Talk about parity–through five weeks of the season, there are five teams sitting at 3-2. Two others are at 2-3, and hey, even Winnipeg won last week. This season could very well be going right down to the wire, though there is still plenty of time for a couple teams to break away from the pack. Stay tuned…
On that note, I’m not going to bother with a power ranking next week, as only four teams are in action. Will return after Week 7 when everybody’s back on even ground.
Week 5 Power Rankings
1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-2) Last Week: 3. With three straight wins, the Tigers are beginning to look like the Beasts of the East. When was the last time you could say that Hamilton had the team to beat!? Probably around 2000, which was also the last time they had won in Regina–before last night. An impressive fourth quarter comeback for a team that’s scored more points than anyone else in the league–the flipside being that they’ve allowed more points than anyone else, too. Still, this team is definitely fun to watch. Looks like Smilin’ Hank’s got something left in the tank, after all…
2. Toronto Argonauts (3-2) Last Week: 6. Don’t look now, but the Argos have a winning streak of their own after knocking off the Als in Montreal. They’re still not scoring as much as you’d expect from a Ricky Ray-led team, but the best defence in the East is getting the job done. Looks like they’ve found a long-range kicker as well in Swayze “Don’t Call Me Patrick” Waters, who connected on a pair of 50-yarders in what ended up being a three-point win. The two Ontario teams ought to inject some life back into the Labour Day Classic–which would be hard to do if it was held in Toronto instead of Hamilton, mind you. (I’d be surprised if the Argos draw more than 20,000 for their holiday Monday tilt against BC.)
3. B.C. Lions (3-2) Last Week: 7. Coming into last night’s game, I was expecting a shootout between the Lions and the Calgary Stampeders, though in the end, it was more of a firing squad, B.C. laying a 34-8 beating on the home side. Neither team looked good in the first half, but the Lions turned it on with a late TD, then outscored Calgary 21-3 in the last two quarters. While there’s no clear favourite out west, with three teams sitting at 3-2, I’d still probably put my money on the defending Grey Cup champs.
4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-2) Last Week: 4. If the Stamps are the CFL’s Cardiac Kids this season, then the Riders must be the Brain Aneurysm Bunch. For the second week in a row, they suffered a big mental breakdown, blowing a three-score lead in the fourth quarter to lose 35-34 to Hamilton at Mosaic Stadium. But while they’ve lost their last two contests, one of those losses came by one point and the other was in OT. This is still a very competitive team, they just need to right the ship.
5. Edmonton Eskimos (3-2) Last Week: 2. The CFL’s stingiest defence gave up a season-high 23 points last week to the league’s lowest-scoring offence–and yet, they still would’ve won, or at least had a shot at a game-winning field goal, had Stephen Jyles not dropped the ball in the dying seconds. The Esks can’t count on their quarterback to lead them to victory this season, so it looks like they’ll just hafta keep holding opponents under 20 points.
6. Montreal Alouettes (2-3) Last Week: 5. Don’t look now, but the Als actually have a losing record. When was the last time you could say that at the end of July? Montreal’s defence hasn’t held too many opponents in check, giving up 32.4 points per game, but it’s their lack of offensive production that’s most surprising; only Winnipeg has a worse points differential than their -34. This could be the end of an era for Calvillo, Trestman and company–but we’ve still got a lotta games left to play, so I can’t speak too soon.
7. Calgary Stampeders (2-3) Last Week: 1. The Stamps go from the penthouse to the outhouse after turning in Week Five’s all-around shittiest performance. Kevin Glenn, who had played every game this year like it was the East Semi-Final, was simply average last night, completing 19-of-28 passes for 245 yards, no TDs and a pick. But the Stamps running game was completely non-existent, Jon Cornish carrying six times for a loss of a yard (though he did have a couple big runs called back due to penalties). On the other side of the ball, the Stamps gave up 30+ points for the fourth straight week. Who knew that their biggest loss in the off-season would be defensive coordinator Chris Jones?
8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-4) Last Week: 8. Sure, they won their home opener, but they were facing an offence that was almost as bad as theirs is (Edmonton’s scored just 10 more points than Winnipeg this year), and still, that game couldn’t have been any closer. If there was one area the Bombers could hang their hat on, it’s that their defence, which had given up 35 points per game coming in, held its opponent to 22–but then again, they were facing the second-worst offence in the league. Let’s see how they fare against Montreal on Friday before we get too excited.