TORONTO — When the tweet came out, the BC Lions were leading the Toronto Argonauts somewhere close to 30-3.
Stay tuned for this week’s power rankings…
— LFC (@CFL) June 26, 2022
There were some contentious responses, a debate about where teams should land, a shocking number of attacks on the intelligence of those who rate teams, if we’re being honest, and here we are a good day and a half later, with some momentous news.
No, the Lions are not number one in this week’s power rankings. That spot belongs, as it has for the entirety of this season still wet behind the ears, to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Nathan Rourke and the Lions haven’t even had a chance to get to kings, miss or hit in that match. That may be a Week 5 conversation, as the Lions host the Bombers on July 9. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
That may be a problem for many Canadian soccer fans right now. Watching Rourke play his first two games as the Lions’ starter with surgical precision, supreme confidence and, let’s call it what it is, a ton of intergalactic offense is a strength of his own. His gravitational pull wants to grab you and throw you down the hypothetical rabbit hole.
We think we’ve struck a balance between staying on the periphery of that, with a reasoned placement for what looks to be a team on the rise with a fascinating homegrown story. Bottom line: The Lions haven’t caught up with Winnipeg 3-0, but the convincing way they’ve won — even against Edmonton 0-3 and Toronto 1-1 — deserves credit. They have it this week.
Let’s get into the rankings.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
In the past week: 1
After a couple of weeks of complaints (from some) about the Bombers’ defense bending too close to the break zone, we had a statement game against the Ticats, who were limited to 12 points at IG Field. That criticized defense has now gone two games without allowing a touchdown. The game was heading for a Bombers victory before Willie Jefferson dragged into it swerved dane evans pass, but it served as the perfect dagger in the night. The scary part for the Bombers? They know they can still be better.
2. BC Lions
Last week: 5
A couple of things to keep in mind as the Lions move up this page: The Elks aren’t as bad as the Lions made them look in Week 1. the Lions on Saturday night. Are you noticing a trend here? Two games into the season, the Lions are embarrassing teams. If their opponents aren’t that bad, the Lions could be just as good. They now have a tough challenge with a short week and their first away game of the season, taking on Jeremiah Masoli and the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Thursday night feels like must-see television.
3. Stampers of Calgary
Last week: 4
The Stamps look familiar, struggling in their first three games and earning comeback wins in each of them. There’s a lot of love to go around here for a lot of the usual characters, but let’s focus on Malik Henry. The second-year receiver is third in the league with 238 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns in three games, nearly doubling his productivity from 2021 (124 yards in nine games). Henry and the seals enter their bye week at the perfect time, with a perfect record. They head to Edmonton for a Week 5 rematch with the Elks when they return to action.
4. The Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Last week: 2
From delivering a kickoff return touchdown to a 191-yard performance and two interceptions from cody fajardo, the Roughriders looked like a team in a short week, arriving in Montreal fuming. The Riders’ first loss of the season is a good test for a team with the biggest aspirations this season. Championship-level clubs can drag a game like that to the recycle bin, hit delete, and move on. The frustration was palpable on the Riders’ bench Thursday. Let’s see what they turn that energy into this week at home, hosting the Alouettes.
5. Montreal Alouettes
Last week: 8
The Alouettes were finally rewarded with a convincing win, in their home opener no less, after letting two games slip away that they could win. That kind of all-out, three-stage effort should ease some of the pressure that seemed to surround the club with their 0-2 start. Sure, the Als took down a travel-weary opponent, but that’s not their problem. Being rewarded after coming away empty-handed in his first two games should be enough to put the Als on the right track. His trip to Saskatchewan for Saturday’s rematch with the Riders should present a more difficult challenge for trevor harris and company.
6. Ottawa RED BLACKS
Last week: 6
The REDBLACKS come out of their bye week with a big opportunity in front of them, on a visiting Lions team that is playing on a short week and traveling three time zones to do so. The Lions bring a lot of offensive punches, but they also Jeremiah Masoli. The REDBLACKS will no doubt be ready for this one as they look to prove that their 0-2 record is unlike them. Even with BC’s travel challenges, this game could provide a ton of pre-Canada Day fireworks in the nation’s capital.
7. Toronto Argonauts
In the past week: 3
The word came up at least twice in coach Ryan Dinwiddie’s postgame news conference on Saturday: Embarrassed. The Argos have some work to do this week as they break down when and exactly how they ran into the buzzsaw that is the BC Lions. The Argos have just one touchdown on offense so far this season and BC shut them out. Defensively, the Argos gave up 583 (!) yards to Nathan Rourke. They’ll need to recover quickly as they host the Bombers on Monday, July 4 at BMO Field, where Andrew Harris you can see your former team in its only regular-season meeting on the schedule.
8. Hamilton Tiger Cats
Last week: 7
It’s easy to look at the unexpectedly slow start of the Ticats and see a falling sky. That’s not to say the team’s first 0-3 start since 2017 isn’t something that should be remedied immediately; only the Ticats have it inside to tie things together. dane evans he leads the league in passing yards (884), and despite being mired in injuries, Hamilton’s offensive line allowed just one sack against a Bombers defensive line that revels in quarterbacks. On the other side of the ball, the d line had four sacks on Friday and intercepted Zach Necklaces one time. Still, the Ticats are at that point where wins are becoming a must. We think they are closer than they seem.
9. Edmonton Moose
Last week: 9
At the risk of being a carbon copy of last week, we’re seeing positive improvement every week from the Elks, who had a solid first half in Calgary against a good Stampeders team. And as we said last week, small steps and moral victories won’t be celebrated by anyone in Green and Gold, but you can see that they are inching closer to the win column. If the Ticats take them lightly, they could be in for a rude awakening on Canada Day.