BC Lions' Arland Bruce (1) is lifted up by his teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Edmonton Eskimos during first-half action on Friday. ((Ian Jackson/Canadian Press))

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

Overall record: 6-1
Streak: Four wins

The Bombers swaggered their way to the bye with one loss and riding the best defence, by far, in the league. They also lead the CFL in field goals and are last in TDs. That means they must find ways to score enough points so the defenders don’t feel they have to win every game 7-6. Big Blue have an intriguing schedule coming out of the break, playing improving Hamilton at home, then the annual back to back with Saskatchewan. That will be the Riders’ first game under new/old coach Ken Miller. Always worrisome.
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Three wins

The Stamps started slowly, as we thought, but they are soaring like Pegasus right now. (No, not the Disney one - “A magnificent horse with the brain of bird” - the real one). Though come to think of it, they do still take too many penalties, and they have a QB who at times forgets what colour helmets his own team wears. (Red. Or black, if it’s the road). Strong defence, solid offence, competitive special teams. With tough Montreal, then two with Edmonton plus B.C. coming up, the White Stallions should be 8-3 in a month.
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Two wins

Let’s see … most points, most touchdowns, most first downs, most yards net offence, most yards net rushing, most yards net passing. OK, the offence is good. But it can be beaten if you put pressure on QB Anthony Calvillo. Riders proved it. Hamilton proved it. The defence has holes, especially down the middle. Problem: The Als know all this too, and they’re very good at fixing things as they go along. No swagger, just hard work. And they believe in themselves completely.
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: One win

An average team playing average football with an average record and producing average stats. The Cats’ fans have seen this movie before and it makes them nervous. Especially after the defence gave up over 500 yards to the Argos, of all teams. Optimism comes from individual performances that can make the difference when the cow chips are down. Dave Stala leads in TDs. Justin Medlock is kicking well. Avon Cobourne is 3rd in rushing. Is it enough? Says here, it’s not. That defence has to step up, starting in Winnipeg.
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Three losses

The problem with feel good stories is they so often come to an unhappy end. Too early to know what happens when this 2011 movie runs the credits, but based on the last four games there are dark, dark clouds ahead. The thing that most often kills rebuilding teams playing over their heads is a lack of depth. Edmonton’s entire receiving corps is now injured, and only the Als could survive that. The gum-and-string patch job on the O-line is falling apart. Lots of work for GM Eric Tillman to do before the back-to-back with Calgary after the bye.
6. B.C. LIONS [Up from 8]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: One win

Oh heck, I don’t know, and neither do you. Was this destruction of the Eskimos merely a one-time aberration against a young club racked by injuries? Or is it the first step of another second half comeback by the Lions who, remember, went 7-3 to finish last year? We think not, but the next four games feature two with Toronto and one with Saskatchewan sandwiched around the Stampeders, so we’ll find out quickly. Adding receiver Arland Bruce to Geroy Simon seems to have given the attack claws again.
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: One win

Cleo Lemon is turning into a CFL quarterback. It’s slow. He has a ways to go. But the former NFLer seems to be getting the rhythm of how the Canadian offence works. Cory Boyd is back running and blocking again. There are three good receivers to throw to (that’s not enough for consistency). Now it’s the defence that has to be straightened out. New boss Orlondo Steinauer has extra time to put in his schemes during their bye week. There were enough positives in the win over the Riders to think he might pull this off.
Overall record: 1-7
Streak: Four losses

Thoughts. If Greg Marshall’s hiring as bench boss was former coach Ken Miller’s idea, and now it’s considered a huge mistake, why does Miller still have a job? If it was GM Brendan Taman’s idea, why does he still have a job? Most of all, after just eight games, why doesn’t Marshall still have a job? Panic arrives in Regina, Miller goes back to the sidelines. This team loses games because it makes errors that kill drives and nullify good plays, yes. But it doesn’t win games because the organization has not properly replaced all the key losses (free agency and injury) on the defensive line, receiver corps and backfield.