With the completion of Week 21, the 2023 CFL Regular Season is now over and there is lots to talk about before the playoffs.
Each team has played their 18 games, and now six of the nine sides continue on in hopes of winning this year’s Grey Cup, taking place on November 19th.
After what was an excellent regular season, we have dived into each team’s results and what they mean going forward.
The Toronto Argonauts began their year with six wins in a row, and finished with an incredible 16-2 record.
It is hard to find a weakness in this Toronto team, and they are absolutely rolling into the playoffs. They will look to win their second-straight Grey Cup and record-extending 19th overall in CFL history.
The next best team was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who also had major expectations and performed accordingly. Their 14-4 record was enough to win the West Division and their sights are now on their 13th Grey Cup win.
After starting the season 4-2, the Blue Bombers then exploded for five straight wins, helping them build a lead in the West. After losing last year’s Grey Cup by just one point, Winnipeg will be hungry to get back there and end up on the winning side of things.
Next in the West Division is the BC Lions. They finished second in the West with a 12-6 record, missing out on first spot after going 2-2 to the end the season - not matching Winnipeg’s 4-0 run.
The Lions now kick their playoffs off with a West Quarter-Finals game against Calgary, so they have some work to do to make a run.
During the regular season we have seen them beat every team but Toronto, so keep an eye on them as they now look to win just their seventh Grey Cup.
After Toronto in the East Division, there were two teams who were neck and neck all year, and are building an even stronger rivalry than they already had.
Those would be the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Montreal closed out the regular season with a four-game winning streak, and they finished the season with an 11-7 record, good enough for second in the East.
As for Hamilton, they are heading into the playoffs in the wrong direction. This team, who was expected to push for first overall in the East, finished with an 8-10 record, with two straight losses to end their campaign.
They still have a great team, but they are now the road team in the East Quarter-Finals against the Alouettes. While they may be disappointed with a losing regular season effort, they still made the playoffs and have a chance to surprise.
Moving back to the West brings us the Calgary Stampeders, who finished 6-12.
When September ended, things were not looking good as they had just one win in their past seven games.
However, they then won two straight games and had enough of a cushion that a Week 21 blowout loss to the Blue Bombers still had them in the playoffs.
But this was Calgary’s worst record in almost 20 years. The team has been inconsistent all year, but all that matters is that they are in the playoffs, and anything can happen.
The team that Calgary beat out was the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who had a matching 6-12 record as Calgary.
At the beginning of September, the Roughriders had a 6-5 record. Then, a seven-game losing streak absolutely destroyed their season. This was a failure, even though their expectations were not necessarily sky-high.
It remains unclear how the Roughriders will handle the offseason, but one thing is for sure, there will be a sour taste in their mouths.
At the bottom, there were two teams who finished with identical 4-14 records. Those teams being the Edmonton Elks of the West and Ottawa Redblacks of the East.
Right off the hop these teams were poor, as the Elks were winless in the first nine games of the season, and the Redblacks began their campaign with a three-game losing streak.
Now these teams look to the draft, where the Elks have the first overall pick, and plenty more selections to make. However, the Redblacks have the fewest picks to make, as they have seven choices in the draft.
This regular season had it all, but the playoffs are just beginning, which means there is still lots of exciting action to follow.