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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 7

Published: Monday, Jul 17th 2023, 3:07pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


Another GREAT week of CFL action this past week with some absolutely wild finishes! With those, do we get some changes in this week’s Contenders vs Pretenders? Let’s take a look (listed in alphabetical order)


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

It’s the most complete roster in the CFL paired with probably the best coaching staff in the league. As long as Vernon Adams Jr. isn’t throwing 6 interceptions, they will be the toughest team to beat in the West all season long.


Calgary Stampeders –  Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I don’t care that they won against the Riders, this just isn’t a good team. With how awful the Riders were on Saturday (sans Mario Alford), any good team would have won by 30+ points. They have some really good talent and are very likely a playoff team, but as I say every week, Jake Maier holds them back.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

At least they make the record books with their 20th straight home loss? I’m really starting to feel bad for the fans here, because the more they lose, the more people care less and that’s the last thing the CFL needs from one of their teams.


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

It’s great they finally got James Butler going in their win against Edmonton and it’s great they play in the East where they are now tied for a home playoff game, but now they are down to Taylor Powell, their 3rd stringer at QB. That doesn’t bode well for their game this week against the Toronto Argonauts. For now, Pretenders… BUT if they beat the Argos, I’ll change it.


Montreal Alouettes – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Despite the loss, the Als showed they can hang with the Argos and in the East, that’s all that matters. This is the clear second best team in the East and Cody Fajardo is looking like his old self (ridiculous spin move included), which will keep them in games and for this week, in the Contenders category.


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Was this one of the great comebacks against Winnipeg or was this one of the great collapses by Winnipeg? I’m not sure which. But it was a GREAT win for Ottawa (I agree with Milt Stegall, it’s the biggest win the team has had since the 2016 Grey Cup) and they are tied with Montreal and Hamilton for 2nd in the East. If Dustin Crum can do it again in Calgary on Sunday, I might have to consider them for a Contenders spot in a pretty bad East Division.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

An awful injury to Trevor Harris will give us a REAL look at Mason Fine and I think he will do… fine? But outside of Mario Alford and a fluke TD by Tevin Jones, this team got NOTHING going against Calgary. Their O-Line is still a complete mess and Jason Shivers’ defense was putrid. Now they have back-to-back road games with the two best teams in the league with BC and Toronto… I don’t expect them to keep up. Pretenders.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Won a thriller in Montreal in what is the game of the year so far. The defense has a bit of work to do after giving up quite a few big plays this year, but Chad Kelly and that offense keep on humming. The team to beat in the East and one of the top 2 overall in the league.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

An epic collapse against the Ottawa Redblacks REALLY made me want to put them in the Pretenders category, because they still haven’t really shown me a lot this year. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt because it was really 3 bad minutes they had and they get the Elks at home this week. They’ll get back on track.


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