Rider season is back! To stay up-to-date, don't forget to subscribe!


Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 8

Published: Monday, Jul 24th 2023, 3:07pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


Well this past week wasn’t exactly a banner week for games played, except for Sunday night’s shootout between the Redblacks and the Stampeders. But because of that game, we have a change I never thought I’d make in Week 8 of Contenders vs Pretenders (listed in alphabetical order).


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that Vernon Adams Jr.’s injury is too serious, but that’s the reason they traded for (and haven’t traded away) Dane Evans. I don’t think Evans is the guy to win them a Grey Cup, but he’ll keep the Lions on the winning track thanks to the best D in the league and great receivers around him.


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

The Stampeders have done a wonderful job the last two weeks at getting their receivers ridiculously wide open. Jake Maier can make those throws, but outside of that, he is just so inconsistent. They’re good enough to be in every game, especially with Marken Michel back, but not good enough to be a contender.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

They held their own against Winnipeg and for the most part, have been in every game this year. Better days are ahead, Elks fans, but much like his tenure in Saskatchewan, Chris Jones has botched the QB situation there.


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

When you are down to your third string QB, it’s pretty hard to overcome. Luckily, they are never out of the Eastern playoff race, so if they can find a way to win a few in a row, they can make a push for the playoffs and Contenders status.


Montreal Alouettes – Pretenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Normally I won’t change a team on a bye week, but they went from the second best team in the East with the second best QB in the East to the third in both of those categories. Cody Fajardo will keep them in games and that’s all they’ll need to have a shot at a home playoff game. The addition of Shawn Lemon will give their defense that has been struggling lately a good boost. 


Ottawa Redblacks – Contenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Out of nowhere, Dustin Crum has this team looking like they have turned the corner and ready to compete with the big boys again! The biggest thing is that Coach Bobby Dyce has them believing. Back to back wins against Winnipeg and Calgary have made me eat crow and now Ottawa, you are Contenders!


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

It’s not the talent on the field that is holding this team back, despite the massive list of injuries they have. It’s their coaching. Craig Dickenson has outstayed his welcome according to many fans following the loss to BC (I’ve been saying this for over a year) and Kelly Jeffrey hasn’t shown much in his first year as Offensive Coordinator, though, I’ll still be a bit patient with him. They need a win or two quick or they’ll be looking at the playoffs as a pipe dream soon.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I wasn’t before, but I’m turning into a Chad Kelly guy. He’s making great throws, great decisions and he’s 5-0 this year. Next, they get a beat up Riders team in Touchdown Atlantic and I just can’t see the Argos faltering here. Without question, they are the best team in the league.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

They’re still VERY beatable and looked average against Edmonton until the very end of the game. With all the injuries to the QBs in the West, Zach Collaros is back to being the best QB in the division, though he’ll need more help from his O-Line soon. But good teams win and that’s exactly what the Bombers are doing.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

If you're having trouble subscribing, subscribe here instead.