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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 11

Published: Monday, Aug 14th 2023, 2:08pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


It’s hard to believe, but we are roughly halfway through the CFL’s regular season and I think we have a really good sense of where everyone is at and where they will finish, even with half a season to play. Here’s this week’s Contenders vs Pretenders:


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Welcome back Vernon Adams Jr.! In his first game back from being injured against the Riders, he only threw for 300+ yards and 4 touchdowns. No biggie. They proved that their loss against Winnipeg was just a blip on the radar and they are an elite team after their win against Calgary. 


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

You know me, I’m not a Jake Maier fan and he continues to prove that he just isn’t it. Dave Dickenson might have too much on his plate now as Head Coach after adding General Manager duties and this team has FINALLY fell off the cliff we’ve all been waiting for since 2006. A playoff spot, while in reach, is looking like it might be harder and harder to get as this year goes on.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

What else can you say about the Elks? Spotted 22 points at home and they still found a way to lose their 22nd straight home game, 13th straight overall. It’s just a sad state of affairs in Edmonton right now. They need a win bad, because more and more fans will leave after each loss.


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

A bye week doesn’t change things, but they’ll have a new Offensive Coordinator this week, with Scott Milanovich replacing Tommy Condell as play caller. Until Bo Levi Mitchell is back, the Ticats are in tough to keep up in the playoff race. For a team that is having big time QB issues, it’s surprising they traded Antonio Pipkin to the Riders.


Montreal Alouettes – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

No Cody Fajardo, no problem for Montreal. Caleb Evans looked his absolute best on Friday night against the Riders (though, the Riders are notoriously known for making backups and 3rd stringers look like Doug Flutie) and their defense continues to get better. They’’ll be a tough out in the East Division playoffs.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

After the great back and forth game with the Argos, I really considered moving them to a Contender. They can hang with the best teams for a while, Dustin Crum had a solid outing after regressing a bit… I just need to see it in back to back games… plus I can’t have a last place team as a Contender, right?


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I don’t put too much stock into their loss in Montreal… every second year they get blown out there anyway, so… But losing Mason Fine was the biggest loss from Friday night. Jake Dolegala will now get his chance against BC… but I don’t like those odds, especially if Dolegala looks as awful as he did against Montreal. The good news is that Calgary, Ottawa, Hamilton and Edmonton are all awful too, so the playoffs are still very much in the discussion.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Chad Kelly is making me eat a whole bunch of crow this year. I really thought he wasn’t ready to be a starting QB in the CFL and wow was I wrong! He’s been fantastic all season long and as long as he’s healthy (knock on wood), the Argos will be incredibly tough for anyone to beat.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Had the Bombers lost to the Elks on Thursday, just for fun I would have made them Pretenders. Even without Zach Collaros, who left with injury. But Dru Brown was incredible in bringing the Bombers back from down 22 points! Any talk of the Bombers being a shell of what they were (including any from me) is just that… talk. These guys are still the big dogs in the yard.


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