Off-Season Ranking: 1
No surprise here. The Stampeders were firing on all cylinders on Saturday afternoon, shutting down Montreal’s offence to perfection, while also overwhelming their defence with relentless pressure from all angles. Bo Levi Mitchell was solid in his debut as the team’s starter. We’ll see if their early Week 2 bye ceases any momentum they might have gained.
Off-Season Ranking: 2
Thanks to their big win over the Ticats, any questions surrounding the Riders heading into the 2014 season were silenced…at least for now. Tailback Anthony Allen was exceptional in his first career CFL game, trucking for 158 rushing yards and a touchdown, while also adding another score through the air. Oh, and don’t think we forgot about the defence. 10 sacks, plus just 201 yards of allowed offence? Can’t get much better than that.
Off-Season Ranking: 3
Don’t read too much into Hamilton’s Week 1 loss. You can be sure that Kent Austin’s team will be a much more disciplined and prepared team for their Week 2 contest against the Eskimos.
Off-Season Ranking: 5
How uncharacteristic was Saturday’s four-interception-outing for Kevin Glenn? It took him eight appearances before he threw four picks all of last season. The Lions were solid on both sides of the ball in the first half against Edmonton, but seemed almost surprised to see the Esks battle back in such impressive fashion in the final 30 minutes. A trip East to Montreal awaits.
Off-Season Rankings: 4
Ricky Ray had a typical night under centre for the Argos (27-38, 283 yards, 2 TDs), as he connected with nine different receivers for at least one reception. The defence remains a work in progress, but defensive coordinator Tim Burke did warn that there would be some growing pains. It won’t get any easier for the Boatmen secondary, who were victimized for over 300 passing yards and four touchdowns, as they get set to welcome the defending champs to the Rogers Centre.
Off-Season Ranking: 7
The Esks looked good…real good against a BC team that threw whatever they had and more in their direction. Mike Reilly was sacked three times, which is just below the 3.15 QB takedowns they allowed per game in 2013. Nonetheless, Edmonton looked like a different team in Chris Jones’ first game, and could prove to be a surprise team in the West.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Off-Season Ranking: 8
Can you ask for a better season opener than the one the Bombers put forward on Thursday night? Drew Willy was almost perfect, and the defence held their own against a Toronto team that victimized them for 97 points in three games in 2013.
Off-Season Ranking: 6
The post-Anthony Calvillo era got off to a rough start for the Als, with replacement Troy Smith completing just 43 per cent of his passes for 154 yards. Brandon Whitaker, meanwhile, was solid in his first game since Week 10 of last season; a good sign for an Als offence that will look to rebound against the Lions.
Off-Season Ranking: 9
Ladies and gentlemen: Your first place Ottawa REDBLACKS! Rick Campbell’s group was on bye in Week 1, and will be well rested for their franchise-opening matchup with Winnipeg on Thursday.