3Down Power Rankings: And then there were four

The CFL’s version of the final four includes three West Division teams.

We’ll continue to rank the nine teams throughout the Grey Cup playoffs.

Saskatchewan and Edmonton put together convincing wins on semifinal Sunday and are one game away from possibly meeting in the Grey Cup for the first time in history.

Calgary and Toronto enjoyed byes to get prepared for their respective division finals. The Argos actually climbed the rankings while being idle and a playoff team took a tumble. And two teams are tied for the second spot in 3DownNation’s compiled group rankings which run on points system.

Edmonton Eskimos’ C.J. Gable (39) and quarterback Mike Reilly (13) celebrate Gable’s winning touchdown in Winnipeg on Sunday, November 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

1. Edmonton Eskimos (last week 1)

C.J. Gable has made Edmonton’s offence a scary proposition to defend. Brandon Zylstra, Derel Walker, Adarius Bowman and Vidal Hazelton are a fearsome foursome with Mike Reilly delivering the football. That’s an elite group of playmakers which has Edmonton ringing up points on the scoreboard.

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (19) calls the play. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

2. Calgary Stampeders (last week 2)

Bo Levi Mitchell had time to rest his injured shoulder and Calgary’s offence got the chance to reset. It’s been the defence and special teams holding the team up, especially late in the season. Time for the offence to do its part in the West Final.

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Willie Jefferson (7) and Ed Gainey (11) celebrate a play in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

2. Saskatchewan Roughriders (last week 2)

Some people around the league feel Saskatchewan subtly put themselves in a position to crossover. If that was Chris Jones’ plan it worked out for one week. However, the real test comes Sunday facing a Marc Trestman-led team that’s had two weeks to prepare.

Toronto Argonauts’ Declan Cross, (left), celebrates with teammates following his touchdown during the second half of CFL action against the BC Lions’ at BC Place in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, November 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

4. Toronto Argonauts (last week 5)

Toronto absolutely obliterated B.C. in the final week of the regular season and are getting healthy. Marcus Ball should start in the Eastern Final, a dynamic presence on defence. The Argos are favoured and rightly so.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea reacts after a call in Edmonton Eskimos’ favour in Winnipeg Sunday, November 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

5. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (last week 2)

Winnipeg fans were left with a displeased look on their face after the Bombers were dropped out of the playoffs, but it was a season of further growth. The blue and gold improved in the win category and hosted a post-season game for the first time since 2011. A change at defensive coordinator could help the Bombers reach elite status.

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Bakari Grant (81) jumps past Ottawa Redblacks’ Sherrod Baltimore (27) during Eastern semifinal CFL action in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

6. Ottawa Redblacks (last week 6)

Ottawa got punched in the mouth and could never recover. The Redblacks have a young defence in place that gained experience in 2017. What happens at quarterback – Trevor Harris is a free agent – will be vitally important to the future of the Redblacks.

Ticats Kent Austin John Rennison The Hamilton Spectator

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (last week 7)

Players speaking out against Kent Austin had to set alarm bells off for Ticats brass. The franchise would have a much different feel to it with the dictator out of the mix.

A B.C. Lions fan wears a pumpkin on his head during the first half of a CFL football game against the Edmonton Eskimos in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday October 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

8. B.C. Lions (last week 8)

David Braley will own the team in 2018 and he wants Wally Buono back as head coach and general manager. The 67-year-old is deciding about his own future, an important one for the franchise.

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Darian Durant warms up on the sidelines before taking to the field ahead of first half CFL football action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina on Friday, October 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rick Elvin

9. Montreal Alouettes (last week 9)

Kavis Reed has been non-committal about quarterback Darian Durant as the team’s starter for 2018, he’s signed through the 2019 season. It seems as though there could be movement at the pivotal position in La Belle Province.


20 Comments on 3Down Power Rankings: And then there were four

  1. E. Eisenstein IV // November 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm //

    If Kavis Reed stays as is at QB in Montreal. I would suggest his Montreal GM career will be short lived in 2018.
    I think that Darian Durant will have to suck it up and ask for his release. Or hope that Reed releases him early in 2018 so Darian can make plans with another team.
    The best thing for both the ALS and the WB is to part ways. It was a failed experiment. There is no sense in Reed trying to build a 3 year championship team around Durant. They need to go young and find a franchise QB.
    Darian on the other hand needs to be like Glen was this year. In that Durant should sign on with someone that he can compete for his starting position. Just handing Darian 400K and the starting position with out competition has failed the past 2 years. Having to earn the position is what it’s going to take. Plus DD can kiss the big money goodbye for now. Prove your still a starter. Win something, prove you still have it then look for more pay.

  2. BlindEyeTy // November 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm //

    so the argos are favoured but lower in the rankings? makes sense lmao

  3. White Horse // November 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm //

    I think the Eskimos and Argos should be favorites in the Finals. Both hit hot mode and the momentum is carried into the game. I have trouble liking Kevin Glenn as a consistent game winning QB. Riders have QB issues to consider in the off season. All the other ingredients are there. BLM is not with it this year whether it is his throwing shoulder or not. Stamps have had many O-line injuries all season long and every starting receiver has been in and out with injuries.(except A. Parker) Then next man up Marken Michel went down also. Continuity and momentum are crucial criteria in the most important game of the year when Grey Cup bound. I feel Edm and Argos in the Grey Cup. Underdog status may help Stamps and Riders though, but not enough!
    The Riders have momentum on their side also. I give them a better chance than the downward spiral of the Stamps. Hate to think of my Stamps that way. Hope springs eternal?

  4. greenonions // November 14, 2017 at 2:53 pm //

    Who exactly wants Durant as a starter at 36 next year? It’s 2 years now that he can’t make a short pass to his receivers? Chris Jones called it – he’s not the guy to take a team the next step. Of the non-playoff teams, Wally in BC is not going to throw out Jennings over last season. He is young, has a big league arm & can run. The Riders aren’t taking him & no one else in the West needs him as a starter. Out East, he’s not an upgrade on any of the starters & is older than anyone but Ray who is the East MOP. The Argos are looking for young blood @ QB, not someone 2 yrs younger than Ray & half as good. He may fit in as a backup but, unlike Ray & Lulay who are supportive types, Durant’s ego is going to get in his way. After 2 dismal seasons he still talks like he’s the best in the league, in fact says as much. I honestly have a hard time finding a team who needs DD. This coming year there is a half dozen QB’s hitting free agency which doesn’t help him either. As for his salary, as Drew Willy found out, nothing is guaranteed. If he gets released he’ll have to plead his case for what he can get.

  5. greenonions // November 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm //

    Argos have two studs at DT in Wynn & Laing, great DE’s with Lemon back joining Butler & Davis. Marcus Ball is back to pair with Bear Woods. They can apply pressure just rushing 4 & Chamblain will be pumped. This is not the 3 man rush strategy RedBlacks employed all game. If Bridge comes in because of the pressure, I don’t like Rider chances. But, Riders won both this year (no Butler, Laing game 1, no Laing, Ball, Lemon, Woods game 2). Bombers won both off Edmonton too. Different when all hands are on deck. We’ll have to see how it goes. Should be a good game.

  6. Stamps often do quite well in the underdog roll come playoff time.
    For Catholics, it Easter Sunday mass in the Vatican square. For football fans it’s the western final at Historic Mcmahon stadium as the “must see once in my life time” events

  7. Janet Love // November 14, 2017 at 3:32 pm //

    My only concern is the weather. Wind,cold maybe persipation. It might be a defensive and short passing game. If the Argos can avoid the penalties and the fans can support them. The Argos will be heading for the Grey Cup.Go Argos Go

  8. Who writes this crap. Enough with the Kent Austin bashing.

    • Red&White Forever // November 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm //

      The same idiot who can’t count to 9. Two #2’s? That’s a cop out. Especially when it goes: 1,2,2,4… One of those teams in number 2 and one is number 3. Doesn’t really matter which is which, but come on, stop pandering to both Stamps and Rider fans, grow some cahones and make a call. It’s just an opinion and doesn’t matter, so why waffle?

  9. I’m glad that people are underestimating the Riders, making them underdogs… makes it that much sweeter when they win. Go Riders!

  10. Season 2017 ending in green // November 14, 2017 at 5:16 pm //

    Reading all the crap that has been thrown from the likes of the keyboard warriors at the Green team. SK will not only take Toronto out in front of their home town fans. They will be hoisting the GC come the conclusion of the season. I’ve sat back and read all of the know it alls saying that team wouldn’t win a game. Then it was they wouldn’t beat a Western team. Then they wouldn’t win more than they did the year before. Then it was they wouldn’t make the playoffs. Everything that every greasy mouthed pin head has ever said on here. The Riders have shoved it right back down their pukey little throats. So it is inevitable that they are going to keep doing everything positive that every online doucebag says they can’t do.

    • First they need to find fans to come fill the seats

    • Season 2017. The riders may have done better than many thought but you must be truthful and factual.
      I don’t think anyone said the riders wouldn’t beat a western team. What was expressed is the riders would find it hard to compete with the west. And that was true. They were 4-6 and had to crossover for the playoffs.

  11. Jose Conseco // November 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm //

    I remember the last time the Argos played a crossover team in the playoffs. It was against Edmonton who had already beat them twice that year with recently released Cory I Can’t Block Boyd. Argos won the Cup.

  12. Colourmegreen // November 15, 2017 at 12:39 am //

    Riders vs Eskimos. Riders win a close GC. Life is good.

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