Week 14 of the CFL 2023 regular season is in the books. The league’s top two teams, Toronto and Winnipeg, flexed their muscles, dominating division rivals at home. And in the process, last year’s Grey cup finalists, the Argos and Bombers, are predictably heading back to the playoffs.
The rest of the league saw Hamilton stay ahead of the pack in what is shaping up to be a unique race for a final playoff spot.
Here is what the CFL regular season standings look like heading into Week 15.
CFL 2023: Week 15 Regular Season Standings
|Toronto Argonauts– x||11||10||1||0||20||387||244||6-0-0||4-1-0||6-0-0|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers – x||13||10||3||0||20||425||263||6-1-0||4-2-0||7-2-0|
Here’s how I stack up all nine CFL teams from the bottom to the top, heading into Week 15.
CFL 2023: Week 15 Power Rankings
#9: Ottawa REDBLACKS (3-9 )
- Last Week’s Ranking: 9
- Last Game: 27-24 Home Loss To Hamilton
- Next game: At British Columbia, Saturday, September 16
Although, they are still “mathematically” alive for the postseason. For all intents and purposes, after a sixth straight loss and, more importantly, a third defeat to Hamilton, Ottawa’s playoff hopes are dead.
Bob Dyce’s team is now 0-6 in the East division. And despite having two weeks to prepare at home against a Ti-Cats team coming off a short week. They dropped another game to Hamilton in heartbreaking fashion.
Ottawa has fought hard this season, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve lost six games by one score. But at the end of the day, the results remain the same for a franchise that has been the league’s worst since 2019. The Redblacks are 13-49 in the last three seasons and counting.
After a promising 3-3 start, Ottawa has proved that they are just not ready yet to turn the corner and be a contender. They have six games left to try and salvage what’s left of 2023 and build for next year. A mantra that the team has had heading into every fall for a while now.
#8: Edmonton Elks (3-10)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 8
- Last game: 25-23 Home Victory Over Calgary
- Next game: At Saskatchewan, Friday, September 15th
The Elks flipped the script from how they lost on Labour Day to Calgary. Edmonton, down big in the fourth quarter, rallied late to pull out a comeback victory at home. In a complete role reversal. They gave the Stamps the same dose of medicine delivered to them in soul-crushing fashion last week.
A botched convert and a failed sequence on a two-point play nearly proved costly in Edmonton’s comeback bid. But the team’s faithful were rewarded at the final gun by kicker Dean Faithfull.
Tre Ford wasn’t as magical as he had been in previous weeks, but he came on late in what should be a learning experience moving forward. Edmonton is playing a much better brand of football than they’ve shown in the last few years. That’s the positive coming out of this season.
In Week 14, Edmonton, who has now won two straight at home after losing 23 games in a row, finally got the favorable result that’s eluded them late in games. Perhaps it’s a precursor of what’s to come in the future.
#7: Calgary Stampeders (4-9)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 7
- Last Game: 25-23 road loss to Edmonton
- Next game: Week 16, Home versus Montreal, Saturday, September 23
What a miserable way for the Stampeders to enter their final bye week. Sporting a 23-7 lead in the fourth quarter, it appeared that Calgary was headed to back-to-back victories over Edmonton and a 5-8 record. The Stamps had stumped Tre Ford and Edmonton’s offence all night long.
However, things completely fell apart for the Stampeders, who stumbled poorly in what can be characterized as their worst loss of the season. Calgary blew a grand opportunity to pick up ground on Hamilton, a team they are chasing with very little ground to make up now with five games left on their docket. The Stamps will get the Cats at home in Week 17, but even a victory there won’t ensure a crossover slot.
A week ago, some readers took issue with this column ranking Hamilton ahead of Calgary. Week 14 showed why the Stamps have been stuck in neutral all year with the rest of the CFL’s bottom-tier teams.
#6: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-7)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 6
- Last game: 27-24 Road Victory Over Ottawa Home Loss To Toronto
- Next game: Home vs. Winnipeg, Saturday, September 16
Hamilton got just what they needed in Week 14 after a humbling Labour Day loss at home to the Grey Cup Champion Argos. The Ti-Cats bounced back, defeating the Redblacks for a third time this season. Ottawa hasn’t beaten Hamilton since 2018. They have been a “get right” team for the Ti-Cats for several seasons now.
As a result of Hamilton’s victory, they stay in the driver’s seat for the final CFL playoff spot with six games left to play. Helping matters as well was a Calgary collapse against Edmonton.
However, the Ti-Cats have a challenging schedule up ahead. No more Redblacks to pick on.
Orlando Steinauer’s squad will square off with Winnipeg next week, then head to Toronto, and then play the Stamps, Riders, Lions, and Alouettes in the final quarter of the season. A 3-3 finish would likely get Hamilton back into the playoffs with the same record they had last year at 8-10. In this odd CFL season of the haves and have-nots, a record of 7 and 11 could even do the trick.
#5: Montreal Alouettes (6-6)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 5
- Last game: 39-10 Road Loss To Toronto
- Next game: Home versus Toronto, Friday, September 15
The two teams in the fifth and fourth spots in this week’s rankings could easily flip spots without blinking an eye. Both teams, Montreal and Saskatchewan, who share 6-6 records, were humiliated in Week 14.
Saturday’s 39-10 Alouettes defeat at the hands of the Double Blue was as bloody as Montreal’s blood-red pants.
Montreal is now 0-6 this season against Toronto, Winnipeg, and British Columbia. Undefeated against everyone else in the league. For what that’s worth. That record against the rest of the pack will probably, by default, barring a late-season collapse, net the Als a playoff spot.
The Alouettes can try and redeem themselves back at home this coming Friday against Toronto.
After their final regular season tilt with the Argonauts. The rest of the schedule lines up well for Montreal. They won’t face a single team with a winning record. Among their remaining opponents, the Als will play Ottawa twice, as well as the Elks.
The way things are aligned in the CFL. Nine or maybe eight wins will likely net the Alouettes a playoff berth.
At some point, maybe in Week 15, but more importantly, in the postseason, Montreal has to shake their pretender label. Their results against the league’s elite haven’t been pretty.
#4: Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-6)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 4
- Last game: 51-6 Road Loss To The Bombers
- Next game: Home versus Edmonton, Friday, September 15
The Riders will need to heed the “be a goldfish” mantra of Ted Lasso and have a ten-second memory after what happened to them during the Banjo Bowl. Saskatchewan would love to erase Week 14 of the CFL season completely from their memory bank.
A week after shocking the Bombers on Labour Day weekend with a thrilling last-second overtime victory. The Roughriders were predictably roughed up by a Bloodthirsty Bombers team who was out for revenge.
Everyone knew that winning a back-to-back over a Mike O’Shea team on the road would be a tall task for the Riders. And that the possibility of a beatdown was in order. But even still, no one could’ve seen the 42-6 drubbing the Bombers laid upon Saskatchewan by halftime.
Saskatchewan was outclassed in every way imaginable by Winnipeg. The Bombers, especially at home, are that good. The Riders are definitely not as bad as they showed on Saturday afternoon. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
#3: B.C. Lions (8-4)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 3
- Last game: 34-25 road victory over Montreal
- Next game: Home versus Ottawa, Saturday, September 16
Can the B.C. Lions stay within striking distance of winning the Western Division when they get to Week 18 and play Winnipeg again?
That’s got to be the goal for British Columbia coming off their bye week. The Lions play Ottawa, Edmonton, and Saskatchewan before their next showdown with the Bombers at BC Place.
#2: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-3)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 2
- Last game: 51-6 Home Conquest Of Saskatchewan
- Next game: At Hamilton, Saturday, September 16
Mike O’Shea’s squad delivered a monumental beatdown of their prairie rival on Saturday. You could see this one coming from a mile away. The Bombers were out for blood in Week 14 against Saskatchewan.
Winnipeg, who is unsurprisingly headed to the playoffs again, had added motivation beyond netting another annual postseason bid.
In their last three games at home, the Blue Bombers have scored 50 points against the Lions, 47 against Montreal, and 51 against Saskatchewan.
Winnipeg, if they wanted to, could’ve scored a lot more in their revenge game against the Riders in Week 14. They called off the dogs after amassing an absurd 42-6 lead at halftime. The statement was delivered swiftly and in a loud and clear fashion.
Ever since the return of Kenny Lawler to Winnipeg’s lineup this season. The Bombers, on offence, have been unstoppable. It’s become a pick-your-poison proposition for opposing teams. Overloading to stop league-leading rusher Brady Olivera, who eclipsed over 1,000 yards, means playing one-on-one against the Bombers’ elite receiving duo of Lawler and Dalton Schoen. Doubling them with deep help means a lighter box for Olivera.
The road to a Grey Cup in the West is likely going to go through IG Field again. Judging by the recent results, that’s going to mean that the Bombers are going to make it to their fourth straight CFL championship game.
#1: Toronto Argonauts (10-1)
- Last Week’s Ranking: 1
- Last game: 39-10 home victory over Montreal
- Next game: At Montreal, Friday, September 15th
So much for a potential trap or letdown game coming off Labour Day for Double Blue.
Ryan Dinwiddie’s Argos are headed to the postseason for the third year in a row after crushing the Alouettes 39-10 at home.
The last time Toronto beat Montreal in July, Dinwiddie stated that his team’s victory felt like a loss. His squad entered Week 14 with that mindset and delivered one of their best all-around performances of what has been a near-perfect season so far.
Before Saturday, The Argonauts, who are in their 150th year of existence, had only started a campaign at 10-1 once in their history, back in the Doug Flutie time machine of 1996.
Toronto has now matched the franchise’s greatest start to a season with Chad Kelly, who has yet to lose a game this year, that he has started and finished.
The Boatmen are potentially entering uncharted waters. Another victory this coming week against the Alouettes in Montreal could shore up the Eastern crown with six games remaining in the regular season. The Argos could ensure their third straight East Final at home and have nothing of consequence to play for in their final six regular season contests.
It will be interesting to see how the Argonauts football club handles what would be a favorable dilemma.
A high standard of excellence and bar has been set by Toronto’s brilliant leadership group, and the team, after ten wins, has met it.
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