3DownNation CFL power rankings: Roughriders, Stampeders climb after Labour Day victories

Photo courtesy: Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

Labour Day weekend is in the books, capping an electric slate of high-scoring rivalry games across the country.

B.C. got back in the win column, William Stanback finally broke out, Jake Dolegala won again, Zach Collaros got headbutted, Tre Ford ran all over Calgary, the Stamps completed a comeback, Taylor Powell got sacked five times, and A.J. Ouellette and Kyran Moore threw touchdown passes. Chaos!

3DownNation’s power rankings are created by having eleven 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: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

1) Toronto Argonauts (1)

The Boatmen got out to an early 17-0 lead in Steeltown and toyed with the Ticats the rest of the way to a big win in the Labour Day Classic. With a six-point lead in the East Division and a game in hand on the second-place Montreal Alouettes, it seems like only a matter of time before Toronto locks up first place again this season. When A.J. Ouellette is throwing touchdown passes and swinging Thor’s hammer, you know things are going well in The Six.

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

2) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2)

The Blue Bombers got off to a sluggish start in the Labour Day Classic and never fully recovered as the offence sputtered and the special teams struggled to generate field position. It marked the club’s first loss since mid-July, snapping a five-game winning streak. Winnipeg should be a highly motivated team ahead of this week’s Banjo Bowl as they’re piping mad about Pete Robertson’s headbutt on Zach Collaros.

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

3) B.C. Lions (3)

B.C. snapped a two-game losing skid in Montreal this past week as Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns against his former team. The club’s defence still isn’t nearly as dominant as it was to start the year, allowing 517 yards of offence this past week, though the offence is helping pick up the slack. Most importantly, the team is back in control of its own playoff destiny following Winnipeg’s loss to Saskatchewan.

Photo courtesy: Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

4) Saskatchewan Roughriders (5)

The Riders are clearly establishing themselves as a playoff threat following back-to-back wins over B.C. and Winnipeg. Even more impressively, they’ve won both games with Jake Dolegala at the helm, who started the season as the third-string quarterback in Riderville behind Trevor Harris and Mason Fine. The second-year passer has now thrown for 565 yards and three touchdowns over his two starts this year with zero interceptions.

Photo courtesy: Montreal Alouettes

5) Montreal Alouettes (4)

William Stanback finally had his first breakout performance of the season with a 69-yard touchdown run against the Lions but it wasn’t enough to put the Alouettes over the top as they fell 34-25 at home. Shawn Lemon sparked Montreal’s defensive line when he signed with the team as a free agent but the defence has generated only one sack over their last two games. If Montreal wants any chance of finishing first in the East Division, they’ll have to sweep their upcoming home-and-home series against the Argos.

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

6) Calgary Stampeders (8)

Cowntown looked down and out on Monday but never gave up, overcoming a 28-13 fourth quarter deficit to beat Edmonton by a score of 35-31. Jake Maier finished the game with 315 passing yards, while Dedrick Mills scored the game-winning touchdown on a four-yard carry with 20 seconds remaining. The Stampeders still have plenty of work to do to catch Saskatchewan for third place in the West Division, though they suddenly have hope after snapping a three-game losing streak.

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

7) Edmonton Elks (6)

Edmonton failed to capitalize on a 15-point fourth quarter lead at McMahon Stadium, dropping the Battle of Alberta by a score of 35-31. Canadian quarterback Tre Ford ran for 168 yards, a new league-wide single-game high, but the club was unable to get one last score to put the game away. With the team falling to 2-10 after squandering their two-game winning streak, it appears the Elks will miss the playoffs for a third straight season.

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

8) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7)

The Tabbies looked like they were turning their season around in last week’s surprise win over B.C. but their 180 became a full 360 on Labour Day. There are some positives in Steeltown, including Taylor Powell throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns against Toronto, but the team missed out on a chance to pull within two points of the Alouettes for second in the East Division. Hamilton will have to win in Ottawa this week if they hope to avoid falling to the bottom of the standings.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

9) Ottawa Redblacks (9)

The Redblacks were left without a dance partner on Labour Day weekend as the club sat out with a bye. The team is currently riding a five-game losing skid, though they’ll have a chance to make some headway in the East Division standings this week when they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who currently sit two points ahead of the nation’s capital. If the Redblacks are going to make the playoffs this season, this is likely a must-win game.