CFL Power Rankings – Week 6

CFL Power Rankings – Week 6

You just never know what is going to happen when you go to a Canadian Football league. All four games across the league were won by one possession, and it gave us some of the most entertaining football we have seen in a long time. In all of that, the CFL finally returned to Nova Scotia for Touchdown Atlantic between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Although games have been close, we’re starting to see the true form of teams around the league, and for our writers, picking the order has become more uniform. Here’s how things stand after week six.

9. Ottawa Redblacks (0-5)

Week 5 Ranking: 8th

Highest Ranking: 9th

Lowest Ranking: 9th

Total Points: 63

Week 6 Result: Loss @ Hamilton (25-23)

Next Game: Week 7 Vs. Montreal

What do the Ottawa Redblacks even do at this point? They are a team that has gone from a team with Grey Cup aspirations in week one, to a team that is on the precipice of firing their head coach because they can’t get a win. Did the Redblacks really deserve to beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in week six? No, probably not, but they were right there with a chance to win right until the end when Lewis Ward missed a 54-yard field goal at the end of the game. Caleb Evans was okay, but not much more, and while he has lots of potential for the future, he’s probably not the guy right now. The real question on everyone’s mind right now, however, is what gets done with Paul LaPolice. Does he get another week to sort things out, or is this the line and the end of his tenure in Ottawa? General manager Shawn Burke has a lot of thinking to do, but with a short week and a home game against the Montreal Alouettes coming on Thursday night, he doesn’t have a second to waste.


8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-4)

Week 5 Ranking: 9th

Highest Ranking: 7th

Lowest Ranking: 8th

Total Points: 53

Week 6 Result: Win Vs. Ottawa (25-23)

Next Game: Week 7 @ BC

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are finally in the win column this season, but it shouldn’t stop anyone from realizing the problems with this team right now. They were a matter of inches away from losing this game on a last-second field goal, thanks largely to Orlondo Steinauer opting to go for a single point after their last-drive touchdown to go up by two, rather than going for two and attempting to go up by three. You also can’t ignore the shenanigans going on with their quarterbacks all night long. Seemingly at random, Dane Evans swapped spots with Matthew Shiltz, and it nearly ended horribly for them. Evans is either the guy, or he isn’t, but no matter what the decision is, you can’t continuously go back and forth between the two without any rhyme or reason. This team has big issues to sort out, but they are in the win column and are up into a playoff spot thanks to a tiebreaker against the Montreal Alouettes. Plenty to clean up for the Cats.


7. Montreal Alouettes (1-4)

Week 5 Ranking: 5th

Highest Ranking: 6th

Lowest Ranking: 8th

Total Points: 51

Week 6 Result: Loss Vs. Edmonton (32-31)

Next Game: Week 7 @ Ottawa

With a 24-12 lead at halftime, the Montreal Alouettes appeared to have the game under control, keeping the Taylor Cornelius-led Edmonton Elks offence under wraps. In the second half, however, they got themselves into penalty trouble, notably massive chunks of yardage thanks to pass interference penalties. The Alouettes took 13 penalties for a whopping 193 yards, completely shooting themselves in the foot. Against a quarterback with little experience, the Als bailed him out and handed him scoring chance after scoring chance. The Alouettes’ offence also dried up in the second half, scoring just seven points. Danny Maciocia said one of the reasons Khari Jones was fired was because of the lack of discipline, but in his first game on the sidelines, it was no better.


6. Edmonton Elks (2-4)

Week 5 Ranking: 7th

Highest Ranking: 5th

Lowest Ranking: 7th

Total Points: 42

Week 6 Result: Win @ Montreal (32-31)

Next Game: Week 7 Vs. Winnipeg

That was a humungous win for the Edmonton Elks. There was plenty of pessimism when it was announced that Taylor Cornelius would be starting, but even last season, there was something there suggesting that he could be worth another shot. The man who is affectionately known as “Corn Dog” didn’t light the world on fire, but he was competent enough and didn’t hurt his team when it mattered. With Tre Ford out of the lineup and Nick Arbuckle shipped out of town, the Elks need someone to step in and help them keep pace in the West Division. For now, Cornelius looks like their best option, and if he so happens to turn out to be a good quarterback, that’s just a bonus. This was a gutsy win for a team that was being talked about as the league’s worst team by the TSN panel before the ball was kicked off. Progress is certainly being made in Edmonton under Chris Jones.


5. Toronto Argonauts (2-2)

Week 5 Ranking: 6th

Highest Ranking: 4th

Lowest Ranking: 5th

Total Points: 32

Week 6 Result: Win Vs. Saskatchewan (30-24)

Next Game: Week 7 @ Saskatchewan

There was only ever one team who was going to enjoy their weekend at Touchdown Atlantic, and in the end, it was the Toronto Argonauts celebrating their 30-24 win. McLeod Bethel-Thompson was his typical self, nothing flashy, but effective, completing a tick north of 70 percent of his passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns, and just one interception. Andrew Harris was slowed down considerably by the Roughriders’ defensive front, but still passed Milt Stegall for fourth all-time in the CFL for yards from scrimmage. On the defensive side of the ball, the Argonauts banged up Cody Fajardo to the tune of five sacks, and picked him off three times during the game, including Wynton McManis’s late-game interception that ended up being the difference in the game. It wasn’t thorough domination for the Argonauts, but it’s a win they can certainly be proud of as they sit at the top of the East Division.


4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-2)

Week 5 Ranking: 4th

Highest Ranking: 3rd

Lowest Ranking: 6th

Total Points: 31

Week 6 Result: Loss @ Toronto (30-24)

Next Game: Week 7 Vs. Toronto

The East Division has four combined wins this season. Two of them have come at the hands of another East Division team, and the other two have come at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. To put that into perspective, the Edmonton Elks, who many believe are clearly the worst team in the West Division this season, are yet to lose to an Eastern opponent. Cody Fajardo was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, hardly the outing he imagined. But perhaps the most agitating thing in this game from a Riders perspective outside of the hits Fajardo was taking was the lack of discipline for the Riders. From Duke Williams swinging a helmet at Shaq Richardson, to the 11 penalties for 132 yards, head coach Craig Dickenson needs to have better control of his football team during games. Penalties have been up in games the Riders are playing in compared to the rest of the league, and you can’t blame the officiating for it.


3. BC Lions (3-1)

Week 5 Ranking: 3rd

Highest Ranking: 3rd

Lowest Ranking: 4th

Total Points: 22

Week 6 Result: BYE WEEK

Next Game: Week 7 Vs. Hamilton

The BC Lions joined the Toronto Argonauts as the only two teams in the CFL to have already used their second bye week of the season, and that isn’t exactly ideal. They have another 14 games to go, and they will only have one more bye week between now and the end of the season. If there is a positive to be taken out of that, it’s that it bought Bryan Burnham an extra week to get healthy, but he’s probably still a little while away from getting back. What the Lions won’t have for the rest of the season now is a chance to rest and get healthy. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, for example, still have all three of their bye weeks, and won’t have their first until week 11. Towards the end of the season, when the Lions have been playing every week, and the Bombers have been resting every few weeks, it’s going to be interesting to see who wins out. Rest or rust.


2. Calgary Stampeders (4-1)

Week 5 Ranking: 2nd

Highest Ranking: 2nd

Lowest Ranking: 2nd

Total Points: 14

Week 6 Result: Loss @ Winnipeg (26-19)

Next Game: Week 8 Vs. Winnipeg

If nothing else, the Calgary Stampeders gave us one heck of a football game to enjoy on Friday night. They walked straight into hostile territory against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 30,000 screaming fans and put up an admirable fight. In the end, however, the Bombers finished their drives and won the game. The positive news for the Stamps remains that they are still right in the fight for first place in the West Division, and will have another crack at the Blue Bombers in two weeks’ time, coming off of their bye week. How about some more good news? Bo Levi Mitchell is continuing his redemption tour, and looks like he could be one of the best quarterbacks in the league again, right up there with Bombers’ pivot, Zach Collaros. The Stampeders are a very good football team, and while the loss to the Bombers is probably a little demoralizing, they will have another chance, this time at home, to get some revenge. Win that game, and you’re right back with them.


1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-0)

Week 5 Ranking: 1st

Highest Ranking: 1st

Lowest Ranking: 1st

Total Points: 7

Week 6 Result: Win Vs. Calgary (26-19)

Next Game: Week 7 @ Edmonton

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have played in many close games already this season, and their meeting with the Calgary Stampeders in week six was no exception. With the Bombers up by seven points, Bo Levi Mitchell took a shot into the endzone for what looked like a sure touchdown to Kamar Jordan, but the ball bounced out of his hands, and right into the waiting hands of Demario Houston. You can call it lucky all you want, but good teams make their own luck, and the Blue Bombers have been doing that ever since Zach Collaros came into the fold. Many people are tired of hearing about how good this team is, but here’s the thing, until someone proves they are better, you can get used to it. This is, once again, the best team in the league this season, and that can be said with a lot of confidence. The scariest thing? They have gotten better and better as the season has gone along, and you would have to be a fool to think they can’t keep this up, especially not with Dalton Schoen and Carlton Agudosi emerging as formidable options in the offence.


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