CFL Power Rankings: Week 17 | Football | CBC Sports

CFL Power RankingsCFL Power Rankings: Week 17

Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011 | 11:35 PM

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The Blue Bombers' defence - including Ian Logan and Alex Suber (21) - may be intimidating, but so are the fans at Canad Inns Stadium. That bodes well for playoff time. (Trevor Hagan/Canadian Press) The Blue Bombers' defence - including Ian Logan and Alex Suber (21) - may be intimidating, but so are the fans at Canad Inns Stadium. That bodes well for playoff time. (Trevor Hagan/Canadian Press)

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Once a week, Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.

Once a week, Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.

1. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Up from 4]
Overall record: 10-6
Streak: One win

And down the stretch they come. Easy to tell between two forces of nature and which one had the most influence on the huge victory over Montreal. The wind blew hard, but it didn't seem to discriminate as both teams scored 16 points with nature's help in the second half. The more than 30,000 freaks (best freaks in the league) that squeezed into the stadium, on the other hand, blew only one direction and their support was remarkable. Two games left and winning both means the bye and home field in the East final. Boy, it's worth it. Left: Home to Toronto, at Calgary.
2. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 10-6
Streak: One loss

What's more worrying? Is it the injury-riddled defence that gave up 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter against the Bombers, tossing away a chance to wrap up first in the East? Is it the three interceptions by Anthony Calvillo and the six sacks his porous O-Line allowed? AC was so frustrated with himself afterward he used the word "sh-t" in an interview. This is earth shattering for him. Bombers seemed to have worked out how to get to the future hall of fame QB, and the Als must plug that hole. Left: Home to Calgary, at B.C.
3. B.C. LIONS [Down from 1]
Overall record: 9-7
Streak: One loss

Forget the loss (you knew it had to happen), it's the injuries that have to be disturbing. With four key players already out of the lineup, B.C. lost five more against Hamilton. Among them, QB Travis Lulay turned an ankle, and young runner Andrew Harris hurt his shoulder. Both may be OK. Notes: Don't let kicker Paul McCallum throw another pass, ever. Andrew, when your arm is hanging uselessly by your side, don't stay in the game. Left: Edmonton and Montreal at home. Win those and they can stay home the rest of the year.
4. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Down from 3]
Overall record: 10-6
Streak: Three wins

How do you win three in a row and drop a place? By putting on that fourth quarter against the lousy Argonauts, that's how. Leading 31-3, and about half an hour later you're up by seven with under a minute to play and Toronto with the ball in your end? This taught a young team a valuable lesson without costing anything but embarrassment. For 45 minutes the Esks looked ready to make noise in the playoffs. I'm sure Kavis Reed will remind his troops how thin the line is between winners and losers in this tightest of all seasons. Left: At B.C., home to Saskatchewan.
5. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 9-7
Streak: One win

Who knows what coach John Hufnagel will decide, but in my mind Drew Tate became the full-time QB of this team late in the first half against the Riders when he twisted away from Kenny Rowe, stepped out of the pocket and fired a TD strike to Landon Talley. You never know if Smilin' Hank Burris or his alter-ego, Bad Henry, will show up at QB from week to week, and that's killing this club. You can tell Burris had his feelings hurt by the benching. Good. Turn it into something positive when you get back in. Left: At Montreal, home to Winnipeg.
6. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 8-8
Streak: One win

Sorry to put a damper on Justin Medlock's excellent seven field goal night, but having to kick that many says something about the Cats' inability to finish drives. Kevin Glenn played the first half and Quinton Porter was QB in the second, and they each had 116 yards passing, though the latter with a much better completion percentage. Much of this win goes to the defenders, who were great. Kitties have two games left and then go to either Montreal or Winnipeg for the playoffs. They can win there if everything comes together at the right time. Dangerous to bet on that.
7. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-12
Streak: One loss

These guys work so hard, and their offence is so bad, it almost breaks your heart. They put together a nice fourth quarter but the Eskimos had packed up by then. Chad Owens continues to be brilliant in combined yards. Cory Boyd looks like he's ready to run well from the backfield again. But these receivers are just horrible. Whoever is running this team next year needs to find people with hands and brains. Andy Fantuz? Give him the keys to the owner's car if he wants it.
8. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-12
Streak: Five losses

This might seem, like, crazy or something, but if QB Darian Durant has a broken bone in his foot and you're way out of the playoffs, shouldn't you, like, sit him down? Just asking. Wonder if we're seeing the last of Wes Cates at running back? Can they hang on to receiver Andy Fantuz in the off-season? Edmonton wants him. He's from southern Ontario. There will be lots of teams interested if he goes free agent. This is what's left for Rider Nation: speculation.

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