CFL Power Rankings: Week 5
As it has in previous weeks, expectations for the outcome of the CFL season went a little sideways.
The previously infallible Roughriders looked very beatable against Calgary.
Darian Durant looked like the Darian Durant of old and Calgary actually converted good drives into touchdowns.
Toronto shocked the country again, despite Lulay's positive outing.
Edmonton isn't getting better and fell to the running game of Fred Reid and Steven Jyles.
As expected, the quarterback situation for the Tiger Cats, Blue Bombers and Lions are becoming more and more unpredictable.
In Week Five, I think we see a return to relative normalcy.
The teams that should win, will win. Those who have been overachieving, might get a little dose of reality.
These power rankings will be updated on a weekly basis throughout the season.
8. Edmonton Eskimos
As the weeks go on, and the losses pile up, it's looking more and more likely that the Eskies are destined to be bottom dwellers in 2010.
Their record is not representative of their talent, however, CFL football games aren't won on paper.
Even though we're only four games in, it will be an uphill battle for the Eskimos to make the playoffs. If they fail to, it should end the Richie Hall era in Edmonton.
7. Hamilton Tiger Cats
Is it time for the Tiger Cats to begin exploring other options at quarterback?
Another disappointing effort in Week Five and it might be Quinton Porter's time to take the first team snaps.
Is he an improvement? No. Is he a change? Yes.
At this point, with the talent on the Tiger Cat roster, it's difficult to believe that they are struggling as they have been.
It won't take much to finish in second in the East Division.
If Quinton Porter could simply play manage the game, Hamilton's supporting cast should be able to win them most games.
Hamilton's Grey Cup hopes lie in Glenn, but faith in their erratic quarterback could also land them out of the playoffs all together.
6. BC Lions
The BC Lions were the better team on Friday night.
They held a comfortable lead for 50 minutes, then fell apart when it all mattered.
What could be more indicative of the quality of the Lions is not them being the better team, but their failure to execute when the chips were down.
Lulay was an improvement, albeit a moderate one, but he does appear to be a better option than Printers going forward.
If the Lions gain some consistency at quarterback, their offense could really turn a corner.
5. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
For the better part of four weeks, I've been insisting on the importance of Buck Pierce to the Blue Bombers season. In 60 minutes, Steven Jyles made me question everything I had previously said.
Don't get me wrong, Pierce is a much better quarterback, but Steven Jyles is capable of doing things with his feet, that few quarterbacks in this league have ever done.
Even though they weren't able to create through the air, it's arguable that the Bombers offense was more effective with Jyles at the helm.
He picked up first downs, he kept their defense on the sidelines and, most importantly, he put points on the board.
Further, don't be fooled by Edmonton's record, their defense can go toe-to-toe with anyone.
With Jyles as a replacement, Pierce has a much better chance of staying healthy.
He won't have to rush back from injury and they could possibly split snaps throughout the game.
The Bombers just became a lot more dangerous.
4. Toronto Argonauts
Five weeks ago, I would have never envisioned the Argos in the top half of the power rankings.
I expected improvements under their new coach, I expected their defense to make up for their inexperience on offense, but I never expected them to start the season at 3-1.
That said, I'm still not sold on the Argos. Not even close.
The Argos are winning games on their opposition's inability to close them out. Statistically, the Argos haven't been competitive.
Statistics may not always win football games, but for the run of the season, the Argos will need to be more productive offensively if they hope to maintain their current pace.
They've converted only 73 first downs this season, more than 20 fewer than Calgary, Montreal and Saskatchewan.
They rank last in passing yards, 300 fewer than seventh place and more than 600 fewer than the top team.
Lastly, they only have six touchdowns in four games.
Unless we've witnessed a fundamental change in CFL football, the Argos offense will still have to make improvements to make the playoffs.
2A. Saskatchewan Roughriders
As expected, the Riders struggled with the Stampeders secondary. Darian Durant was visibly rattled and was accountable for three turnovers.
As a team, Saskatchewan are better than Calgary. That said, the Stampeders have exactly what is needed to exploit Saskatchewan's biggest weakness.
I don't think I'm going out on a limb in saying that we could be looking at the West Division Final, but this will definitely be an interesting head-to-head going forward.
The difference may lie in the coaching.
2B. Calgary Stampeders
It's arguable that Calgary are the most consistent team in 2010.
Their highs haven't been too high, their lows haven't been too low.
As I've said numerous times in previous rankings, the Stampeders have great balance. They can run, they can pass, and they can defend.
If they continue to do all those things, they will always be in contention.
2C. Montreal Alouettes
You're seeing this correctly.
In Week Five, there is no number one ranked team. In my opinion, neither of these teams has distanced themselves from the others.
They've all had their moments, they're all capable of beating each other, but at this point in time, neither has taken the bull by the horns.
Hopefully Week Five will give us a clearer picture of those who will truly take charge.
Week Five: Picks
Montreal Alouettes -10 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Saskatchewan Roughriders -7 vs Hamilton Tiger Cats
Calgary Stampeders -7 vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers