2015 versus 2014

Most of us agree last year was a bit of a downer on the excitement scale in the CFL. This year is off to a better start IMO. this graphic tells part of that story.

Good signs, I guess but still too early to come to any real conclusions. After the first week, some of these stats looked worse than last year's. I think we'll need, say, 6 games in the books before we can start noting any real trends.

I do like, though, that there have been quite a few close games so far this year. It seems like there were too many blowouts in 2014.

I suspect Ottawa alone may be responsible for the 31% reduction in two-and-outs. :slight_smile:

Heh, yeah there's probably a lot of truth to that actually. Hopefully, they can keep it up. :thup:

And this is with backups with pretty much half the teams mostly.

Hope this can keep up though 2014 was very dreadful. If it translates to good rating and attendance then the rule changes have hot their mark. :smiley:

Are your 2014 stats for the entire season or after 2 weeks? Either way too early to tell how the season will turn out, however, I expected better than last season. 2014 was an anomoly. The west was much stronger than the east (moreso than usual), Montreal was in the their first full season without Calvillo and Ottawa was in their first season as a franchise. And the eastern woes to the injury bug that bit the whole league, especially offensive stars, and it was definitely an unusual season.

It was a graphic copied from the CFL PR twitter feed. I did a quick check and the points per game for the entire season last year was 45.5 points per game and the current 52.4 after two weeks is a 15% improvement on that number. So I believe they are comparing to the entire season.

Defences are eventually going to adjust to the new rules, though.

Nice !!!

And that is my point. Two weeks into the season is too early to be comparing against an entire season. Doesn't surprise me that the league is doing it as it looks good which sells their product, but the truth is both offense and defence are still adjusting to the rules and it's not going to stabilize until closer to the mid point. Labour Day would be a better time to make comparisons.

I doubt it happens that fast. Usually takes a few years and the CFL will adjust the rules accordingly.

Anyway, the games are night and day from last year. That makes me happy.

Yes, in all likelihood, Labour Day will give us a better idea of how teams are adapting to the new rules. Right now, it seems like teams with weaker secondaries that used to be able to clutch and grab in man coverage are having to switch to zone, which takes quite a while to become cohesive (unlike man). I can certainly foresee difficulties, though, with using match zone exclusively, since the defender no longer has the ability to bump (pass or switch off) a receiver as the latter is passing through the defender's zone unless it's within 5 yards of the LOS. Any deeper zone and that bump is now illegal contact or PI; in fact, now the DB can't even defend his zone turf by being square to the receiver. So receivers are going to fly through those intermediate zones at top speed without much disruption to the timing of their routes. In response, we may see more of the old-school "spot-drop" zone coverage where defenders are guarding specific areas of the field rather than "matching" to the nearest receiver.

You bring up a good point that has bothered me so far. As far as I can recall on every play that has so far been challenged for defensive PI and been called PI by the command centre there has not even been a flag for illegal contact. That suggests to me the league has a serious problem; either the official are so blind they can't even seen simple contact on a play deemed to be the more serious offense of PI or the command centre is drastically over calling PI.

If the on field guys don't throw a flag for illegal contact how can we have PI?

Other than penalties things have been much better.. Alot less two and outs.. Alot more deep balls thrown too ( the two should run cou get to each other/, but so far aren't)
The players could still practice more though.. Adrian Durrant openly laughed at his little they practice during a TSN pre season show.. Basicly said that he and his teammates spent more time playing video games than working

Practice time is all part of the CBA. Not much can be done about that, and personally, I like the fact that they aren't pushed to do more. You will likely have less players physiacally and mentally burned out as a result of lighter practice schedules.

Some numbers from Fenderguy69 on the Ti-Cats board.

29 penalties per game or 14.5 per team/game. Last year's average was 21.6. That's a 34.26% increase.

Penalties Per Game
EDM = 22
TOR = 16
WPG = 16
HAM = 15.5
BC = 15
SSK = 14
MTL = 12.5
OTT = 12
CGY = 11.5

Net Offense is up 11% thus far. That would be a year-over-year historical record if it is maintained.
Scoring is up 15%. 52.4 ppg versus 45.5 in 2014. Offensive scoring up 6%. The remainder is 5 defensive TD's & 2 ST Return TD's.
BIG Kick/Punt Returns are down. Only 4 in the first 2 weeks versus 8 in the first 2 weeks of 2014.
League-wide Passer Rating is 96.7. Well above the 85.3 rating throughout the 2014 season.
Sacks are down. 33 in the first 2 weeks of 2015 versus 51 during the same time period in 2014.
Two & Outs Down. 12.2 two'n'outs per game in 2014 versus 8.4 thus far in 2015. 31% drop.
Turnovers per game are the same from last year to this year at 4.4 per game.

Offense compared to last years by and large snore fest is no surprise.
I think this number will continue to skyrocket this year with the new rules.

PI and illegal contact are two different penalties though and while PI is able to be challenged, illegal contact cannot be.

The offensive improvements have more to do with the great QB'ing performances rather than a clarifying of the pass interference rules.

Trevor Harris has been playing lights out this year. Rheem Cato had a great game. Collaros, Willy and Glenn too.

A DB making deliberate contact with a receiver has always been illegal, but the refs chose to allow "hand-fighting", with DB's tugging on jersey's and receivers pushing-off. With the new rules defenders can hit a receiver within 5 yds of the line of scrimmage, but can't touch them afterwards. Even under the old rules I believe defenders couldn't contact receivers until they touched the ball.

There was a good reason why the refs allowed hand-fighting in the CFL. The field is so big receivers can get open fairly easily. The defensive tugs and bumps was a way to help "level the playing field" and not allow offences to make a mockery of the game with easy scores.

Then CFL defences became too good. Exceptional coaching, exceptional athletes and great tackling on defence, along with the allowed interference had stifled the offensive production over the past few seasons. Injuries to several starting QB's also hampered the offences.

The new pass interference rules are probably a good thing. At least now the rules framework has been set. 5 yards to bump and hit, then defenders can't touch receivers until they touch the ball. Receiver's also can't push off. This should lead to higher scoring games with the ref's enforcing the pass interference rules as they were originally intended.

They are two different penalties, but in almost all instances (certainly all those that have been challenged this season so far) when there was PI there was contact. So if there is enough contact for a coach to challenge defensive PI and the command centre to rule in favour of the challenge why was there no flag for illegal contact? Either the command centre or the on field officials are getting something wrong.