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CFL Week 7 Power Rankings: Argos Retain Top Spot, Ottawa Stuns The Bombers, Riders Suffer Double Loss

The defending CFL Champion Argos remain unscathed as the league’s top team. But the rest of the CFL was turned upside down in Week 6.

Week 6 in the CFL provided a ton of excitement and shocking developments. As a result, there’s a shakeup in the standings heading into Week 7.

CFL 2023 Regular Season Standings





CFL Week 7 Power Rankings

#1: Toronto Argonauts (4-0)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 1
  • Last game: 35-27 road victory over Montreal
  • Next game: At Hamilton, Friday, July 21st

The ultra-talented Toronto Argonauts have won games in a variety of ways this season. Leaning on the combination of a balanced offensive attack fueled by a stellar ground attack, big plays on special teams, and an aggressive big-play defence. But on Saturday night in Montreal, it was the Boatmen’s anointed leader Chad Kelly who saved the day and stole the show.

The second-year CFL quarterback had a coming-out party against the Alouettes, where he decided his team’s fate with the game hanging in the balance.

Montreal kept coming, but Kelly answered the call on every occasion. He finished 21 of 25 passing for 351 yards and four scores, three through the air. But it was his clutch performance in the game’s closing moments that stood out. “Swag” Kelly took command in a tie-game and threw for two touchdowns on his final five completions.

Against a game Alouettes’ team in a place where historically, the Argos have struggled to win (Losers of six of their last seven games before Week 6). Toronto triumphed but was far from perfect.

Toronto had some defensive and disciplinary breakdowns against Montreal that nearly proved costly. Sooner or later, particularly, the latter issue could eventually cost the Argonauts some games this season.

However, the arrival of Chad Kelly as a bonafide superstar quarterback brings forth the promise of even better days ahead for the Boatmen.

#2: B.C. Lions (4-1)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 2
  • Last game: 35-19 Home victory over Montreal
  • Next game: Week 7, Home vs. Saskatchewan, Saturday, July 22

There was quite a bit of feedback from fans last week who took issue with this column for ranking the Lions ahead of the Bombers. Despite the fact that B.C. beat them head-to-head in Winnipeg 30-6.

There’s nothing to dispute this week after watching what happened to the Bombers while the Lions were sleeping.

For now, B.C. has full control of the West and is headed to an important home game against Saskatchewan. It’s the start of a five-game stretch against divisional teams for the Lions. As a result, they have a chance to create further distance in the standings.

#3: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4-2)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 3
  • Last game: 31-28 overtime road loss to Ottawa.
  • Next game: Home vs. Edmonton, Thursday, July 20

Mike O’Shea’s Winnipeg squad, after taking a 25-6 lead over a demoralized Redblacks team in Ottawa, appeared to be on its way to a third straight victory.

However, a late-game collapse by the Bombers, which saw them uncharacteristically fall apart, is more alarming than their listless blowout loss at home to B.C. nearly a month ago. The championship-bred Blue Bombers don’t lose the type of game they did against Ottawa.

Perhaps it’s just a one-week anomaly that should easily and quickly be corrected with an angry Winnipeg team at home against winless Edmonton this Thursday. However, we are starting to see some chinks in the Bombers’ normally impenetrable armor.

#4: Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-2)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 4
  • Last game: 33-31 home loss to Calgary
  • Next game: At British Columbia, Saturday. July 22

Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win; and sometimes, when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism from which one extracts what one needs.

Gloria Clemente played by Rosie Perez in White Men Can’t Jump

No matter what angle you try and spin Saskatchewan’s result in Week 6. It’s hard not to look at it as more than just one loss. And it goes beyond losing in heartbreaking fashion to a division rival at home.

The Roughriders suffered a huge blow when star veteran quarterback Trevor Harris went down against Calgary in what appears to be a lengthy injury, potentially season-ending. Hopefully, the eventual news on Harris’s injury is better than the initial fears.

Perhaps in the long run, things will be just Mason Fine for Saskatchewan. After all, he led Saskatchewan in what appeared to be a late go-ahead victory before Calgary broke the Riders’ spirits doubly with a game-winning Rene Paredes 50-yard field goal at the final gun.

The Riders came into the week 6 CFL finale on Saturday night with a chance to leapfrog Winnipeg at 4-1 in the standings before embarking upon a crucial first-place showdown in B.C. Instead, they fall to 3-2 and now will need to regroup and avoid sliding down the standings further.

#5: Montreal Alouettes (2-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 5
  • Last game: 35-27 home loss to Toronto
  • Next game: After Bye. Week 8, Home vs. Calgary, Sunday. July 30

After a 2-0 start to their season, Montreal stepped up in class the last three weeks against Winnipeg, B.C., and Toronto. The end result, perhaps an expected one, is that the Alouettes lost each one of those encounters.

However, the Alouettes’ third straight tilt against the CFL’s best was nearly a charm as Montreal pushed the Grey Cup Champion Argonauts to the limit in Week 6.

Jason Maas’s Montreal squad, led by Cody Fajardo, showed that they can hang with the champs. And although they are 2-3 headed into a bye. The Alouettes are battle tested and in a good position in the East, moving forward when they return from their break.

#6: Calgary Stampeders (2-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 6
  • Last Game: 33-31 Road victory over Saskatchewan
  • Next game: Home vs. Ottawa, Sunday, July 23rd

Calgary is back in the race after a thrilling last-second victory at rival Saskatchewan. The 33-31 late heroics capped off by Mr. Reliable Rene Paredes was exactly what the Stamps needed to inject some life into their season.

After producing mixed results at best to start this season, week 6 provided Jake Maier’s best performance. The young veteran threw for 315 yards and two scores while expertly rallying the Stamps in the final seconds to victory.

For Calgary to make the leap in a league that now has four of its nine teams at 2-3, Maier has to step up his level of play. In Week 6, he accomplished that.

#7: Ottawa REDBLACKS (2-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 8
  • Last Game: 31-28 Overtime Victory over Winnipeg
  • Next game: At Calgary, Sunday, July 23rd

The Dustin Crum-led Redblacks are 1-0 after an unlikely come-from-behind victory against the mighty Blue Bombers.

The football gods certainly dealt Ottawa a cruel bit of fate last week when Jeremiah Masoli was lost for the season on the night of his year-long return to action. And then, to make matters worse, salt was added to their wounds, as the Redblacks lost on the final play within yards away against Hamilton.

But in Week 6, Ottawa’s saw their depths of despair reverse course in what was arguably their most thrilling regular season victory in recent memory.

Down 25-6, the Redblacks engineered an improbable fourth-quarter comeback in front of their home crowd. Ottawa scored 19 fourth-quarter points and then sealed the deal on a 29-yard Dustin Crum go-ahead touchdown run in overtime to stun the Bombers.

Dustin Crum, a CFL rookie making his first-ever start, has given the Redblacks new life moving forward. Ottawa desperately needed to win to generate any level of hope this season. Mission accomplished, even though it was achieved in the most unlikely fashion.

There’s now a three-way tie for the second spot in the East behind Toronto. And for now, Ottawa is right in that mix with Montreal and Hamilton.

#8: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-3)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 8
  • Last game: 37-29 road victory over Edmonton
  • Next game: Home vs. Toronto, Friday, July 21st

Sometimes it’s not who you play but when you play them.

The schedule has broken correctly for Hamilton after a disappointing 0-3 start. A week ago, the Ti-Cats came off a much-needed bye to sneak past a reeling Redblacks team at home. In week 6, the Tiger-Cats drew the hapless Elks in Edmonton.

In their last two victories, it’s been Hamilton’s high-profile offseason acquisitions and top stars who have made a difference. In week 6, RB James Butler played the role of hero.

The Ticats improved to 2-3 on the season but unfortunately lost quarterback Matt Shiltz to a leg injury late in the third quarter. He had been filling in for the also-injured Bo Levi Mitchell. The team will likely be turning to option C on the pivot, Taylor Powell.

Both Hamilton victories have aided them to course correcting their season. Despite all their early-season issues, the Cats are still in the mix to make the playoffs.

They have a huge test coming up at home against rival Toronto this coming Friday.

#9: Edmonton Elks (0-6)

  • Last Week’s Ranking: 9
  • Last game: 37-29 home loss to Hamilton
  • Next game: At Winnipeg, Thursday, July 20

It feels dirty at this point to pile on the Edmonton Elks.

The application of saying, “Give me the bad news first” doesn’t apply here. Simply because there’s no good news to give.

Edmonton has now lost a CFL-record 20 consecutive home games, a string of futility stretching back nearly four years to Oct. 12, 2019. 

The latest Elks loss to Hamilton tied the longest run of consecutive home losses among North America’s major professional leagues. Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Browns lost 20 straight in 1953 before becoming the Baltimore Orioles the next season.

On top of that, Edmonton has also lost 10 straight games overall.

To quote the legendary Scarecrow from the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. “I think it’ll get darker before it gets lighter,”. That’s because the Elks next three games sees them at Winnipeg, home versus B.C., and then a bye before facing the Bombers again at home.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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