There are now only 2 weeks left of the regular season for the CFL and Special Teams have once again proven to be a dynamic force on the field. Join me as we discuss how the CFL Special Teams units performed in this week’s review;
Here are the CFL Week 19 Kicker Power Rankings;
- In Week 19, the Kickers collectively had a stellar showing, going 25 out of 26 (96.2%) on field goals. This performance was second only to their Week 10 display where they were a perfect 13 for 13 (100%).
- Boris Bede (TOR) shone brightly, going 6 for 6 on field goals and 2 for 2 on PATs during Toronto’s victory over Ottawa. Bede’s highlight included a 53-yard field goal, a new season high and the longest field goal in Week 19.
- The only miss this week came from Dean Faithfull (EDM) on a 41-yarder that sailed wide right.
- Kickers also achieved a 95.2% (20/21) success rate on PATs, with the only miss attributed to Jose Maltos (MTL).
- Notably, Ryan Meskell (SSK) made his 2023 debut after Brett Lauther was sidelined with an “Illness”, becoming the first Australian-born player to kick a field goal in CFL history.
- Sean Whyte (BC) kicked through a clutch 48-yard, game-winning field goal to put the Lions overtop of the TiCats 33-30 with 00:00 left on the clock.
Here are the CFL Week 19 Punter Power Rankings;
- There were 41 total points this week, a bit below the average of 47 punts per game we’ve seen thus far.
- Punters faced some challenges, averaging just 42.4 gross yards per punt, marking a season low.
- Kaare Vedvik (HAM) led the punters with an average of 47.3 yards over three punts.
- Punters averaged 36.6 net yards per punt, in line with the season average of 36.3.
- Richie Leone (OTT) recorded the highest net average this week at 39.4 net yards per punt.
- Punters had 22% (9-41) of their punts remain inside the 20-yard line, with 3 being downed inside the 10-yard line. This is slightly lower than the season average of 27% and is just shy of the average of 4 punts landing inside the 10-yard line per week.
- Cody Grace (CGY) stood out with 3 of his 11 punts (27.3%) staying inside the 20-yard line with another going out of bounds at the 8-yard line.
- There were 9 punts that exceeded 50 yards, accounting for approximately 22% of all attempts, a drop from the season average of 36.5%.
- Cody Grace (CGY) once again impressed with 4 of his 11 punts travelling over 50 yards.
- Two penalties were awarded this week to Stefan Flintoft (BC) and Richie Leone (OTT). Richie Leone has the most penalties this season with 5.
- There were no rouges scored this week.
Here are the CFL Week 19 Long Snapper Power Rankings;
- There were 27 long snaps shown in the CFL Highlights this week, which is slightly below the average of 29 long snaps shown per week.
- Of these, 23 were recorded as strikes, resulting in a Strike Percentage of 85%, just shy of the season average of 88.7%.
- Louis-Philippe Bourassa (MTL) excelled with all 5 of his long snaps being strikes, marking his 9th consecutive week with a 100% strike rate.
- There were 4 balls that were handed out to Aaron Crawford (CGY), Tanner Doll (OTT), Jorgen Hus (SSK), and Adam Guillemette (TOR).
Here are the CFL Week 19 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;
- There were 33 kickoffs, exceeding the average of approximately 30 kickoffs per game.
- Kickoff Specialists averaged 63 yards per kickoff, slightly below the season average of 64.6 yards per kickoff.
- Boris Bede (TOR) continued to shine with an average of 70.3 yards per attempt over four kickoffs, with one staying inside the 30-yard line.
- There were 8 out of the 33 kickoffs (24.2%) that remained inside the 30-yard line, slightly above the season average of 23.1%.
- Stefan Flintoft (BC) was extremely precise kicking off, averaging 66.3 yards over 4 attempts. He was able to keep 3 of those 4 kickoffs (75%) inside the 30-yard line in what was his most impressive performance since Week 5.
- Jose Maltos (MTL) had a promising performance in his second week kicking off in the CFL, doing so 5 times for an average of 66.4 yards per attempt. If Maltos can continue this over the next 2 games he might just see himself rising in the Power Rankings.
- Ryan Meskell (SSK) took to the field for the first time this season and averaged just 60.3 yards per attempt. He was able to keep 1 kickoff inside the 30-yard line and I expect he will improve with more practice just as Maltos has.
- There was 1 kickoff penalty, awarded to Richie Leone (OTT) after a kickoff went out of bounds at the Toronto 26-yard line.
- There were no rouges scored this week.
Here are the CFL Week 19 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;
- Kickoff Returners made 32 returns and averaged 22.6 yards per return, surpassing the league average of 21.9 yards per return.
- Tobias Harris (OTT) led the CFL this week and was by far the most impressive Kickoff Returner. Harris was able to return 4 kickoffs for a total of 165 yards, averaging 41.25 yards per return. Tobias was also able to record the second Kickoff Return Touchdown of the 2023 CFL Season on this 93-yard return against the Toronto Argonauts. In total, Harris had 2 of his 4 returns go for more than 30 yards, which also led the CFL.
- There were 4 kickoff returns (12.5%) that went for more than 30 yards, slightly below the season average of 16.6%.
- There were 2 fumbles recorded this week, one from the aforementioned Tobias Harris (OTT) and one from Deontez Alexander (EDM).
Here are the CFL Week 19 Punt Returner Power Rankings;
- There were 32 punt returns this week, but Punt Returners averaged just 7.5 yards per punt return, marking the lowest performance of the season.
- James Letcher Jr. (MTL) led the Punt Returners, averaging 13.3 yards over 3 attempts and recording the longest return of the week at 16 yards.
- Only 3 punt returns (9.4%) exceeded 15 yards, the worst performance since Week 5 when only 7.5% of punts were returned for over 15 yards.
- The 3 punters who had a return over 15 yards are Kyran Moore (EDM), James Letcher Jr. (MTL), and Mario Alford (SSK).
- There were 2 fumbles by Mario Alford (SSK) this week.
Here are the CFL Week 19 Coverage Team Power Rankings;
- Coverage teams allowed an average of 7.5 yards per punt return on 32 punt returns, significantly lower than the season average of 11.2 yards allowed.
- he Ottawa REDBLACKs performed exceptionally well, allowing only 12 yards across 4 returns, equating to an astonishing average of 3 yards per punt return
- Coverage teams allowed an average of 22.6 yards on 32 returns, slightly above the season average of 21.7 yards allowed.
- The Edmonton Elks were particularly efficient, conceding just 14.5 yards over 4 kickoff returns.
- The Toronto Argonauts struggled in terms of kickoff return yardage allowed, surrendering 165 yards and a touchdown over four attempts.
- There were 13 penalties handed out this week, slightly below the season average of 15.5 penalties per week.
- The BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, and Saskatchewan Roughriders received three penalties each, leading the CFL in penalties this week.
- There were no blocked punts or kicks this week.
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