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Fred Stamps, left, and teammate Adarius Bowman have helped the Edmonton Eskimos get off to a 3-0 start. ((Ian Jackson/Canadian Press))

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

1. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 3-0
Streak: Three wins

A shout out this week goes to GM Jim Popp, who had Brandon Whitaker ready to step in when Avon Cobourne signed with Hamilton. Against the Argos, Mr. Whitaker contributed 120 yards on the ground and 94 in the air. Popp also decided the club no longer needed kicker Damon Duval, signing Sean Whyte from B.C. He’s been terrific. What else? Oh, that quarterback guy … what’s his name? He’s off to a good start.
2. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 3-0
Streak: Three wins

Suddenly it’s 1977, with the Als and Esks on top and everyone else muddling around below them. Offensive coordinator Marcus Crandell has quarterback Ricky Ray throwing the ball to deeper routes and, most importantly, finishing drives with touchdowns rather than field goals. That makes a huge difference. And, how is the defence playing this well with this many changes?
3. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Up from 4]
Overall record: 2-1
Streak: Two wins

The White Stallions with the Black Hats are starting to wake up. Henry Burris was smiling after coming back on the Bombers with 11 fourth-quarter points. Plus, he threw zero interceptions and only fumbled once. This is good. Ken-Yon Rambo and Nik Lewis, who are going to be relied on all year to lead the receivers, both had solid games. It was nothing outstanding against Winnipeg, but good teams win whatever the situation.
4. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Down from 3]
Overall record: 2-1
Streak: One loss

After three games, we’re starting to get a feel for the Bombers. Best defence in the league. Best pro offence in Manitoba. And things get worse for the attack because Buck Pierce now has a bruised quad muscle in his right leg and is another big hit from the injured list, and backup Joey Elliott is likely out for the season after playing much of the fourth quarter on a torn ACL. Even with Pierce healthy, the Bombers can’t move the ball. If they lose him, then what? Then you rely on the defence.
5. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Up from 8]
Overall record: 1-2
Streak: One win

No way to tell if the Cats have their problems sorted out when the only evidence is a wipe out of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. One writer suggested this weekend we’ll have to wait until Hamilton plays a real CFL team next week to tell. Kevin Glenn was 19-for-31, 203 yards and two touchdowns, and that was OK. The runners combined for over 100 yards and that was good. Can’t complain about a defence that allows three points, led by Jamall Johnson’s nine tackles. Let’s see what a trip to B.C. brings.
6. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 1-2
Streak: Two losses

If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there’d be no need for coach Jim Barker to pull his hair out. If Chad Owens had not missed an easy catch in the end zone that cost four points, and if rookie runner Chad Kackert had not been stripped at the Montreal two by Chip Cox, who took it 108 yards the other way for a score, the Argos could have been right in this one with two minutes to go. Those were just the most prominent of a night full of errors. Must find receivers.
7. B.C. LIONS [Down from 5]
Overall record: 0-3
Streak: Three losses

For the first time over the three season-opening defeats, the Lions looked thoroughly beaten, and they did it to themselves. Quarterback Travis Lulay tossed a pick to T.J. Hill in the third quarter when B.C. looked to be clawing back into the game. Geroy Simon, who is carrying this offence, then fumbled the ball early in the fourth, and 10 minutes later Lulay tossed an interception into the end zone. That’s all it took. The Lions are still searching for a running game.
8. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Down from 7]
Overall record: 0-3
Streak: Three losses

Dario Romero must be awfully confused. The big defensive tackle survived three hard years in Edmonton, signed with the Riders in the off-season where playing with a winner seemed a reasonable goal, and now his old club is 3-0 and this one has given up 114 points in just three games. As a graduate of Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Wash., perhaps he could help the coaching staff find a route to some kind of defence. QB Darian Durant is forcing too many balls because he’s always far behind on the scoreboard. Next up at Montreal. Geez.