TORONTO — After six straight victories, including a walk off win over Winnipeg, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have taken over top spot in the Nissan Titan Power Rankings.
The Green and White continue to take the CFL by storm, ranking third in the league on offence (365.5 yards per game) and second on defence (283.8 yards per game).
Brett Lauther was the hero on Sunday after his 26-yard game-winning field goal, but it was a team effort for the Riders as Cody Fajardo completed all five of his passing attempts while William Powell moved the chains twice on a decisive 11-play, 87-yard drive in the final three minutes.
With Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols sidelined and the Edmonton Eskimos struggling to put together wins, do the Riders have a leg up in the West?
More in the Nissan Titan Power Rankings.
1. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Record: 7-3 Last Week: 3
One of the CFL’s biggest stories has been the emergence of Cody Fajardo, who passed his biggest test yet by leading a game-winning drive that started at his own five-yard-line. The Bombers are shorthanded, but completing a home-and-home sweep in Saturday’s Banjo Bowl would be a power move.
2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Record: 8-3 Last Week: 1
Give the Bombers credit, they fought hard and almost stole one on the road despite missing both Matt Nichols and Andrew Harris. This is a deep, talented football team with a winning culture, and Chris Streveler has shown promise in his second stint as a starter. Yet the path ahead only gets tougher.
3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Record: 9-2 Last Week: 4
The Ticats are buying into the ‘us against the world’ mentality, winning a fourth straight game despite losing Jeremiah Masoli for the season. Dane Evans‘ second half against the Argos wasn’t just art, it was a masterpiece, but can the sophomore quarterback be consistent enough to win in November?
4. Calgary Stampeders
Record: 6-4 Last Week: 6
The defence looked dominant, Ka’Deem Carey ran fast and Bo Levi Mitchell showed no ill effects in his return from injury, as Calgary fans enjoyed a wire to wire win over their rivals on Labour Day. The Stampeders will be a tough opponent the rest of the way as they look to climb the West Division standings.
5. Edmonton Eskimos
Record: 6-5 Last Week: 2
Tougher competition has gotten the best of the Eskimos this season, as they’ve yet to defeat any team in the West outside of last-place BC. With a 6-5 record, it’s fair to say the Esks, boasting both the CFL’s top-ranked offence and defence, have underachieved in 2019. A rematch with Calgary awaits.
6. Montreal Alouettes
Record: 5-4 Last Week: 5
Despite coming off a win over the Argos in Week 11, the idle Alouettes move down a spot this week. Still, with a .500 record over the last 18 regular season games dating back to 2018, it’s clear the culture has changed in Montreal and the Als are a team on the rise. Quarterback play has been a big factor.
7. Toronto Argonauts
Record: 1-9 Last Week: 7
The Argos got off to a promising start on Labour Day but couldn’t close the door for a second straight week in a loss to the Ticats. With playoff hopes fading, what does the future hold for Jim Popp, Corey Chamblin and the rest of the roster? These are the questions they’ll face the rest of the season.
8. Ottawa REDBLACKS
Record: 3-7 Last Week: 8
The bye week arrived at the perfect time for the REDBLACKS, who now look to end a skid of seven losses in eight games. With Dominique Davis coming off his worst performance of the season, Head Coach Rick Campbell could make a quarterback change to either Jonathon Jennings or Will Arndt.
9. BC Lions
Record: 1-9 Last Week: 9
Playoffs may be out of the picture for the Lions, but there’s still plenty to play for in 2019. The first year under DeVone Claybrooks hasn’t gone according to plan, but the team hasn’t thrown in the towel, as evidenced by a hard-fought loss to the Ticats in Week 11. Another measuring stick awaits vs. Montreal.