3DownNation CFL power rankings: Ticats crushed at the bottom of 0-3 pile-up

Photo courtesy: Leah Hannel/CFL.ca

Week 3 of the 2024 CFL regular season is officially in the books and there are still three teams without a notch in the win column.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Edmonton Elks all sit at 0-3 at the bottom of these rankings but not every losing streak is created equal. As always, please be sure to check back every Monday morning for our updated power rankings following each week of action in the CFL.

3DownNation’s power rankings are created by having twelve contributors rank each team from No. 1 to No. 9 independently, then averaging out the scores. The previous week’s rankings — in this case, our post-free agency edition — are in brackets.

Enjoy the rankings and feel free to roast us on Twitter — yes, we still call it “Twitter” — for anything you think we got wrong.

Photo courtesy: Gary Lavoie/Montreal Alouettes

1) Montreal Alouettes (1)

It is one thing to raise a championship banner from the rafters, it’s another to look like the champs while doing it. Montreal certainly fit that description in Week 3, obliterating the Redblacks in front of a sellout crowd at Percival Molson Stadium. It was a fitting Grey Cup tribute as the big game’s MVP, Cody Fajardo, threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns, with top Canadian Tyson Philpot hauling in 150 and a score. The Alouettes may have work to do on the business side but the football is as good as it gets right now.

Photo: Reuben Polansky/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

2) Toronto Argonauts (2)

Toronto was missing marquee names on both sides of the ball with DaVaris Daniels and Folarin Orimolade out long-term, but still had more than enough firepower to win a shootout with the Elks. Ka’Deem Carey and Deonta McMahon were both sensational on the ground with a touchdown each, helping the team amass 186 combined rushing yards. Cameron Dukes completed 85 percent of his passes and produced three total scores, keeping the ship steady in turbulent waters so Lirim Hajrullahu could hit a walk-off winner.

Photo courtesy: Steven Chang/B.C. Lions

3) B.C. Lions (3)

In a week full of aerial fireworks, no team was more impressive throwing the ball than the Lions as even backup centre Andrew Peirson caught a pass. Their embattled offensive line provided perfect protection for Vernon Adams Jr. as he racked up 398 yards — 215 of which went to speedy receiver Alexander Hollins, who hauled in both of the team’s touchdowns. The result was overwhelming statistical production against their biggest rival, though the team’s failure to capitalize in the red zone resulted in only a narrow two-point victory.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

4) Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)

The Riders posted a commanding victory in their home opener to move to 3-0 on the season, but lost quarterback Trevor Harris to a knee injury in the process. Backup Shea Patterson held down the fort in his absence and linebacker Jameer Thurman kept the team afloat with a brilliant pick-six. With players like running back A.J. Ouellette and cornerback Marcus Sayles suffering visible injuries, Saskatchewan’s Week 4 bye couldn’t be coming at a better time.

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

5) Calgary Stampeders (6)

It’s hard to know when the Stampeders have been more forgettable in recent years: on the field or on a bye. It was quiet as the grave in Cowtown last week with the team taking an early break, but the slumping Bombers and Elks have kept them in the middle of the pack. They’ll get the opportunity to prove they deserve to be ahead of Winnipeg twice over the next three weeks but could take a tumble down the rankings if things don’t go their way.

Photo courtesy: Gary Lavoie/Montreal Alouettes

6) Ottawa Redblacks (5)

If their first game looked like the dawn of a new era for the Redblacks, this week marked a return to inadequacy. Though quarterback Dru Brown and returner DeVonte Dedmon offered signs of life in the second half, Ottawa was utterly outmatched by the Alouettes as turnovers, drops, and penalties piled up. It’s easier to pass on this defence than it is to pass a bill on Parliament Hill, with 47 points and 486 yards allowed creating real cause for concern.

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

7) Edmonton Elks (9)

342 yards and four touchdowns from McLeod Bethel-Thompson weren’t enough to save the Elks from their third straight defeat. A porous run defence and no ground game to match caused the Green and Gold to be the victims of a walk-off field goal despite all their passing success. The good news for Edmonton? The team’s losses have come by just a combined 14 points and they’ve been competitive against the top two teams on this list — though that still might not be enough to save Chris Jones’ job.

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

8) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7)

The four-time defending West Division champions find themselves at the bottom of the standings looking up, starting 0-3 for the first time since 2012 and losing consecutive home games for the first time since 2018. Zach Collaros and Brady Oliveira finally seemed to flash glimpses of their usual selves as the game went on, but it wasn’t enough to overcome some huge defensive busts. With injuries mounting all over the roster, it is hard to see a path back to dominance for this team in the near future.

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

9) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8)

The wheels finally came off Bo Levi Mitchell’s early season tear, as the veteran quarterback threw three interceptions in a frustrating loss to Saskatchewan. All-star receiver Tim White failed to haul in any of the six passes thrown his direction and powerhouse running back James Butler mustered just 10 yards on the ground before exiting the game late with an injury. While Hamilton’s first two defeats showed promising signs, this one raised serious alarm bells.