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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 17

Published: Monday, Sep 25th 2023, 7:09pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


A couple of teams flipped their status this week as the chase for 2nd in the East and a home playoff game heats up. Here’s this week’s Contenders vs Pretenders:


BC Lions –  Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

The Lions took care of business against the Elks and in the process, tied the Winnipeg Blue Bombers atop the CFL’s West Division. Week 18 will likely determine which of these teams get that coveted first round bye in the playoffs when they meet in BC. Until then, they get to feast on a Riders team that has no interest in showing up on the road lately. 


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I’m going to enjoy this 2023 Stampeders team as long as I possibly can. I’ve waited 20 years for them to suck again and it’s just so beautiful to watch! Though, with how fast they are losing fans, it better not last too long. Anyways, this is a bad team who doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs and will need to make some serious changes in the offseason.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

They’ve definitely improved and if I were an Elks fan, I’d be excited about 2024. But at 4-11 and needing to win out and get about 3 teams to lose out for a chance at the playoffs, they are nothing more than Pretenders and a team full of what-ifs.


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

I have to drop them back this week as they showed no sense of urgency in a huge game against an Argos team that is playing for nothing right now. I still like Taylor Powell’s progression this year, but this last lost dropped them back into Pretender status.


Montreal Alouettes – Contenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

The biggest flip floppers of the year… one week they look great, the next week or two they are downright terrible. This was the week they looked great. If they can secure 2nd in the East and win the Semi-Final, then who knows, they could catch Toronto on an off day. They’re the 4th best team in the league this year and for that reason, we have to take them a bit seriously.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

While they got a much needed win against a lethargic Saskatchewan Roughriders team, this is still a team that just lost 7 straight games and is still a few games behind in the playoff race. It’s going to take another overhaul in the Nation’s Capital before we start to see the strides there that Redblacks fans want.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

If I did Power Rankings, I’d put high school teams ahead of them right now. This is currently the worst team in the CFL and they’ve given up, much like last season. Craig Dickenson can lie to the media all he wants about how he’s a better coach and this team is different than last year, but all it does is make him look more foolish. Looking at the season, how this team got to 6 wins is beyond me. They’re lucky Calgary and Edmonton are very bad, too.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Even with nothing to play for, resting players, they still play at a high level. Barring catastrophe, they’ll be using the Ticats locker room in the Grey Cup this year. The only question is if they can run the table and go 17-1 and set a new league record.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

The Bombers are coming off of a bye week and get an Argos team that has nothing to play for during the last 5 weeks of the season. I hope Toronto doesn’t rest too many players here and we are treated to a great game, because these are the best two teams in the league. The only question about the Bombers is if they come out with that extra bit of motivation… they are a completely different team when they come out of the gates pissed off.


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