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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 16

Published: Sunday, Sep 17th 2023, 2:09pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


It was another wacky weekend in the CFL this past week with upsets, a wild comeback and the potential of a crossover disappearing almost completely. We also have seen a team come up with huge wins lately that has put them in the Contender category. Here’s this week’s Contenders vs Pretenders.


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

What a character comeback win over Ottawa for the Lions on Saturday! Even when the team isn’t playing well, they can find a way to get back into it and pull off a dub. Only half a game back of Winnipeg for 1st in the West, the Lions are right there with the Bombers and Argos in the top tier of teams.


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

With the win by Hamilton over the Bombers, Calgary’s hopes of a playoff spot (at least for the crossover) are dwindling fast. Sure, they could catch the Riders in the West, but they would have to start winning some games for that to happen. At 4-9 (oooh that looks nice to see), they don’t really instill much confidence in that to start happening. 


Edmonton Elks –  Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I love watching Tre Ford and I wish we saw him sooner in the season. If we did, they’d likely be in a playoff spot and probably talked about as a potential Contender. But alas, they are essentially 3 games back in the playoff race with 4 games to go and still in last place in the West. This season will forever go down as a what if for the Elks.


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

Taylor Powell seems to have figured it out a bit here in the CFL and the Ticats have climbed their way to a tie with Montreal for a home playoff game. I will eat a bit of crow here by calling them a BAD team… wins in BC and at home to the Bombers have me thinking that they can make some noise in the East playoffs. They’re playing some really good ball lately. Tigers, EAT EM RAW!


Montreal Alouettes – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Yes, it was against Toronto (and expected), but another loss for Cody Fajardo and the Alouettes have let the Ticats catch them in the standings. They’ve lost their confidence and things aren’t getting any easier with 3 of their next 4 games on the road. I’d be worried a bit if I were an Als fan.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Enough of this BS I’ve seen people saying that Ottawa is better than their record says they are. If they were better than their record, they would have a better record. Their loss in BC was one of the most embarrassing regular season losses I’ve seen in the CFL. Bad teams find ways to lose and that’s what Ottawa continues to do. Nothing has changed there over the years and I don’t believe anything will for a while.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

It’s not Jake Dolegala and the offense’s fault that Jason Shivers is running the worst defense in the league right now. Outside of the Banjo Bowl, the O has been pretty good the last month and a bit. But that defense is just awful right now. You can argue injuries, but I won’t. Guys are out of position, they refuse to tackle and are playing uninspired right now. It’s starting to look like the last half of 2022 again for the D. Yikes.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Clinching 1st place with a third of the season to go? That’s absolutely crazy to me. They’re the best team in the league by a long shot and can start managing reps for players already to keep them as fresh as possible for the East Final. Incredible! See you in the Grey Cup, Argos!


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I won’t let one loss in Hamilton take them off the Contenders list, but that game did show me that if they don’t show up with that extra bit of motivation, they are very beatable. That said, they were probably looking at the bye week and their time off just a bit too early. After the bye against an Argos team that has nothing to play for until the East Final might not be the true test for this team that it should be, but I have no doubt that they’ll come out motivated for that one.


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