3DownNation CFL power rankings: Riders freefall following home collapse

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

Week 15 of the CFL season is in the books and it may have been the wildest week yet. All four games featured thrilling finishes, two produced major upsets, and one fourth-quarter comeback will be remembered for eons.

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)

They sure didn’t make it easy on themselves, needing a huge Damonte Coxie touchdown catch and a blocked field goal to pull out the win late, but the Argonauts have nothing left to play for after clinching the East Division. The question now becomes how much quarterback Chad Kelly and other stars will play down the stretch as the team gets ready to defend their Grey Cup crown.

Photo courtesy: Steven Chang/B.C. Lions

2) B.C. Lions (3)

The Lions looked destined for another low-energy upset loss highlighted by a few bad Vernon Adams Jr. interceptions, until Terry Williams kickstarted one of the greatest comebacks in CFL history with a 120-yard missed field goal return touchdown. All told, B.C. overcame a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit and scored three touchdowns in the final three minutes, capped by a winning score from Lucky Whitehead with 16 seconds left. With the unlikliest of victories, their chances to win the West Division are better than they have been in weeks.

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

3) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2)

In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, the Bombers suffered an emotional letdown following a blowout win in the Banjo Bowl and dropped a winnable game in Hamilton. Zach Collaros tossed three second-half interceptions and Sergio Castillo missed a couple of critical kicks, as Winnipeg left the door wide open in the race for first in the West.

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

4) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6)

For those who question whether mid-season coordinator changes ever work, we present the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Tabbies have looked like a different team since Scott Milanovich started calling plays and this upset over Winnipeg is their crowning accomplishment. Taylor Powell looks to be coming into his own as quarterback at just the right time, with almost anything feeling like possible in Steeltown right now.

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

5) Edmonton Elks (7)

He does it in indescribable and almost mystifying fashion, but the Tre Ford magic in Edmonton continues. This week, it resulted in 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull an upset at Mosaic Stadium, including one rushing touchdown and another highlight reel scramble capped with a TD throw to Eugene Lewis. Playoffs remain a long shot in Edmonton, but the fact that hope is still alive is remarkable.

Photo courtesy: Gary Lavoie/Montreal Alouettes

6) Montreal Alouettes (5)

It remains extremely difficult to take the Alouettes seriously as contenders when they’ve gone a combined 0-7 against teams with winning records, but at least this week’s rematch with Toronto was tightly contested. The defence looks to be improving thanks to the return of Avery Williams and the addition of Darnell Sankey, though Jason Maas may need to do some rethinking of his offensive strategy.

Photo courtesy: Electric Umbrella/Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

7) Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)

Our voters largely forgave the Riders for failing to show up in the Banjo Bowl, but a fourth-quarter collapse at home against Edmonton was beyond the pale. Jake Dolegala continues to put up decent under centre but Jason Shivers defence couldn’t get the stops when needed and an opportunity to take a three game lead in the West Division playoff race was squandered.

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

8) Calgary Stampeders (8)

This bye week was a decidedly mixed bag for the Stampeders, as the Riders failed to make the West Division playoff race any tougher while the Ticats made a crossover berth much more difficult. If Calgary is going to make a serious postseason push, they can’t wait any longer.

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

9) Ottawa Redblacks (9)

We’ll say this about the Redblacks; at least they are creative in their ability to lose. Dustin Crum had a great day at the office in Vancouver but it wasn’t enough to prevent a legendary late game implosion. With his job likely in jeopardy after seven straight losses, Bob Dyce will be haunted by his decision to pad the scoreboard with a long field goal for a long time.