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Contenders vs Pretenders – Week 9

Published: Monday, Jul 31st 2023, 2:07pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD


Week 8 of the CFL season is in the books and it didn’t have the same flair that the last few weeks had. But it did provide a few changes to this week’s Contenders and Pretenders.


BC Lions – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

Shutting out the same team twice in a season is probably the most remarkable thing you can do in the CFL and even though it was against the Elks, the Lions continued to prove they are for real. They could start selling home playoff game tickets now if they wanted to. Rick Campbell has done an incredible job turning the Lions into a powerhouse.


Calgary Stampeders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

If Jake Maier has receivers 10 yards open, he’s a decent enough QB… when he doesn’t, he’s bad. His decision making is brutal and like I’ve been saying all year: he ain’t it. Coach Dave Dickenson also looks like he’s in over his head as both GM and Head Coach. At 2-5 with a tough schedule coming up, they aren’t exactly instilling a lot of faith in the Cowtown fans.


Edmonton Elks – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

Well, you got your record for worst home team of all time… can you PLEASE just win once at home? It’s a sad state when you look at the Elks right now. It’s beyond funny, it’s just… sad.


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

A win against a contender, putting them into second place in the East should make the Ticats a contender… if it wasn’t for the injury to Bo Levi Mitchell. Despite his ugly 5 INT performance, the Ticats ARE a better team with Bo as QB. Going back to Taylor Powell will regress this team yet again.


Montreal Alouettes – Contenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

It wasn’t the most impressive win, but their victory over Calgary puts them in 2nd place in the East and back into Contender status. If they can keep William Stanback running the ball well, that’ll make things easier on Cody Fajardo. 


Ottawa Redblacks – Pretenders (Last Week – Contenders)

I’m not sure how you turn 5 interceptions into only 12 points, but the Redblacks figured it out. And Dustin Crum got figured out. Now that teams have a blueprint on the guy, he won’t be too hard to stop… though the Riders seem to love giving up yards to mobile QBs, so maybe Sunday’s game gets the Redblacks back on track.


Saskatchewan Roughriders – Pretenders (Last Week – Pretenders)

I thought Mason Fine did pretty well, all things considering in last week’s start and showed some growth. But now he has Jake Dolegala breathing down his neck for playing time. Fine needs to ACTUALLY get a TD on the board to keep his job. But as long as Kelly Jeffrey and Craig Dickenson are in charge of play calling and decisions for this team, those touchdowns will be few and far between.


Toronto Argonauts – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

The Riders D held Chad Kelly, the league’s MOP so far, in check. But this team is so deep on O and D that if one falters, the other will still win them games. I don’t see how anyone in the East can stop these guys from getting back to the Grey Cup.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Contenders (Last Week – Contenders)

The Bombers had a bye week and are getting ready for a first place showdown with the BC Lions. The last time they faced each other, the Lions humbled the Bombers, but I expect this game to be much closer. Despite being a very beatable team this year, the Bombers are still a top 3 team and very much a Contender.


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