CFL Power Rankings – Week 7

If you use week six as your measuring stick, this wasn’t the most entertaining week in the Canadian Football League. If you use any other week, however, you would realize that, once again, fans around this country have been spoiled with yet another great week of CFL football. The largest margin of victory in any game was 14 points, with every game being decided in the fourth quarter, if not the final three minutes. If you haven’t been watching the CFL, what have you been doing?

As we do every week, we had our writers rank the teams around the league for our week seven power rankings. We’re starting to see a little bit more stability than in weeks previous, but still, there are some moves being made. Please note, while we typically have seven writers voting on these rankings, only six were polled this week. Let’s get into it!

9. Ottawa Redblacks (0-6)

Week 6 Ranking: 9th

Highest Ranking: 9th

Lowest Ranking: 9th

Total Points: 54

Week 7 Result: Loss Vs. Montreal (40-33)

Next Game: Week 8 @ Toronto

When R.J. Harris made a spectacular catch on a ball that was thrown behind him on third down at the end of the game, it seemed that finally, the Ottawa Redblacks got a big play when they needed it the most. Despite the drive being extended by the catch, the Redblacks found a way to lose, and no, it wasn’t the fault of the officials no matter how poorly the final minute of the game was handled by both Andre Proulx’s crew and the command centre. Darvin Adams, who otherwise played a super game, dropped a ball in the endzone where the nearest defender was the goal post, and once again, the Redblacks snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. It’s become a given that the Redblacks are going to hold the ninth spot in these power rankings over the past few weeks, and the times are already desperate for the Redblacks if they have any plans of sniffing the playoffs. No one wants to hear about how they are only two games out of the playoffs right now, at least not until they finally win a football game.

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8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-5)

Week 6 Ranking: 8th

Highest Ranking: 7th

Lowest Ranking: 8th

Total Points: 47

Week 7 Result: Loss @ BC (17-12)

Next Game: Week 8 Vs. Montreal

When the season was still young, there was a certain expectation that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would eventually find a way to turn their season around, but that is starting to fade. On paper, the Tabbies have talented players including Dane Evans, Don Jackson, Bralon Addison, Steven Dunbar, and Tim White, but much like we have seen in Ottawa this season, for whatever reason, those talented players are underachieving. Defensively, the Cats were really good in week seven, holding the BC Lions to just 17 points, but offensively, it has been a disaster. Hamilton is scoring the third-fewest points per game in the CFL with just 17.7, and they are turning the ball over at a high rate, as Evans has nine interceptions and numerous key fumbles. A matchup with the Montreal Alouettes is up next, and boy, is it ever critical. A win could be the turning point of the season, but a loss would set them back considerably.

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7. Edmonton Elks (2-5)

Week 6 Ranking: 6th

Highest Ranking: 6th

Lowest Ranking: 8th

Total Points: 42

Week 7 Result: Loss Vs. Winnipeg (24-10)

Next Game: Week 9 @ BC

For a team that is now 2-5 on the season, the Edmonton Elks haven’t been entirely terrible. There have been some pleasant surprises this season for Chris Jones’s team, including Tre Ford, Taylor Cornelius, Kai Locksley, Manny Arceneaux, and others. Cornelius in particular has improved vastly compared to 2021, and looked pretty good again in week seven. He has a big arm, and his passes look nice and clean, and although he clearly needs some more time before he’s going to be considered a viable option as a starter long-term, he is improving. This is a competent football team, and a team that is much improved compared to their 2021 form. Elks fans, the wins will eventually come, and Jones is already doing good things with this team. Give it a little bit of time, and the blueprint is there to bring the Elks back to their former glory sooner rather than later.

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6. Montreal Alouettes (2-4)

Week 6 Ranking: 7th

Highest Ranking: 6th

Lowest Ranking: 7th

Total Points: 37

Week 7 Result: Win @ Ottawa (40-33)

Next Game: Week 8 @ Hamilton

The Montreal Alouettes looked pretty ordinary in their week seven win over the Ottawa Redblacks, but they got themselves back in the win column and back up into second place in the East Division. Trevor Harris was good, throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns, showing that he is still good enough to be a starter in the CFL. Dominique Davis deserves a special shout-out for being the most productive short-yardage quarterback since 2004 according to Pro Stats Canada, rushing for 1.4 touchdowns per game with the heavy package. There was plenty to clean up, including Chandler Worthy’s game to forget, but hey, a win is a win, and no matter how you get them, they all count for the same two points.

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5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-3)

Week 6 Ranking: 4th

Highest Ranking: 4th

Lowest Ranking: 5th

Total Points: 29

Week 7 Result: Loss Vs. Toronto (31-21)

Next Game: Week 8 Vs. BC

Regardless of how many players the Saskatchewan Roughriders were missing thanks to their COVID-19 outbreak, two consecutive losses to the Toronto Argonauts means they are moving down the rankings. It’s hard to make comments about this game, considering so many regulars were out of the lineup. But what can be said is that starters like Cody Fajardo, Duke Williams, and others returning to the lineup isn’t going to suddenly make them a great team. At this point, the Riders have been underwhelming, and with the BC Lions being their next opponent, they could drop down to .500 quite easily. This was the easy portion of their schedule. They have three matchups with the Lions, three with the Blue Bombers, and two with the Stampeders to go, so unless they have a turnaround coming, the record could get much worse than they would have hoped.

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4. Toronto Argonauts (3-2)

Week 6 Ranking: 5th

Highest Ranking: 4th

Lowest Ranking: 5th

Total Points: 25

Week 7 Result: Win @ Saskatchewan (31-21)

Next Game: Week 8 Vs. Ottawa

Back-to-back wins over two nearly entirely different versions of the Saskatchewan Roughriders sees the Toronto Argonauts moving up in the power rankings, even though beating the Jake Dolegala-led Riders wasn’t as easy as many would have assumed it would be. It was a big night in a couple of ways for Andrew Harris, much to the chagrin of Roughriders fans who are just about fed up with Harris running all over their defence. Harris became the sixth player in CFL history to reach 10,000 yards rushing, and also had a big night, picking up nearly 200 all-purpose yards. Right now, Toronto is clearly the best team in the East Division, and all they have to do now is keep to the course.

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3. BC Lions (4-1)

Week 6 Ranking: 3rd

Highest Ranking: 3rd

Lowest Ranking: 3rd

Total Points: 18

Week 7 Result: Win Vs. Hamilton (17-12)

Next Game: Week 8 @ Saskatchewan

The BC Lions haven’t seemed as punchy as everyone thought they were since they lost to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in week five. They are still a really good football team, and no one should take them lightly, but the hype has died down a little bit. In week seven, the Lions hosted the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and they looked quite pedestrian. Nathan Rourke was okay, completing 73 percent of his passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions, with one coming late in the game that could have been a difference maker. This is a little bit of adversity for the young team. The teams ahead of them in the Bombers and Stampeders know what it takes to win, and for the Lions, they haven’t been there yet. Right now, they need to keep themselves close to the top of the West Division and within striking distance of a top two spot. A win over Saskatchewan in week eight would provide a nice confidence boost.

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2. Calgary Stampeders (4-1)

Week 6 Ranking: 2nd

Highest Ranking: 2nd

Lowest Ranking: 2nd

Total Points: 12

Week 7 Result: BYE WEEK

Next Game: Week 8 Vs. Winnipeg

Right now, there is only one team in the Canadian Football League that can go head to head with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and it’s a familiar adversary in the league, the Calgary Stampeders. It’s not a true home-and-home for the Stampeders and Bombers, but Calgary’s last game did come against their rivals from Winnipeg. With a bye week in week seven, the Stampeders got to sit at home and watch the Bombers play the Elks, all the while resting up for the rematch. It seems early to call this a must-win game for the Stampeders, but in a sense, it might actually be. A second loss against the Bombers would drop Calgary to 4-2 while sending the Bombers to 8-0, giving Winnipeg an eight-point lead in the standings. That is likely going to be pretty hard to come back from, so this might be about as important as a game in week eight could ever be.

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1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7-0)

Week 6 Ranking: 1st

Highest Ranking: 1st

Lowest Ranking: 1st

Total Points: 6

Week 7 Result: Win @ Edmonton (24-10)

Next Game: Week 8 @ Calgary

Truthfully, nothing outside of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers winning again made sense in their week seven meeting with the Edmonton Elks. How many times are you going to win a game when your quarterback only completes seven passes, he throws two interceptions, you only control the ball for just over 22 minutes, and you lose the turnover battle. The answer is maybe once, and the Bombers used it on Friday night. Looking at the box score, it’s comical how slanted everything was in Edmonton’s favour, and yet, Winnipeg still won the game. Dalton Schoen had a good game, catching four passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, and yet, he caught fewer than half the passes Zach Collaros targeted him with. Will the Blue Bombers want to make getting beaten badly in as many statistical categories as they did a habit? No, absolutely not, but they are 7-0, and once again, they found a way to win the game. While their meeting with the Calgary Stampeders next week is big, they have spotted themselves quite the lead in the West Division.

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1 thought on “CFL Power Rankings – Week 7”

  1. It’s the CFL, no one wins the Grey Cup in July , labour day is the true start of the football season,

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