For the ninth consecutive week, Winnipeg remains the undisputed class of the CFL, as the Toronto Argonauts lose and fall back to mediocrity
The Canadian Football League completed Week 12 of the 2021 regular season.
Nothing's changed at the top in more than two months. It's all Winnipeg. The bottom of the standings is also unchanged. Poor Elks. They're worse than the RedBlacks and are now rated as the CFL's worst team. Ouch!
Winnipeg enjoys the CFL's best record, at 10-1 and looks unstoppable. The Blue Bombers are making a mockery out of the regular season. Not only do the Blue Bombers have the league's most victories and remain undefeated at home, they also lead the CFL in scoring (offense) and rank first in the least number of points allowed (defense). Winnipeg has been very stingy on defense, allowing just 126 points in 11 games. The next best defensive team (Hamilton) has allowed 169 points.
At 6-3, Toronto was viewed as a contender last week, but they lost again and fell to 6-4. The Argonauts have also been outscored this season 244-217. How can a team that's given up more points than they've scored be anywhere near Winnipeg's class? Answer--they're not. So, they fall back to the middle of the pack in the ratings with the loss.
Here's the current standings as of Thursday morning:
Can anyone catch Winnipeg? It sure doesn't seem so based on what we've seen.
This brings us to this week's CFL Power Rankings.
What follows are the complete power rankings #1 through #9 according to 3DownNation website. The big move was the Montreal Alouettes bolting from #6 to #2 while the Argonauts dropped up from #2 to #5. Montreal was awful the past few seasons but now has their best lineup in years. Let's see how they fare as the season winds down. There's now a two-way tie for the second spot with the Roughriders getting more respect..
In the rankings, note the position from the previous week is also listed in parenthesis.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1)
At this point, is the existence of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers even fair to the rest of the CFL? A 45-0 drubbing of the B.C. Lions on Saturday is just the latest statement made by the defending Grey Cup champions and there doesn’t appear to be anything they can’t do.
T-2. Montreal Alouettes (6)
On a three game winning streak, the Alouettes’ dominant showing against the Toronto Argonauts to claim first in the East proves they are for real. It doesn’t matter who is under centre if William Stanback is out there putting up 200-yard games.
T-2. Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)
Cody Fajardo and Craig Dickenson ripped the monkey off their backs by finally notching their first win against Calgary and now the Riders are in sole possession of second in the West. When Shaq Evans and Duke Williams hit their stride, that offence could be scary.
4. Calgary Stampeders (3)
The revival of the Stampeders hit a snag with a loss to the Riders this week, but don’t forget that Calgary still has the season series in the bag. It will be a two horse race to host the West Semi-Final, a battle made even more important by the fact that the Stamps will have 5 or 6 key players unable to travel in the playoffs due to their vaccination status.
5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5)
No better way to recover from a rivalry loss than with a refreshing bye week and a chance to use the Ottawa Redblacks as a punching bag. The Ticats were dominant in the outing and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli looks to be rounding into form at just the right time.
6. Toronto Argonauts (2)
Toronto was looking like the class of the East Division until they delivered a dud against Montreal. Injuries have beached the Boatmen and a banged up offensive line struggled to keep McLeod Bethel-Thompson upright this week.
7. B.C. Lions (7)
The B.C. Lions’ position on this list says more about the teams below them than it does the group in Vancouver. After suffering the franchise’s first shutout loss in 51 years, the Leos have now lost four straight games to West Division rivals and are seeing their playoff hopes slip away.
8. Ottawa Redblacks (8)
The debut of much talked about QB signee Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges left a lot to be desired, as the Redblacks’ backup failed to provide any hope to his ailing team. More concerning however is that Paul LaPolice is being soundly out-coached, an assessment that would have seemed ludicrous in 2019.
9. Edmonton Elks (9)
You can’t move out of the rankings basement on a bye week and none of the Elks major problems have gone away. Remarkably, they are still alive in the playoff race, but that seems like a glimmer of hope that will soon disappear.