The topt 5 winning streaks in CFL History
Sometimes individual team or league records can fall. But one thing that hasn’t changed for a while is the top 5 winning streaks in 3 Down history.
Which made me think it would be a good opportunity to look at the 5 longest winning streaks in CFL history and give them a little context. So let’s get to it.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers: 12 games (Aug 3, 2001 to Oct 26, 2001)
14-4 over 1 season, with a 12 game winning streak. Lost in the 2001 Grey Cup.
Prior to this season and this streak, Winnipeg had last played for a championship in 1993, losing to the Edmonton Eskimos 33-23. They had last won it all in 1990 when a 12-6 season translated into a 50-11 beatdown of Edmonton in the Grey Cup game.
Winnipeg finished the 2001 regular season in first-place in the East Division with a 14-4 record. They may have had a better record too, but rested personnel over the last two games, which they lost.
In the Grey Cup they faced a Calgary Stampeders team that had finished 8-10 and that had shipped the most points in the CFL that season.
This was a team with 8 All-Stars, the MOP, the Most Outstanding Canadian, Offensive Lineman, and special teams player. As well as coah of the year.
Surely they were set to win? I guess that is why they play the games. Calgary jumped out to a 17-4 halftime lead, and although Winnipg mounted a comeback the Stamps went on to win 27-19.
They may not have put the seal on their season, but this was still one of the great single season Winnipeg teams.
They may have remained competitive over the next two seasons but that was followed by a fallow period. Sporadic championship appearances followed before ending their championship drought in 2019.
Calgary Stampeders: 14 games (Jul 21, 2016 to Oct 21, 2016)
15-2-1 over 1 season, with a 14 game winning streak. Lost in the 2016 Grey Cup.
Prior to the 2016 season calgary had gone 29-7 over the previous two years delivering a Grey Cup title and losing out in a West Final game. Now they were back as the best team in the league, ready to reclaim their Cup.
Calgary finsihed the 2016 season in first place in the West Division thanks to their 15-2-1 record. A record built largely around an in season winning streak. They had started out 1-1-1 before going on their 14 game winning stretch. They finished off with a defeat, but the real focus was the Grey Cup.
This team had nine All-Stars and the league MOP, Most Outstanding Canadian, Offensive Lineman, and Rookie. As well as coah of the year.
They were clear favourites to win the Grey Cup. Yet somehow they were upset 39-33 in overtime by the relatively new 8-9-1 Ottawa REDBLACKS.
It was probably of little consolation that this was one of the best Grey Cup games of the decade. They would however make it to three Grey Cup games in a row. Eventually finding redemption in a 27-16 win over Ottawa in the 2018 Final.
BC Lions: 14 games (Oct 17, 2004 to Sep 24, 2005)
25-11 over 2 seasons, with a 14 game winning streak. Lost in the 2004 Grey Cup.
The Lions had converted an 8-10 season into a Grey Cup win in 2000. Now they were a team on the rise. From 10-8 & 11-7 seasons they moved into a 25-11 run over the 2004/5 seasons. Which included a 14 game winning streak. Winning the last 3 games in 2004 (13-5) & the first 11 games in 2005 (12-6).
BC actually started their 2004 campaign by going 1-3. But an eight game winning streak ensued. Which was the backbone of their 13-5 record. Of course, as noted, they won their last three regular season games too. They would go on to defeat Saskatchewan 27-25 in a tight West Final. Before falling at the final hurdle. Losing 27-19 to the Damon Allen led Argos in the Grey Cup.
The following year, (2005), started amazingly well for the Lions. They shot out of the gates to an 11-0 record. But then the wheels came off. As they lost six of their last seven games before being downed 28-23 by Edmonton in the West Final.
The 2004 team contained three CFL All-Stars, the league MOP, & Most Outstanding Canadian. The 2005 team had one CFL All-Star, who was also the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian.
Of all the winning streaks so far, this one perhaps delivered the least. Yet this was still an exciting time to be a BC Lions fan. The very next season the Leos would convert a 13-5 record into a Grey Cup win. 2004 to 2007 is one of the best runs they have had. Going 52-19-1, taking four straight West Division titles, appearing in 2 Grey Cups, and winning their fifth ever Grey Cup title.
Edmonton Eskimos: 14 games (Oct 16, 1954 to Oct 1, 1955)
25-7 over 2 seasons, with a 14 game winning streak. Won the 1954 & 1955 Grey Cup.
Edmonton had a dominant team in the early 1950’s. They were not far removed from a 4-10 inaugural season (1949). But Edmonton would go an impressive 71-24-1 run between 1952 and 1957. That would include 4 Grey Cup appearances (they were runners up in 1952 as well as recording three wins).
Edmonton started out 0-2 in 1954 and had short winning runs on the way to a 7-5 record. Then won out to finish 11-5. In the playoffs they made their way to the Grey Cup and took their first ever Grey Cup trophy defeating Montreal 25-24.
The run of success ran into the 1955 season. As the Esks opened up with ten straight wins. They would drop two games in total and finish the regular season 14-2. This is the most successful of the winning streaks listed here as it delivered two titles. Edmonton once again came throught the playoff gauntlet and this time defeated Montreal more comfortably 34-19.
In 1954 Edmonton had five WIFU all-stars and the WIFU MVP, whilst in 1955 the All-Stars number rose to eleven, and they fielded the Most Outstanding Canadian.
Calgary Stampeders: 22 games (Aug 25, 1948 to Oct 22, 1949)
25-1 over 2 seasons, with a 22 game winning streak. Won the 1948 Grey Cup & lost the 1949 Grey Cup
Strictly speaking the last two winning streaks on here are pre-CFL days. As both teams were in the WIFU at the time. However, the CFL records show both as being part of the longest winning streaks, so it would be wrong to miss them out.
The Stampeders were founded in September 1945 by a group of investors, including player/coach Dean Griffing. There was no regular season in 1945, but the Stampeders defeated the Regina Roughriders 3-1 in their first game. They also went on to win a 2 game series against Regina before losing the WIFU final to the Blue Bombers.
Over the next two seasons they would go 9-7 in the regular season and once again lose to the Blue Bombers in each of the WIFU finals. Then, in 1948, the nascent Stampeders did something quite remarkable. They put together an impressive perfect regular season and undefeated overall season. This was because of a 12-0 regular season, alongside going 1-0-1 in a playoff with the Roughriders as they drew one game 4-4, and won the other 17-6 for a 21-10 aggregate win.
The undefeated 1948 Stampeders were only the second Western team to win the Grey Cup. Their 12-7 win against the Ottawa Rough Riders is regarded as the icing on the cake of the only undefeated season in CFL team history.
1949 started with 10 straight wins too, to take the record winning streak out to 22 regular season games. That year they finished 13-1 but lost out in the Grey Cup when the Alouettes defeated them 28-15.
In 1948 the Stampeders had seven WIFU All-Stars, which was followed in 1949 by them having 11 players named All-Stars and fielding the WIFU MVP.
So there they are. The top five CFL winning streaks as per the records. But which one(s) stand out for you? Let us know in the comments.
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Banner Image: Brent Johnson was named Most Outstanding Canadian when playing for the BC Lions in 2005 and being there for their 14 game 2004/5 winning streak. Image from bcsporthsall.com