CFL Power Rankings: Week 15 | Football | CBC Sports

CFL Power RankingsCFL Power Rankings: Week 15

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 | 07:57 PM

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Fred Stamps, right, ran wild for Edmonton against Hamilton. After much offensive struggle in the first half of the season, the Eskimos seem to have found the formula they need. (John Ulan/Canadian Press) Fred Stamps, right, ran wild for Edmonton against Hamilton. After much offensive struggle in the first half of the season, the Eskimos seem to have found the formula they need. (John Ulan/Canadian Press)

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Malcolm Kelly's weekly rankings reflect a poor week for the CFL's Ontario teams, while there is also a shuffle of West teams near the top of the board.
Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League.

1. B.C. LIONS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 10-4
Streak: Won 1

Facing the biggest game of the year so far without their two most reliable receivers, the Lions did what any self-respecting juggernaut would do - ran out a few other guys and kept going. Travis Lulay tossed 23 passes to nine different catchers, led by young Nick Moore. RB Andrew Harris looked nice, going for 73 on the ground and 52 in the air, plus blocking. What these guys really have is balance. Everything works right now, O, D, special teams, practice roster, that fella in row 36 who caught his girlfriend's dropped drink before it hit the ground and splashed her beige Uggs.
2. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Up from 3]
Overall record:8-6
Streak: Won 3

The victory in Toronto was revealing because the Riders really didn't play well, made silly errors, and tossed away a bunch of chances in the opening half. Grey Cup contenders can do that once in a while (OMG, did I just say contenders?). Great job by the defence (quietly established now as the league's second best, behind B.C.), even up against a second-string attack. So, home field for the semis is possible. Kudos to kicker Sandro DeAngelis, who punted a whole game for the first time in his career and didn't embarrass himself by any means.
3. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Down from 2]
Overall record: 8-6
Streak: Lost 1

Jon Cornish came in to B.C. determined not to repeat his -1 performance from earlier in the year. His 61 yards were 122 per cent better (hey, math fans, check me on that), making them 100 per cent not enough. It's only fair to credit the defence, however, as every time Cornish had the ball there were multiple light orange sweaters on him like flies on a horse's bare back. Calgary is still a step behind the Lions with four games left, and they now have the Riders for company. Kevin Glenn was picked twice, and wasn't it interesting to hear QB Drew Tate, previously thought out for the year but now back in uniform, is almost ready to go. Hmmm.
4. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 8-6
Streak: Lost 2

By this time, all those fans up the hill at McGill must be wondering if this is the Twilight Zone. Beating Toronto two weeks back should have locked up the East, but the Als then were pounded by Hamilton and now lose to the awful Blue Bombers. Five turnovers from a team that used to pride itself on ball discipline. They are still moving down the field at a nice clip, but then make mistakes that kill momentum. That kind of thing can build up until it eats away at a team's confidence. And the defence isn't getting it done.
5. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Up from 7]
Overall record: 6-8
Streak: Won 1

Add the ages of Kerry Joseph and Fred Stamps you come up with almost 70. Not a meaningless number in the nasty world of pro football. Joseph, 39, was not perfect in the win over Hamilton (24-39, 359 yards, 3 TDs, 2 picks), but he sure knew where to look for most of that success. Ol' Freddy hauled in nine balls for 204 yards as he dominated the game. Now that Joseph is positively the QB, Hugh Charles is definitely the running back and Freddy is decidedly hot, there possibly might be a chance for this formerly misbegotten group to make the post-season.
6. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Down from 5]
Overall record: 7-7
Streak: Lost 1

If we accept that injuries to quarterback Ricky Ray and, to a lesser but still important effect to runner Chad Kackert, are killing the Argos offence, then we also have to believe these guys are dead if they don't get back soon. Both are listed as day to day, and both were obvious by the absence against Saskatchewan. There is a reason why Jarious Jackson is a career backup pivot (and future head coach). Expect Ray in harness for the showdown with Montreal this coming week if he can move at all. And now two words about all those stupid penalties: STOP IT.* *Gratuitous Iron Mike reference.
7. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Down from 6]
Overall record: 5-9
Streak: Lost 1

This week answered a query we all had from seven days back: Yes, that win over Montreal really was a mirage. These bad kitties handed a huge victory to Edmonton through three interceptions (Oh, Henry!), and two fumbles. QB Burris now has a team record 34 TD throws on the season, but he's also tossed 14 picks and fumbled the ball eight times. There's no way of knowing, almost from moment to moment, what guy you're going to get. Defensively, they give up too many yards, too many first downs, hand back too many chances. Presenting a great circus doesn't help much if you keep burning down the tent.
8. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-10
Streak: Won 1

Big Blue win on the road for the first time in a year, and they hurt a big club doing it. Joey "The Gunslinger" Elliott was firing straight for a change, showing some of the promise Winnipeg management saw in him (335 yards, 3 TDs on the day). Chris Matthews may be maddeningly inconsistent, but when he's sharp, he's worth the price of a ticket (non-scalper version). He had six grabs for 143 yards and a TD. There are some pieces here for next year, but don't assume Elliott is one until he shows it week after week.

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