ranking: 9th
Week 2: BYE WEEK
Streak: 1 win
Next Game: Week 3 @ Saskatchewan
Read More: Redblacks Turn Up the Noise In Preparation For Week 3 In Regina and Other Notes From Bye Week Practice
After week one, we gave the teams who we had ranked ahead of the Redblacks in the offseason the benefit of the doubt that they would figure things out and come back strong. That never happened. That same luxury is now being afforded to the Redblacks. There was a long debate about who should be sixth between the Redblacks and Stampeders, but we ultimately decided to go with Ottawa. I refuse to believe that their offence will look like it did in week one all season long, especially not with Paul LaPolice and Matt Nichols in the fray. The defence was spectacular all night long in week one and won them the game, but the offence should at least be mediocre going forward. With how good that defence looks, a mediocre offence and a healthy Matt Nichols should be enough to win some football games going forward. Their week three matchup will take them to Regina. They won’t be in for an easy game, but it should be an interesting matchup nonetheless.
5. B.C. Lions
Last Ranking: 8th
Week 2: @ Calgary (win 15-9)
Streak: 1 win
Next Game: Week 3 Vs. Edmonton
Read More: Lions Defeat Stampeders In Defensive Affair
The B.C. Lions are one of the more interesting teams around right now. When Michael Reilly is playing, they are one of the best teams in the league, I firmly believe that. Had Reilly been healthy for their opening week game in Saskatchewan, there is a good chance they would have been 2-0 and up in the Riders spot in these rankings. But that didn’t happen, and here they are in number five. The defence has looked really good after their dismal first half in week one and the offence is much the same deal. The biggest problem for the Lions right now is that two of the league’s elite teams are in the West Division. We saw that they can compete with the Roughriders and we will soon find out about the Blue Bombers, but B.C. is certainly trending up right now. They have a really good chance to move to 2-1 next week in their home opener against the Elks.
4. Toronto Argonauts
Last Ranking: 2nd
Week 2: @ Winnipeg (Loss 20-7)
Streak: 1 loss
Next Game: Week 3 Vs. Winnipeg
The Toronto Argonauts inspired plenty of confidence in them in their week one victory over the Calgary Stampeders, but they would come crashing back down to earth after being crushed by the defending Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Point blank, they didn’t look good at all and very easily could be behind the Lions, but they stay ahead for now. McLeod Bethel-Thompson looked out of sorts going 10/20 passing for only 70 yards before being pulled in favour of Nick Arbuckle who didn’t do much better. Arbuckle went 10/19 for 96 yards but also threw an interception. The Argos are still a good football team, but head into week three for their home opener playing the same team that dominated them in the trenches in week two. Toronto needs to make something happen in the trenches to have a hope at winning the football game. That’s not something I can see happening in such short order, but that’s why we play the games.
3. Montreal Alouettes
Last Ranking: 5th
Week 2: @ Edmonton (win 30-13)
Streak: 1 win
Next Game: Week 3 @ Calgary
Read More: Alouettes Dominate Elks In First Game In 2021 Season
The biggest unknown in the CFL to date this season was the Montreal Alouettes for obvious reasons. They were the unfortunate recipient of the week one bye week, but you would have never known by watching them play that it was their first game in over 650 days. They looked like they were in mid-season form for essentially the entire evening. They were in control of the game the whole way and if there were ever any questions about if Vernon Adams Jr. was a legit star in the CFL or not, they were answered with a resounding yes. He’s a dual-threat with great running ability and a great arm that can hit on the deep ball time and time again. Above all else for the fans, Montreal was playing fun football. Everyone loves to see the deep balls and electric plays, and that is exactly what the Alouettes bring. Right now, they are the best team in the East Division as they head to Calgary to take on the Stampeders in week three.
2. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Last Ranking: 4th
Week 2: Vs. Hamilton (Win 30-8)
Streak: 2 wins
Next Game: Week 3 Vs. Ottawa
Read More: Roughriders Hand Tiger-Cats Second Loss Of the Season
Roughriders fans were upset with us in the offseason when we ranked them eighth and last week when we had them fourth in our power rankings. They have proven us wrong a couple of times already, and if it wasn’t for their biggest rival, they would be number one right now. Other than the second half in week one, the Roughriders have played absolutely dominant football against some really good teams. In their week two game, they went off for six sacks of Masoli and Evans who couldn’t find enough time to get any great passes off. Cody Fajardo and the offence has looked really good scoring a total of 55 points in two games this season, the most of any team in the league by a wide margin. They have been phenomenal early in the 2021 season and have given the 13th man something to celebrate already. There is a real chance that you could be looking at the Grey Cup champions right here.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Last Ranking: 1st
Week 2: Vs. Toronto (win 20-7)
Streak: 2 wins
Next Game: Week 3 @ Toronto
Read More: Blue Bombers Win In the Trenches, Win the Game Over Argonauts
There’s really not too much to say about the Blue Bombers right now other than they are clearly the class of the league. Zach Collaros might be the second-best quarterback in the league right now right behind Michael Reilly of the B.C. Lions, and that’s certainly no insult to Collaros who is playing his best football since he left Hamilton. They are still without Andrew Harris and Darvin Adams who might be their two best offensive players. The Blue Bombers’ offensive and defensive lines have been amazing so far this season and suffocated the Argos. With another matchup with the Argos coming this week, they have a good chance to start the season 3-0 and continue their Grey Cup defence.
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