Edmonton made another potent statement that it is a championship-caliber club. And the Eastern Division is looking, well, not good.
Meanwhile, there is a new leader in the ROUGE Standings.
Here are this week’s power rankings, with last week’s ranking appearing at the beginning of the parenthesis.
Edmonton (1, 5-0, vs Hamilton): Mike Reilly finally threw an interception (actually two), and it didn’t matter. That’s the kind of season the Esks are enjoying right now. This team powered through again after two more important players — running back Travon Van and kicker Sean Whyte — went down with injuries.
Calgary (3, 4-1-1, at Toronto): The Stamps hammered Hamilton; and for the first time this season, Calgary looked like the dominant team that it might very well be. The number one reason: Calgary’s defense has given up 10 or fewer points in three of its past four games. The Stamps play two of their next three games against the struggling Argonauts.
Winnipeg (5, 3-2, at Ottawa): The previously perfect Justin Medlock missed a field goal, and the Blue Bombers eventually won their game by one point. Perhaps mocking the rouge is done at one’s own peril? Setting that aside, Winnipeg showed a late-game tenacity that could be beneficial later in the season.
BC Lions (2, 4-2, vs Saskatchewan): The Lions might not have won anyway, but two dubious pass interference calls in Edmonton cannot be ignored. Something else to think about: BC is 0-2 against Edmonton and 4-0 against the rest of the league. The Lions have one more chance to defeat the Esks during the regular season; that game is in October.
Saskatchewan (8, 2-3, at BC Lions): That 0-2 start, by a combined four points, is a distant memory: Saskatchewan is a rapidly improving team. Willie Jefferson was a menace on defense, with nine tackles and a quarterback sack in the Roughriders win over Toronto. Kevin Glenn’s 11 touchdown passes are second in the CFL.
Toronto (4, 3-3, vs Calgary): It’s getting to be a broken record: The Argonauts running game continues to sputter, putting too much pressure on quarterback Ricky Ray. Toronto is last in the league in yards rushing and yards per rush. If Jim Popp thinks the problem is in the backfield, then it might be time to make a trade.
Montreal (6, 2-4, BYE): The offense generated more than 500 yards at Winnipeg, an effort that in almost any other week would have been good enough for a win. After the bye week, the Alouettes play consecutive games against Toronto; at minimum, Montreal should split that series.
Ottawa (7, 1-4-1, vs Winnipeg): Ottawa’s offense is generating plenty of yards and plenty of points. Unfortunately, the REDBLACKS defense is giving up plenty of yards and plenty of points. Consecutive games against Winnipeg and Edmonton will test whatever schemes the defense implemented during the bye week.
Hamilton (9, 0-5, at Edmonton): Dating back to last season, Hamilton has lost 10 of its last 11 regular season games, and the only win was by three points. The TiCats have scored the fewest points on offense and given up the most points on defense this season. Edmonton and Winnipeg are on the horizon, and 0-7 is a real possibility.
Meanwhile, the ROUGE Standings:
BC Lions: 4
Honorable Mention, Dave Ridgway: 1