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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 10

Published: Wednesday, Aug 9th 2023, 7:08pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


Week 9 is in the books and it wasn’t a really exciting week of games, but the Riders and Redblacks gave us all some stuff to talk about, including give us a change in my Contenders vs Pretenders.


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I know they got crushed by the Bombers, but I feel that’s more of a one off for this team, especially their defense. Once Vernon Adams Jr. is back starting, they’ll be fine. If they lose to Calgary this week though, I’d start to worry just a bit.


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Doesn’t matter to me that the Argos were previously undefeated, the Stamps beat them because Chad Kelly missed the 2nd half with an injured ankle and a fluke TD at the end of the first half. They continue to dink and dunk with Jake Maier (great completion percentage though) but I still just can’t take them seriously. Though if their run game continues the way it has the last few weeks against the Lions and it results in a win, I’ll have to start considering them for the other spot in this feature.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

FINALLY the Elks made changes and we’ll get to see Tre Ford play. This season is a write off, so you may as well see what you have in terms of backups… can they be starters? I hope for their sake, they string together a few wins, because for all the great work they are doing off the field, it doesn’t mean anything unless you get a W on it.


Hamilton Tiger-Cats – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

It was nice to see the Ticats get James Butler involved in the offense against Montreal in the first half… but then they only got 5 yards out of him in the 2nd half. Even with Bo Levi Mitchell, this team is hard pressed to win games, let alone without him and relying on Taylor Powell. Everyone is talking of an Eastern crossover… have you seen how bad Hamilton is?


Montreal Alouettes – Contenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Cody Fajardo shook off a rough first half and played REALLY well in the 4th quarter in the Als win in Hamilton. Hopefully his shoulder injury isn’t anything that will keep him out of the lineup. Shawn Lemon looks like a guy with something to prove (though, he really doesn’t) and he elevates that defense. Montreal is the clear #2 team in the East and likely will remain there all season long.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Sure, as long as they are in the East division, they’ll be in contention for a playoff spot, maybe a home playoff game, but Bobby Dyce and coaching not to lose opposed to coaching to win is going to hold them back.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Mason Fine had his best game as a Rider this past week and I really like his progress over the last few weeks. That said, much like Ottawa, Craig Dickenson is coaching to not lose and that will keep them from being more than a .500 team. If they can go into Montreal and beat the Als on a short week with travel, I’ll move them back to a Contender.  


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Coach Ryan Dinwiddie did the smart thing by playing the long game with Chad Kelly by keeping him out of the 2nd half against the Stampeders. They’ll need him back soon, though, because without Kelly, the Argos aren’t the same team now that there is a blueprint to beat them. Still, they’re the heavy favourites in the East and will continue to be so all season long.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Contrary to what they’ll tell you, that game against BC was NOT just another game. That was a statement to the league that they are back. The chemistry that Zach Collaros and Kenny Lawler have is going to keep the Bombers at the top of every power ranking (and Contenders list) you will see. I still think they are beatable, but you’ll need to play a perfect game against them to do so. Barring injuries, I can’t see how the Bombers aren’t the team to beat in the CFL right now.


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