(Once upon a time, I was the CFL Editor for a sports website that no longer exists. I watch pretty much all the games when I don’t have other plans, so I figure I know about as much as the other Canadian Football prognosticators out there–y’know, both of them. Thus, I’ve decided to start doing my own power rankings; we’ll see how long this lasts.)
Week 2 Power Rankings
1. B.C. Lions (2-0) Last Week: 3. Despite a late-game meltdown that let Hamilton back in it on Friday night, the defending Grey Cup champs are 2-0. With 72 points on the board through two weeks of play, they’re also the second-highest-scoring team in the league. But they’ve yet to play a game outside of their home turf, so it remains to be seen how they’ll fare on the road.
2. Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-0) Last Week: 2. It wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done. After an impressive 43-point performance last week in Hamilton, the Riders didn’t find the end zone until the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter in their home opener today. On the other hand, they almost kept the Edmonton Eskimos off the scoreboard, holding their opponents to just a single point. The Green-and-White are off to a good start against two of the bottom three teams in the league, but will face a much tougher test when they host the Lions next weekend.
3. Montreal Alouettes (1-1) Last Week: 7. No team looked worse in Week 1 than the Als, who got steamrollered by the Stampeders on Canada Day. But they bounced back on Friday, putting up 5 TDs on a supposedly-tough Winnipeg defence to even their record at 1s. They get another shot at the Stamps this week as they host Calgary on Thursday–and if Calgary QB Drew Tate doesn’t play, they might even flip the tables on ‘em.
4. Calgary Stampeders (1-1) Last Week: 1. The Stamps did well to erase a 15-point deficit on the road in the second half, only to lose to the Argos on a last-second field goal. But the biggest loss for the Stamps came early in the first quarter, when Tate left the game with a shoulder injury. The team looked shaky with Kevin Glenn at the helm, but got a big boost from the superb special-teams play of Larry Taylor, who had 292 return yards on punts and kickoffs–not to mention the missed field-goal he ran back 125 yards for a touchdown in the fourth. Here’s hoping that Tate’s injury wasn’t as bad as it looked, otherwise it’ll be a tough month ahead for Calgary.
5. Toronto Argonauts (1-1) Last Week: 6. Turns out it only took Ricky Ray one game to get over his new-team jitters. The all-time great QB had an impressive home debut despite the sparse crowd in The Big Smoke, completing 30-of-40 passes for 407 yards and two TDs–though he was also picked off twice. Most importantly, he connected on some key throws down the stretch, allowing his team to respond whenever Calgary came up with a big play. Cleo Lemon couldn’t have completed most of those passes. Looks like Toronto’s finally got an offence that’s worth watching. Wonder how many weeks/wins it will take for this city to actually give a damn…
6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2) Last Week: 8. After getting embarrassed at Ivor Wynne Stadium last week, the Tabbies put together a more-respectable showing at BC Place, dropping a tight decision to the Lions. I am a little worried about the age and inconsistency of Henry Burris at quarterback, though. After disappearing in the second half of last week’s game, he didn’t really wake up until the fourth quarter against the Lions, though his final numbers (359 yards, 4 TDs) sure look impressive. He’ll need more than some flashy Chevron Walker-aided stats to stay ahead of Quinton Porter on the depth chart, however, as he faces a familiar foe in Ricky Ray next weekend.
7. Edmonton Eskimos (1-1) Last Week: 4. Perhaps no team is worse off in the QB department than Edmonton, who rotated Stephen Jyles and Kerry Joseph tonight like they were running backs–not the leaders of the team’s offence. The two pivots combined to go 13-of-25 with a mere 116 yards passing as the team only put up a rouge off a missed field goal on the scoreboard. See, this is what happens when you trade your franchise QB for a career backup and a Canadian kicker…
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (0-2) Last Week: 5. In Week One, the Bombers played a pretty solid defensive game in hostile territory before things came unraveled in the 4th quarter. But they didn’t have much going offensively after Buck Pierce went down late in the first half. And though Buck bounced back with a respectable 255-yard effort in Montreal (with Alex Brink going 3-for-4 and adding 57 yards to their passing totals), it was their defence’s turn to let the team down. The Bombers are off to a tough start to this season, which opens with four consecutive road games. And when they finally come home, it won’t be to a brand-new stadium–the opening of which has been pushed back to next season. On the plus side, they do have a winnable game in Edmonton staring them in the face on Friday. I’d put the over-under for total points in that one at 25–and no, I won’t be watching.