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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 14

Published: Wednesday, Sep 6th 2023, 1:09pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


They say (who is they, exactly?) the season doesn’t really start until Labour Day… well now that the LDC’s have come and gone, how are teams looking to start (this part of) the season?


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

They have their faults (as does every other team), but the play of Vernon Adams Jr. has been so good this year that they will always be a favourite. Alexander Hollins is making big play after big play… they just have so many weapons at their disposal. You won’t see me drop them from a Contender barring an absolute catastrophe.


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

It was quite the comeback for the Stamps on Labour Day over the Elks and no one needed it more than Jake Maier. The issues at O-Line and their secondary will continue to be the downfall of the team, but if Ka’Deem Carey stays healthy, the crossover is definitely in play. They’re still bad, though.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Tre Ford is so much fun to watch! Their defense, however, was not on Monday. Usually a second year Chris Jones team D performs better than what they have done this year (they’ve had their moments). They choked Labour Day away and that was their shot at really getting into the crossover discussion. They’ll get better with Ford learning, but it won’t result in a big stretch of wins.


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

Has Orlondo Steinauer worn out his welcome as Head Coach? It sure seems like it. It’s not good in ‘The Hammer’ right now and I have no idea how they’ve won 4 games this season, but yet they still hold a playoff spot. The CFL, folks. 


Montreal Alouettes – Pretenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Cody Fajardo is Cody Fajardo’ing right now for the Als and it’s looking all to familiar for those of us who have watched his career. He can still be a good QB, but right now his confidence is shot and if he’s not feeling it, he’s just not good at all. Luckily, Hamilton and Ottawa are bad, so they’ll still get a home playoff game.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

No change after a bye week, but I hope that Dustin Crum and company show us something different coming out of the off week. Teams have figured him out and something will have to change in Ottawa if they want to get out of the basement in the East.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Contenders (Last Week – *Contenders)

No asterisk, just a straight up Contender. Craig Dickenson has changed over the last couple of weeks since their blowout loss in Montreal and the culture around the team changed. What I love is that they are FINALLY trusting their QB to throw the ball! Jake Dolegala (while still shaky at times) has been very good the last couple of games and allowing Jake to cook (sorry, not sorry Greg…) is allowing the team to keep pace with the BC Lions. I don’t expect a Banjo Bowl win, but if they get it… Riderville will be (as the kids say) lit!


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Chad Kelly might have had his worst game of the year with a couple of interceptions, but they still dominated against Hamilton. Clearly the best team in the league, I LOVE watching this Argos team play. It’s going to take a miracle for someone to beat them in the East Final.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

A loss at the Labour Day Classic isn’t going to change anything, but if I was a Bomber fan, I’d be worried about their first half play lately. At one point late in the 2nd quarter, they had one completion for 2 yards against the Riders D. It took them just 3 plays to go the length of the field, but they can’t keep putting themselves in these holes every week. The fact they can bounce back quickly is a testament to how good the team is, but this is the most vulnerable Bombers team we’ve seen since trading for Zach Collaros.


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