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Winnipeg receiver Terrence Edwards celebrates a second-half TD catch that helped Winnipeg to a 25-23 win Sunday at Montreal. ((Graham Hughes/Canadian Press))

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

1. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Up from 3]
Overall record: 8-3
Streak: One win

This was a tough, professional football performance for the Bombers, who found other ways to get the job done outside of swaggering around sacking people (just one against the Als). Defence gave up too many yards and will have to do better when playing the big boys. Nice comeback from two bad losses. Montreal and Winnipeg will pound each other twice more trying to earn that first round bye, and having two weeks off in the playoffs could be huge when all is done.
2. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Down from 1]
Overall record: 7-4
Streak: One loss

Bet it’s loud at practice this week. It’s one thing to make mistakes all over the field (including four turnovers), when you’re an average club, but this isn’t one of those. This is a Grey Cup contender, and John Hufnagel will not stand for a lack of attention to detail. This one was not on QB Henry Burris, who had a decent game with one pick. A missed block assignment on a punt caused a TD the other way and that was that. Next week is in Hamilton, where the way things are going neither club may win.
3. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Up from 4]
Overall record: 7-4
Streak: One win

The victory in Hamilton might have been Edmonton’s best performance of the season, with no turnovers, five sacks, complete balance between passing (Fred Stamps, 14 catches for 130 yards) and running (Jerome Messam, 15 carries for 139 yards) and we liked that ensemble coach Kavis Reed was wearing. So the Eskimos have straightened the list and pumped out the water and still, because of that great start, find themselves tied for the lead in the West. Next, home to the wounded Alouettes.
4. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Down from 2]
Overall record: 6-5
Streak: One loss

Job Posting: Young, athletic men wanted for possibly hazardous employment in the defensive backfield of a professional football team. Lack of knowledge about previous employees and what injuries befell them would be an asset. Apply general manager Jim Popp. Might be easier for coach Marc Trestman to count up how many players are available on defence, rather than those who aren’t. Things aren’t out of hand because the front seven are putting as much heat on QBs as they can to take pressure off the backfield.
5. B.C. LIONS [Up from 6]
Overall record: 5-6
Streak: Four wins

How about GM/head coach Wally Buono? Couple of weeks ago, I asked him if he ever looks in the mirror and wonders if he should fire himself as coach. “Not until the end of the season,” he said. This is why. It’s a stretch, but the Lions are only four points out of first place after another crappy start. Now, they are moving back into refurbished B.C. Place, and that could give everyone more of a lift. A balanced attack against the Stamps produced just one turnover. Off a pass. By the punter.
6. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Up from 7]
Overall record: 4-7
Streak: Three wins

After two emotional weeks following the return of Ken Miller to the sidelines, a letdown was expected against Toronto. Riders were outplayed the whole game by the league’s worst team, and were lucky to win. But good teams are fortunate teams, so there’s still time to see if the Green and White can become the former. The defence came up with three sacks, two interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles against the Argos. Now a huge home game against B.C.
7. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Down from 5]
Overall record: 5-6
Streak: Two losses

This is a long fall, but the Kittens have been bad, bad Kats the last two weeks. Not having Marwan Hage at centre is a big loss, but that’s no excuse for the running game coughing up a fur ball two contests in a row. Over on the defence, they can’t stop the run, giving up 222 yards by land against Edmonton. At home. In front of Angelo Mosca, for gosh sakes. Marcel Bellefeuille is another coach under the gun.
8. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 2-9
Streak: Three losses

Argos sang all the notes correctly against the Riders, but the song remained the same. Look, the Double Blue have the worst offence and defence in the league, are 11-18 overall under Jim Barker, host the 100th Grey Cup next year and must create excitement or the party could be a disaster. Owner David Braley has to ask himself this: Do I believe Barker will be both my coach and GM next year? If not, fire the coach, keep the GM and start the rebuild. Give Michael Clemons whatever he wants to come back to the sidelines.