Losing quarterback Anthony Calvillo for any length of time is going to change the way the Montreal offence operates. ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

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

Overall record: 4-0
Streak: Four wins

For this week let’s pretend we knew all along the Esks would start like this, otherwise we’d all be standing around gob smacked and not getting any work done. Strange stat line for Ricky Ray vs. Calgary: 12 of 27 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Fortunately, five of those completions were to Fred Stamps, who had 161 of those yards and both scores. The return of Arkee Whitlock to run the ball is a big deal. The defence bent waaaaaay back, but did not break against Calgary.
Overall record: 3-1
Streak: One loss

Losing Anthony Calvillo for any length of time is going to change the way the Montreal offence operates, obviously. We’ll have to see how long AC is out. Adrian McPherson looked OK, but almost all of his completions were teeny tiny things. With a full week of taking first-team reps, and with Marc Trestman, one of the game’s best tutors of pivots behind him, we have to think that’s going to be fixed in a hurry. The Als’ D always teeters between aggressive and heavily penalized and this time they were over the line.
Overall record: 3-1
Streak: One win

Boy that was impressive on Saturday, watching the way the Bombers adapted their attack to take advantage of the crumbling Toronto defence. The Argos lost two defensive backs to injury and the middle linebacker to ejection, and Buck Pierce went to work, picking everything apart in a big comeback victory. Pierce was 22 of 27 for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Odell Willis showed late in the game that you must not forget he’s there for even a second, or he’ll whack your quarterback but good.
Overall record: 2-2
Streak: One loss

Good Henry Burris and Bad Henry Burris used to show up on a game-by-game basis. Now it seems to be play-by-play for the quarterback. The defence was strong against Edmonton, just a tad unlucky. But they’re still straightening things out with the new corners. We did say in the season preview not to be surprised if the Stamps started 4-4 while working out the new defence. Of course, we also said Edmonton would be lousy again.
5. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [unchanged]
Overall record: 2-2
Streak: Two wins

For the first time we saw the Ticats’ offence the way GM Bob O’Billovich hoped it would look. QB Kevin Glenn threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions, while Avon Cobourne had 100 yards on the ground, plus two scores. Chris Williams was devastating for Hamilton, catching eight balls for 189 yards. Arland Bruce is a step slower than he used to be, but still stretches out the defence when he’s playing well.
Overall record: 1-3
Streak: One win

Nothing like a little embarrassment to shame a team into giving 100 per cent effort when absolutely needed. This win over Montreal, led by a clean, hard hit on Anthony Calvillo that put the league’s best QB out, should be what coach Greg Marshall was looking for to turn this prairie schooner around. Getting Hugh Charles back was a boost to the return game and also gave QB Darian Durant another option in the backfield. The defence did a nice job.
7. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Down from 6]
Overall record: 1-3
Streak: Three losses

Talk about having a big cloud over your head. Cleo Lemon spends the week surrounded by voices saying he has to play well on Saturday or he should be replaced by Dalton Bell. So the QB comes out looking fabulous in the first quarter, gets hammered, wrecks a tooth and the nerve attached to it, and leaves the game for Bell, who struggled. Lemon should be ready for Edmonton and having watched his backup for more than three quarters, that’s a good thing. Argos still make too many little mistakes.
8. B.C. LIONS [Down from 7]
Overall record: 0-4
Streak: Four losses

When you look over the stats for the B.C. Lions, game after game, there’s nothing there that indicates this club should be winless. The problem is giving up a big play at the wrong time, or not being able to find a big play at the right time. So, who’s at fault? Is it defensive coordinator Mike Benevides? Is it offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine? We can tell you what GM and head coach Wally Buono believes: It’s his fault, because he’s in charge. And it’s his job to fix it. Like, now.