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CFL Power Rankings: Week 5

07/28/2015 04:26 EDT | Updated 07/28/2016 05:59 EDT
CBC Sports football contributor Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League on a weekly basis.

Here's how he ranks the Canadian Football League teams after Week 5:

1. Toronto Argonauts (Up from 2)

Record: 3-1

Streak: Won 1

Next: @ Hamilton

The long tour of the West is over and the Double Blue has outgrown the wagon (this is an Ian Tyson reference for those in the east) and are now looking darn good. How about young QB Trevor Harris running over all-star linebacker Adam Bighill for a touchdown? Key for Toronto in this was the way they adjusted on defence and offence before halftime, rather than waiting for the break. Argos rebuilt their receiving corps this year and no single man is piling up the yards, they all get involved. Impressive start. 

2. Edmonton Eskimos (Up from 3)

Record: 3-1

Streak: Won 3

Next: Saskatchewan

Are we really going to start a quarterback controversy in northern Alberta? Matt Nichols struggled in a miserable rain storm so in came rookie James Franklin and he looked good, going 5-for-8 with three TDs, helped by the running of Shakir Bell and a bunch of dumb Winnipeg mistakes. Let the youngster develop and don't throw him to the wolves when the wolves are now looking at film. Keeps raining on the Eskies, and they don't care a bit. Receiver/returner Kendial Lawrence is doing it all right now. Good team. 

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Up from 4)

Record: 2-2

Streak: Won 1

Next: Toronto

Another club that deserves some kudos for surviving a long Pan Am Games road trip are the Cats, who finally come home with a 2-2 mark. Hamilton bounced from a bad game in Montreal to beat a desperate Riders group, thanks to the return of RB C.J. Gable (and the return of the threat of C.J., often as important) who was a monster (20 for 135 yards). QB Zach Collaros thus had time to pick out receivers and move the club. Defence gave up a lot of ground, but not a lot of points. K Justin Medlock is now 21-23 on field goals and converts so far.

4. Calgary Stampeders (Down from 1)

Record: 3-2

Streak: Lost 1

Next: Montreal

Off on a nice trot went the White Stallions again Ottawa, building a 19-6 lead early in the second quarter before something went seriously awry and they bumbled and fumbled and stumbled the rest of the way. QB Bo Mitchell had a good night statistically, but he turned over the ball in the second, leading to a field goal that gave the Redblacks hope, then fumbled in overtime giving Ottawa a three to win. Too many mistakes all around. RB Jon Cornish is hurt again, breaking a thumb, and that could be six to eight weeks. 

5. Montreal Alouettes (Unchanged — Bye)

Record: 2-2

Streak: Won 1

Next: @ Calgary

The Larks are on their way to Alberta with a surprise .500 record after losing both QBs in the opening game. Rookie Rakeem Cato's attack isn't scoring much (basically tied for last with Ottawa and Winnipeg), but it gets them points when most needed. The defence is leading the way, sitting in the top half in 23 of 25 stat categories, including 10 sacks in four games. They also don't take many penalties as a team and are tied for first in turnover ration in these early days. 

6. Ottawa Redblacks (Up from 8)

Record: 3-2

Streak: Won 1

Next: BYE

If the RBs continue this roller-coaster ride they'll be right in there for a playoff spot by the end of the season. Awful the week before, the rouge et noir put in a gutsy performance for the home crowd, beating the defending champs by chipping away slowly, relying on great defence and terrific catches from Ernest Jackson and Greg Ellingson for TDs. Kicker Delbert Alvarado couldn't hit the broadside of a barn door all game but was aces on the overtime field goal for the win. 

7. B.C. Lions (Down from 3)

Record: 2-2

Streak: Lost 1

Next: @ Winnipeg

There is no excuse for blowing a 21-0 early lead, or for scoring just six points in the final three quarters against a team that has been travelling for five weeks. QB Travis Lulay and RB Andrew Harris were unstoppable for 20 minutes as the Leos roared along. Then … nothing. Lulay started overthrowing receivers and finished 18-of-32, 165 yards. Harris had 62 yards in the first half, 10 in the second. And there was 198 in total offence first half vs. 47 in the second. Can't blame the defence if the offence shuts off. 

8. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Down from 7)

Record: 2-3

Streak: Lost 2

Next: B.C.

Bombers were hanging in at rain-soaked Edmonton (4-3 in the third) when QB Drew Willy was hurt on a high-low hit. Apparently he may be ready to go this week as he continues to bounce back from injuries that would fell a lesser man. Can't blame four-TD collapse just on the defence because they faced a lot of short fields. Something seems to happen to these guys mentally when their star pivot goes down, as though their confidence suddenly drains away. It's weird. 

9. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Unchanged)

Record: 0-5

Streak: Lost 5

Next: @ Edmonton

As our pre-season pick to win the West slowly sinks into the sunset, fans in Regina contemplate the first 0-6 start since 1979, assuming the club can't pull something together for Edmonton. The Riders may have to do it without QB Kevin Glenn, who left after the third quarter against Hamilton and no one is saying when he'll be back yet. A real good attack was the only thing the team had going for it since the defence is worst in the league (165 points allowed in five games – 33 a contest).

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