3DownNation CFL power rankings: Elks running into contention

Photo: Timothy Matwey/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Week 12 of the CFL season is in the books and nothing seems to make sense anymore. Up is down, left is right, and the Edmonton Elks are a competitive football team.

3DownNation’s power rankings are created by having eleven of our contributors rank each team from No. 1 to No. 9 independently, then averaging out the scores. The previous week’s rankings are in brackets.

Enjoy the rankings and feel free to roast us on Twitter for anything you think we got wrong.

Photo: Matt Johnson/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

1) Toronto Argonauts (1)

The defending Grey Cup champions got pushed to the brink once again, but won a shootout with Calgary to avenge their only loss of the season. M.O.P frontrunner Chad Kelly was far from perfect in this one, though he still made all the big throws when it counted to secure the team’s first home victory against the Stampeders in over a decade.

Photo: Neil Noonan/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

2) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2)

Zach Collaros uncharacteristically tossed two pick-sixes against Montreal but found the endzone four times for his own team to secure a dominant win. In so doing, the Bombers widened the gap between the first and second tier of CFL teams to the largest it’s been all season.

Photo courtesy: David Friederich/B.C. Lions

3) B.C. Lions (3)

The shine may have worn off the Leos, as Rick Campbell’s team dropped a second straight game for the first time in 2023. This time the loss came against the moribund Tiger-Cats and was accompanied by a listless demeanour and lack of energy that concerned both the head coach and his star quarterback, Vernon Adams Jr.

Photo: Neil Noonan/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

4) Montreal Alouettes (4)

The Alouettes’ recent winning streak came to a sudden and decisive end this week, but at least their blowout loss was against an elite opponent. Cody Fajardo simply couldn’t establish a rhythm in his return from injury and Montreal’s run defence got slashed by one of the league’s best.

Photo courtesy: Liam Richards/Electric Umbrella/Saskatchewan Roughriders

5) Saskatchewan Roughriders (5)

The Riders have very little margin for error in the playoff race but they could rest on their laurels after their Week 11 stunner against B.C. During the bye week, the Lions dropped another easy one to pull Saskatchewan within four points of a home playoff game, while Calgary gained no ground.

Photo: Timothy Matwey/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

6) Edmonton Elks (8)

Take the monkey off Chris Jones’ back! The Elks have won two in a row and their historic home losing streak is finally dead and buried. That’s all thanks to Canadian quarterbacking sensation Tre Ford, who threw for 317 yards and ran for 74 more in a star-making performance.

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

7) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9)

A week after being shell-shocked by Edmonton and falling to the bottom of these rankings, the Ticats defied all reasonable expectations by beating the Lions. It wasn’t simply a victory either, it was a three-phase butt-whooping — highlighted by the impassioned play of running back James Butler in his return to the West Coast.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

8) Calgary Stampeders (7)

The Stamps made up for lost time and finally proved they have a passing offence, with Jake Maier slinging it for 387 yards and four touchdowns — more than half of which went to Reggie Begelton. The sudden aerial explosion did nothing to change the results on the scoreboard, as the team has now dropped three straight and five of their last six.

Photo: Timothy Matwey/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

9) Ottawa Redblacks (6)

Whatever fairy dust that Bob Dyce sprinkled over quarterback Dustin Crum has long since drifted away, with the Redblacks dropping their fifth straight game this week. The rookie has clearly regressed in the face of repeated sacks, most of which can be blamed on his own failure to get rid of the ball.