CFL Power Rankings: Week 5 | Football | CBC Sports

CFLCFL Power Rankings: Week 5

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | 12:43 AM

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Calgary Stampeders third-string quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell filled in admirably for the injured Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn on Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. (John Woods/Canadian Press) Calgary Stampeders third-string quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell filled in admirably for the injured Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn on Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

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Once a week, Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League. Find out why he has the Calgary Stampeders climbing and the Saskatchewan Roughriders standing firm at the top.

Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League:

1. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record:5-0
Streak: Won 5

Fully deserving of an undefeated record. Offensive line of Fulton, Labatte, Picard, Best, Heenan and others have been the most effective in the league. Drew Willy did a solid job filling in for Darian Durant at QB, throwing against a ripped-up Cats secondary that was volunteering people out of the stands to fill in. He's not Durant, however, and that has to worry other teams because the starter should be back off the bye week and will make Regina even better. RB Kory Sheets is on course for a 2,000-yard season (that's theoretical, Riders' fans, theoretical). Swarming defence has given up just 87 points. Is having a week off for this team right now a bad thing?.
2. CALGARY STAMPEDERS[Up from 3]
Overall record: 4-1
Streak: Won 3

We learned something in Winnipeg right away about QB Bo Levi Mitchell, in from third-string for Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn, when he put a beautiful strike down the sideline to Greg Carr for the Stamps' first touchdown. That pass was in the only place (outside right shoulder) that it could have been caught. Pretty. Bo does not suddenly know the CFL off the strength of one start, but 29-of-33, 376 yards, three TDs, no picks was one heck of a howdy. Mitchell also found 10 different receivers, so he had the playbook solid. Jon Cornish was a force running and catching, and that made life easier. Lesson for the rest of the league: Let the White Stallions get the early lead. They're devastating on the comeback.
3. B.C. LIONS [Down from 2]
Overall record: 3-2
Streak: Lost 1

Lions keep this place over Toronto on strength of schedule. This game shows why fantasy sports are essentially a fraud (though a lot of fun). Look at the stats and this game should have been decided by a field goal, but each time B.C. got down to the 10 on a long drive, the Argos stopped them tight. The Leos were around 375 yards in offence, remember, and came away with four field goals. It happens. What cannot happen again are those 13 penalties. That's unforgivable for a team this talented. Also, the defence was just not on its game against back-up quarterback Zach Collaros, giving him too much time..
4. TORONTO ARGONAUTS[Unchanged]
Overall record: 3-2
Streak: Won 2

Down in Steubenville, Ohio (birthplace of Dean Martin), they were watching native son Zach Collaros, on NBCSN, make his first CFL start. They might still be celebrating. The Cincinnati grad was 21-of-25 for 253 yards, three TDs against B.C. in a calm, confident outing that gives the Argos cause for less worry if Ricky Ray can't come back after the bye week. Ottawa GM Marcel Desjardins took note, you can bet. Maybe Zach can get on the town's Wiki site now. Save praise for the defence. This unit may collapse completely next game simply because they are still so new, but they showed against the Lions they can beat you up with the front guys, and shut you down with the linebackers. Easily the best team in the East right now.

5. MONTREAL ALOUETTES[Up from 8]
Overall record: 2-3
Streak: Won 1

The bottom half of the league has struggled so badly, one win moves you up four places. Could one goal-line stand turn a whole season around for the Montreal Alouettes? Nah. But an offence starting to find itself most certainly can. Anthony Calvillo had his No. 1 weapon going against the Eskimos -- No. 2, Brandon Whitaker, who had 162 on the ground and another 40 through the air in a win the Larks had to have. AC seems to be getting more comfortable with the new offence, though it's still looking a little scrunched out there. They have to go vertical at some point. After building a good lead, they almost blew it again, so late game toughness still has to be addressed.

6. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 1-4
Streak: Lost 3

Chatting quietly with a legendary coach, he pointed out Edmonton could have easily solved that mess at the goal-line against Montreal on the last play by sending out their Bigs Team, essentially stopping the clock long enough to get everyone back in the huddle. Ref won't blow the play in until replacements arrive, you see. Hadn't thought of that. As it was, poor clock management, not the lack of a replay on the play before, cost the Eskimos. And, don't blow your timeouts. On the positive side, Mike Reilly is looking like a QB out there. Still making errors of youth, but standing tall, finding receivers. He still needs more out of the running game. Was impressed with how well the defence played late in the proceedings. Don't panic. Let this team steadily build and learn not to make those mistakes.
7. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS[Down from 5]
Overall record: 1-4
Streak: Lost 3

The Bombers are still trying the break their maiden at the new stadium and so far things look about the way they did in the old digs. Justin Goltz, the other backup starting at QB on this night, was OK, moving the ball at times (especially the first half), not getting much on others. Congrats to Jade Etienne on his first two CFL touchdowns. Folks, this defence is just not good enough at the times it's really needed. You should not, in any lifetime, give up almost 400 yards passing to the other team's third-string quarterback. Mitchell had far too much time to work back there at key moments.
8. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS[Down from 7]
Overall record:1-4
Streak: Lost 2

Go take a look at the roster on the Cats' page, down there under injuries. There were 12 guys on the one-game list and six on the nine-game as this was written. Every time they bring three off, four more go on. It's hard to look at that and be too critical of a club that found a way to still be in the game against the Riders by the late going. The DBs are wearing nametags on the front of their jerseys so they recognize each other. Still, something bothered me. Henry Burris, on 3rd and goal from the 1, with a chance to pull a huge upset, stayed rooted to the ground as he tried to run behind his (backup) centre for the TD. Why didn't he go up and over? Why wasn't one of the backup QBs in the game to run that? Does anyone have Quinton Porter's phone number?.


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