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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 2

Published: Wednesday, Jun 14th 2023, 3:06pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD) 


Week 1 of the CFL season has come and gone and while we shouldn’t be too surprised by the outcomes of the games, we were able to get a glimpse into the future of each team and how they’ll fare this season. Only one change, but if this week’s games go as I expect, I think a few more will change next week.


Here is Week 2 of Contenders vs Pretenders (listed in alphabetical order)


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

What a start to the season for Vernon Adams Jr., Dominique Rhymes and company. They go into Calgary and dominate the Stampeders in what some were calling an upset. Not an upset to me, the Lions roster is a VERY good one and we saw a glimpse of what’s to come this year for the team.


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Last week, I said until they get knocked down off their high horse (pun intended), they’ll be contenders. Well, they came out flat and new franchise QB Jake Maier looked like he shouldn’t run for re-election. I know it’s just one game this season, but Jake Maier ain’t it.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I really don’t mind the roster that Chris Jones has put together, but he’s stuck with a below average QB that everyone seems to love because of a strong arm. Accuracy matters, Cornelius. Until that improves, they’re stuck near the bottom of every list. 


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

In a game where they were thoroughly dominated, they hung around with the Bombers. Outside of that AWFUL first quarter, the Ticats, despite being outplayed, outscored Winnipeg the rest of the way. Timing was off between Bo Levi Mitchell and his new receivers, but that’ll improve as the season continues. I wouldn’t worry too much about them just yet.


Montreal Alouettes – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Cody “Happy Feet” Fajardo was in full effect this past weekend. He did make some very nice throws on some deep balls, but even with no pressure on him, he still spun around to his left to… throw incompletions. His O-Line didn’t help too much (though, he should be used to that by now) and until Cody gets Ellingson back in the fold, they’ll be hard pressed to score more than a handful of points each week.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

How anyone actually expected this team to get better is beyond me. Haven’t you learned anything by now?? The Redblacks are awful. For their sake, I hope that changes when Jeremiah Masoli comes back, but I’m not holding my breath. Too much turnover, not enough good players.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I know, it wasn’t the best performance by Trevor Harris and company, but that defense was simply fantastic. That alone will keep them in games long enough for Harris to get a few extra wins this year. Losing Philip Blake for the season is a big time loss and turns an already questionable O-Line into even more of a question mark… that could be their downfall this season, but for now, they stay in the Contenders list.


Toronto Argonauts – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

They remain status quo after a bye week, though they still upgraded their roster with the addition of All-Star DB Jamal Peters. This week we’ll get a good look at them, but I’m still not sold on Chad Kelly.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Zach Collaros showed why he is the two-time defending Most Outstanding Player, Nic Demski was great, Brady Oliveira was great, Willie Jefferson was great… they’re the team to beat in the CFL for a reason. If I’m a Bombers fan, my only concern is that you let a team that you dominated for 55 minutes of the game stay within striking distance and made it closer than it should have been.


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