Argonauts, Bombers pulling away from field as teams claw for playoff positioning
With seven weeks remaining in the 2023 Canadian Football League regular season, the playoff-bound Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers have hit cruising altitude while the rest of the league jockeys for playoff positioning.
While the Bombers have played more games (13) than the Argonauts (11), as the defending Grey Cup champs had a Week 1 bye, the two top dogs of their respective divisions have amassed 20 points apiece.
Watch coverage of Week 15 in the CFL on TSN starting with a Friday Night Football doubleheader between the Toronto Argonauts and the Montreal Alouettes at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT LIVE on TSN3/4, TSN.ca, and the TSN App. Action continues Saturday on TSN with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hosting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) in a rematch of the 107th, 108th Grey Cup and the BC Lions hosting the Ottawa Redblacks at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
The Argonauts rattled off six straight wins to begin their Grey Cup repeat bid before the Calgary Stampeders handed them their first – and only – loss of the season.
The Boatmen have corrected course since then by winning four straight. Toronto can clinch the East Division with a win over the Montreal Alouettes and secure a home Eastern Final at BMO Field. The Argonauts can also take the divisional crown with a Hamilton Tiger-Cats' loss to the Blue Bombers.
The Blue Bombers got off to a shaky start, losing two of their first five games.
After an upset loss to the Ottawa Redblacks in Week 6, the Bombers have gone 6-1 on the back of Zach Collaros’ league-league 27 passing touchdowns.
Alouettes eye home Eastern Semi-Final
The Alouettes (6-6) will look to solidify their seeding in the East Division with four of their remaining six games being against divisional opponents. That run starts with a rubber match against the Argonauts on Friday Night Football.
The Als dropped the first leg of the series large in part to the Argonauts' ground game. The Double Blue rushed for a combined 135 yards and four touchdowns in their 31-10 rout of the Alouettes.
Following a trip to Cowtown in Week 16, the East playoff picture could become clearer as the Als take on the Redblacks in a home-and-home.
The race for second place in the East has become increasingly difficult for the third-place Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-7), as they face West opponents in four of their remaining six games.
Stampeders, Roughriders in the driver's seat
In the West, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders control their own destiny as both teams hold the cards to what could shape up to be an interesting playoff picture.
The Roughriders (6-6) currently sit third in the West. If the season had ended in Week 14, the Green and White would take on the second-place BC Lions in the Western Semifinal.
At 4-9 on the season, the Stampeders' eight points currently have them on the outside looking in. But should they finish the regular season with more points than the Tiger-Cats, they will crossover to the East Division and take on the division's second seed in the Eastern Semi-Final.
Elks still alive?
Despite their seeding in the West and their 3-9 record, the Edmonton Elks have not officially been eliminated from playoff contention.
On the heels of their come-from-behind win against the Stampeders in Week 14, the Tre Ford-led squad carries momentum into back-to-back West games against the Roughriders and the Lions.
Sitting six points back from the Roughriders for third in the West and four points from the Tiger-Cats in the East, the Elks have a slim, albeit real, chance of making the playoffs.