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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 12

Published: Thursday, Aug 24th 2023, 2:08pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


We have a conditional change in this week’s Contenders vs Pretenders after one team showed me something I haven’t seen from them in a few years… intensity:


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I know they lost to the Riders, but no team is perfect. They still had 500 yards of offense with a limping Vernon Adams Jr. who clearly wasn’t at full health after getting injured in the game. If they don’t turn the ball over a bunch, they probably win that game pretty handily. 


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

At least they kept their game against a backup-led Bombers team close? Besides the Argos, they are the only team to have their starting QB play every game. This team actually has a lot of decent talent on it, but that doesn’t mean anything when Jake Maier isn’t anymore more than an average at best QB. Not gonna lie, seeing the Stamps record at 3-7 makes me feel a way I haven’t felt in 20 years… and I LOVE it!


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I’m really happy they finally have their first win of the season and hopefully they get one at home in front of their fans soon. Tre Ford has given them life and all of a sudden, they’re only a couple games back in the playoff race. The last few weeks have shown me that they’ve started to figure it out.  


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

This team has fallen so hard over the last few seasons and they are the worst team in the East, possibly the entire league. Losing to Edmonton should cause relegation to U-Sports for the Ticats. This is a brutally bad team.


Montreal Alouettes – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Considering they were without starting QB Cody Fajardo for the second straight week and they really didn’t look good for 50+ minutes against Ottawa, Caleb Evans and the Als still managed to get it done and have really separated themselves from Hamilton and Ottawa. For a team most had finishing last this year, they have proved they are alone in the second tier of teams in the league.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

The defense is doing their part, but teams have figured Dustin Crum and the offense out. A win over Montreal would have been huge, but they absolutely blew it and stay cemented in the East basement and as a Pretender.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – *Contenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

This week, the Riders are conditionally Contenders. The condition is that they continue to show up with the same type of intensity that they did against the Lions. IF that’s the team that Craig Dickenson coaches, they have a chance to beat anyone. I think they have a lot of good pieces that can win them games on both sides of the ball. Bring that same intensity to Labour Day against Winnipeg and take one of the two games against the Bombers and you’ll have me convinced that they have what it takes to make a run in the playoffs.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I absolutely hate that they just finished their final bye week of the regular season. Other than that, it’s smooth sailing (pun totally intended) for the defending Grey Cup Champs as they continue to roll through the East Division.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I expected them to beat the Stampeders, but by more than one point… even with backup QB Dru Brown running things. Maybe we can calm down on Brown being the next big thing… at least for now (I’d still take him over quite a few other QBs in the league). Either way, good teams find ways to win and the Bombers keep doing that.


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