CFL Power Rankings: Week 18 | Football | CBC Sports

CFLCFL Power Rankings: Week 18

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 | 11:05 AM

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Drew Tate has looked poised since taking over as Calgary's starting quarterback. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press) Drew Tate has looked poised since taking over as Calgary's starting quarterback. (Graham Hughes/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. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Up from 5]
Overall record: 10-7
Streak: Two wins

Surging to the line, five teams all with the same records, and where did that White Stallion come from? They changed jockeys in the stretch, found a hole along the rail and here they are. Drew Tate, starting quarterback (has a ring, don't you think?) has some learnin' to do, but he looked poised out there in Montreal under tough circumstances. And how about receiver Johnny Forzani, nephew of the owner, son of a Stampeders' legend? He's living up to the pressure (six grabs, 108 yards, two scores). Next: Home to Winnipeg.
2. B.C. LIONS [Up from 3]
Overall record: 10-7
Streak: One win

Travis Lulay has settled nicely now into his role as the "next one" in a long line of strong quarterbacks trained by the Lions. The TV guys were mentioning how Lulay's drive to put the game away late was his best of the year, and there's no disagreement here, but what struck me was how calm he stayed all through the 60 minutes, working things out when everything wasn't going great, finding the holes ... winning. Of all the impressive numbers in this 9-1 run, the Lions' 8-2 mark in their own division jumps out the most. Must find someone to run the ball though, or it's all for naught. Next: Home to Montreal.
3. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Down from 2]
Overall record: 10-7
Streak: Two losses

Coming in on a wing, two pieces of gum, half a roll of tape, some left over string and one big prayer, are the Alouettes. You wonder sometimes if LB Chip Cox needs one of those play bands on his wrist, just to remember who his defensive backs are from week to week. A flat out brawl with the Stampeders saw the Als' defence give up well-over 400 yards and yet Montreal was still in it to the end thanks to QB Anthony Calvillo and an offence that just doesn't want to let the old man down. Next: At B.C.
4. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 10-7
Streak: One loss

Here's the rub. The Lions keyed on Jerome Messam all night and held him to just 17 yards on nine carries. QB Ricky Ray needs a running game to allow him to play action effectively and take some of the pressure off. So there will be a lot of work in the coaching offices this week finding ways to spring the runner, using RB Hugh Charles, just added to the roster, as an additional spark plug. The defence has to come up with a way to get more pressure on the opposing pivot. On the other hand, isn't it great to be having this conversation after how bad this team was last year? Next: Home to Saskatchewan.
5. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Down from 1]
Overall record: 10-7
Streak: One loss

Boy, must have sucked on Sunday afternoon watching the Stamps down Montreal and realizing if this club had only beaten Toronto (the rotten Argos, for gosh sakes!) on Friday, a first round bye would have been Winnipeg's. How important was that screw up? QB Buck Pierce's bad knee will definitely keep him out of this week's final game, and maybe a while longer as well. An extra week off would have been huge. Note to Johnny Sears: Call Stephen Jyles, tell him the head shot was stupid, apologize and don't ever do that again, you twit. Next: At Calgary.
6. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 8-9
Streak: One loss

GM Bob O'Billovich doesn't have much hair, and he's going to be bald after this season. As maddening a team as there has been in this league for some years now. They go into Saskatchewan with the new two-QB system coming off a good win, and get nothing. Quinton Porter completes just six passes for 53 yards in the first half. Kevin Glenn throws four picks in the second. How about third stringer Jason Boltus against Toronto this week? Yes there was a prairie howler out there, but it was windy for the Riders too. Next: At Toronto.
7. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-12
Streak: One win

Argos are a pain in the butt to the good clubs in this league as they continue to show up, ready to play for their jobs. That doesn't change the basic facts - they have just five wins, they are missing the playoffs, they can't get the players they need to play here, the roster isn't deep enough, they don't have any receivers, they need another decent QB (all good teams have two), and the fans have shown their displeasure by staying away. Get out the earth movers, a new road ahead is required.
8. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-12
Streak: One win

Let's not get all giggly about one win against the confused Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Ryan Dinwiddie, subbing for Darian Durant who has finally been sat down with a broken foot, completed just seven passes. Riders won this because they could run the ball and the defence came up huge, with three sacks, four interceptions and a bunch of hurries. Speaking of hurries, curling season has started in Saskatchewan. While that's going on, the Rider management can work out how to fix this mess. New coach. New GM. Keep Gainer.

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