3Down Power Rankings: Riders tumble

Even with 18 players on the injured list and many of them starting calibre, Edmonton staved off a late surge from the only winless team in the CFL to remain the lone undefeated squad.

The top four teams are unanimously ranked in the same order by the 3Down crew. After that, rankings begin to vary.

Edmonton Eskimos players celebrate a touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday August 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

1. Edmonton Eskimos (last week 1)

“Next man up” has really been embraced by Edmonton. Every single position – except quarterback – has had a starter suffer an injury, yet the team keeps on winning.

Calgary Stampeders slotback Marquay McDaniel (16) celebrates his touchdown against the Toronto Argonauts during second half CFL football action in Toronto on Thursday, August 3, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

2. Calgary Stampeders (last week 2)

As Bo Levi Mitchell said on TV, Calgary made beating Toronto look “too expletive easy”. 101 points in two games means the 2016 CFL MOP and the Stamps offence is in high gear.

B.C. Lions’ Chris Williams makes a reception during the first half of a CFL football game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday August 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

3. B.C. Lions (last week 3)

Chris Williams made an impact in his Lions debut and it’s clear that B.C. owns the most lethal receiving corps in the league. The question now becomes which quarterback – Jonathon Jennings or Travis Lulay – will be distributing the football?

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Chris Randle (8) celebrates his touchdown against the Ottawa Redblacks with teammates during first half of a CFL football game in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (last week 4)

The Bombers put up 10 straight late game points to record another comeback victory. Let’s not forget: football is a 60-minute game. Just because a team is leading with a small amount of time left doesn’t mean they were “supposed” to win. Full credit to Mike O’Shea and his troops for never wavering and playing hard until zeros were on the clock the last two outings.

Calgary Stampeders defensive lineman Michael Kashak (99) hits Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray (15) during second half CFL football action in Toronto on Thursday, August 3, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

5. Toronto Argonauts (last week 5)

All eyes on are on Ricky Ray and his throwing shoulder. The 38-year-old took a vicious shot from Michael Kashak that had teammates bracing for some possible time without him.

6. Montreal Alouettes (last week 8)

Even though the Als sat idle with a bye week, Montreal moved up the rankings. A crucial home-and-home set with Toronto looms.

Ottawa Redblacks’ Quincy McDuffie (16) runs past Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Patrick Neufeld (53) during first half of a CFL football game in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

7. Ottawa Redblacks (last week 7)

The Redblacks have five defeats by 13 points, but a loss is a loss and in pro football margins are going to be close. Ottawa needs to find a way to close.

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Chris Jones stands on the sideline during the first half of a CFL football game against the B.C. Lions in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday August 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

8. Saskatchewan Roughriders (last week 6)

This sums up the Riders’ showing in B.C.:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Zach Collaros (4) is sacked by Edmonton Eskimos’ Marcus Howard (91) during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday August 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

9. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (last week 9)

It wasn’t 60-1 in Edmonton so there’s that. June Jones should inject some runnin’ and shootin’ into Hamilton’s offence and Phillip Lolley takes over on defence.