3DownNation CFL power rankings: Bombers bottom out after OT interception

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Week 4 of the 2024 CFL regular season is officially in the books and things could not be going more differently for last year’s Grey Cup contenders.

The Montreal Alouettes are still undefeated and riding high since their victory last November. Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have reached the bottom of our rankings for the first time in forever, watching their glimmer of a dynasty fade away.

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. As always, please be sure to check back every Monday morning for our updated power rankings following each week of action in the CFL.

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: Montreal Alouettes

1) Montreal Alouettes (1)

There is no debating it now, the Montreal Alouettes are definitively the best team in the East Division after a resounding win over the Argonauts. By transitive properties of Toronto’s Week 1 win over B.C., Cody Fajardo and company are the clear frontrunners to repeat as Grey Cup champions as well. Like it or not, this franchise has pooch-punted its way to the top of the standings and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

Photo courtesy: Steven Chang/B.C. Lions

2) B.C. Lions (3)

An abdominal strain did nothing to slow Vernon Adams Jr. from his torrid early season pace, notching another 300-yard outing without a turnover against Edmonton. The production still isn’t equating to points consistently, as the Lions needed a walk-off field goal from Sean Whyte to sneak past their winless foes. Fullback David Mackie fumbled near the goal line while handling short-yardage QB duties to open the door for the Elks but got a major to tie the game on his next opportunity, setting the stage for Whyte’s heroics.

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

3) Toronto Argonauts (2)

The presence of legendary quarterback Ricky Ray couldn’t save the Argos from their first regular-season home loss, as the Boatmen got out-classed by the Alouettes. Promising young QB Cameron Dukes finally showed some cracks in his game against the league’s top defence, while the absence of Folarin Orimolade has hurt Toronto’s pass rush. At least the Double Blue proved they can run the ball against anyone with Ka’Deem Carey, Deonta McMahon, and Daniel Adeboboye forming a legitimate three-headed monster.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

4) Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)

The Riders may be well-rested coming off a bye week but the mood is far from cheery on the prairie’s despite their undefeated record. Veteran quarterback Trevor Harris didn’t practice on Sunday and appears to be headed for the six-game injured list with a “moderate” MCL sprain. The franchise will now be in the hands of unproven backup Shea Patterson, who will need to muster more than the 41 yards he produced in his previous half of action if Saskatchewan has any hope of winning.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

5) Calgary Stampeders (5)

It may have been an ugly offensive performance that required three full quarters to find the end zone, but Calgary will still get credit for a key West Division victory. Pick-master Demerio Houston hauled in the critical interception in overtime to set up Rene Paredes for a 52-yard game-winner. Promising play from a couple of young linemen in Clarence Hicks and Josiah Coatney has things looking up on defence, but the Stamps’ offence needs to prove their biggest weapons aren’t their kickers.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

6) Ottawa Redblacks (6)

It was hardly an encouraging display from the Redblacks this week but they still got the ‘W’ at home, knocking off Hamilton for the first time since 2018. Lewis Ward had ice in his veins for the walk-off field goal, while linebacker Frankie Griffin racked up an impressive 11 tackles. The offence, however, elicited only yawns for much of the night as Tommy Condell’s unit will need to be more consistent to climb past the middle of these rankings.

Photo courtesy: David Friedrich/B.C. Lions

7) Edmonton Elks (7)

Another week, another one-score loss for the snakebitten Elks. While fatigue didn’t seem to be an issue on a short week, a pivotal red zone interception and a barrage of late-game penalties let a narrow lead slip away in Vancouver. Edmonton is now in the midst of a 17-day break between games and appears willing to mortgage the future for a shot at wins now, forfeiting the potential top pick in the 2025 CFL Draft to acquire the rights to receiver Zach Mathis. The team’s search for answers knows no bounds, as quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson believes spiritual forces could be at play in the slow start.

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

8) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9)

Good news, Ticats fans: Tim White has finally busted out of his slump, posting eight receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown against Ottawa. Unfortunately, the performance couldn’t save the rest of the team from itself, as they left Justin Hardy wide open in the end zone late and inexplicably squibbed the final kickoff despite only leading by one point late. Blatant mental errors have cost the Tabbies in every game thus far and are a big reason why they remain in the basement.

Photo: Scott Grant

9) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (8)

Things have rapidly gone from bad to worse in Winnipeg. This week’s overtime loss came on the heels of news that all-star receiver Dalton Schoen is out for the season with a knee injury, with discontent already bubbling in the locker room over the team’s current offensive trajectory. Star quarterback Zach Collaros also left the contest at halftime with an injury, though the typically opaque Bombers played his absence off as precautionary. Sadly, it’s not clear whether the four-time West Division champions are better off with their two-time M.O.P winner on the field right now, which is a testament to how far they’ve fallen.