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Contenders or Pretenders? CFL Week 4 Edition

Published: Wednesday, Jul 3rd 2019, 1:07pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


We’re through 3 weeks of the CFL season and I’m not sure many people had the standings set as they are right now. It’s time for a way too early Contenders or Pretenders piece from the Piffles Podcast.


East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 3-0 – Contenders. We all knew they were going to be good. We all know they will run away with the East Division. We didn’t know how much they’d be winning games by. Sure, they beat a Toronto team by 50 that looked like they were still in preseason mode and they beat a Montreal team that is expected to finish last in the standings, but they only beat a Riders team (sans starting QB… thanks Simoni Lawrence) by 6 points in a game they should have won by more. That said, they pretty much have a bye to the Grey Cup, so contenders they are!


Ottawa Redblacks, 2-0 – Pretenders. A surprise win in Calgary with a QB who pretty much stunk up the joint and a 3 point win over a Riders team that had a backup QB and a swiss cheese defense. Dominique Davis was great in that 2nd game, but I think that’s a flash in the pan performance. I may be wrong about them being last in the East this season, but they won’t win a playoff game, they just get there by default.


Montreal Alouettes, 0-2 – Pretenders. Yeah, yeah, we all knew they would be bad this year. An encouraging first game in Edmonton shows that the team could be more competitive than expected. They’re still a long way away from being a good team, but some of the pieces are there.


Toronto Argonauts, 0-2 – Pretenders. I had them winning the East. LOL. I really thought Corey Chamblin was going to be the kickstart that this team needed, but I was sure wrong. A home loss by 50 to your biggest rival? YIKES. Time to realize that Jim Popp just isn’t that good without one of the top 3 QBs of all time on his roster.


West Division

Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 2-0 – Contenders. They are far and away the most complete team in the CFL and as much as it pains me to say it, they are the likely bet to be in the Grey Cup representing the West. They won’t win it, because Winnipeg, but still. This is a damn good team and they are going into the easy part of their schedule now.


Edmonton Eskimos, 2-1 – Pretenders. Yeah, they won both their home games, but those were against Montreal and a bad BC team. Trevor Harris is a good QB, but I think their offense as a whole is overachieving. 3 of their next 4 are on the road and will be the true test for this team. Unless Jason Maas grows up, they’ll be an undisciplined team and it will be their downfall.


Calgary Stampeders, 1-1 – Contenders…for now. They’re the defending Grey Cup champions. Until someone knocks them off their throne, they’ll always be there at the end. A big comeback win against BC just shows that even without QB Bo Levi Mitchell, they are still a good team. Nick Arbuckle is a good QB, but if Mitchell is out long term, the contenders might soon turn to pretenders.


Saskatchewan Roughriders, 1-2 – Contenders. This is a team that is playing with their 2nd string QB and could very easily be 3-0. The defense will keep them in games and what can I say about Cody Fajardo? He’s looked GREAT leading this team. I’m still not going to anoint him the savior of Riderville like everyone else has (I’ll wait until he plays a West Division team first…), but he has shown promise and an ability to open up the offense. They will have a fighter’s chance in the playoffs. They can ill afford more injuries on the offensive line and who knows what will happen when Zach Collaros is cleared to join the team again, but this is a competitive team that has 7 of 11 games at home. If they get on a roll, they’ll be set up nicely.


BC Lions, 0-3 – Pretenders. Congrats on having the best player in the CFL on your team! Too bad it came at the expense of your O-Line. Yay, you went out and spent a whole bunch of money on the defense… Too bad they’re giving up 36 points per game. Mike Reilly, as great as he is, can not do it alone. Look at the teams he had in Edmonton. The only time he won was with a great defense. He’ll move the ball and put up points, but that doesn’t matter when your defense gets ripped to shreds. They’ll get better as the season rolls, but for now, free agency is the only thing this team has won.


So who goes to the Grey Cup after 3 weeks? The two most complete teams in the league, of course. Hamilton and Winnipeg.


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