Stathead Talk

doing scoring history for every year of the CFL’s existence and boy howdy 2021 was a struggle year huh

this looks less like the CFL and more like the Big 10

also, congratulations to the 2021 Argonauts for going 9-5 and finishing with a negative point differential

Unfortunately, it seems that the CFL in the 20s is having a competition problem. That tally sheet week by week doesn’t look too different in 2022 or 2023 (so far) either, there were just more points scored but the margins of victory are almost identical. The good teams absolutely kick the crap out the bad teams and it’s not even really close; the close games are more the exception than the rule these days.

By the way, if you want to look at the full spreadsheet, here’s the link. I also have scoring information for every team for 2021, 2022, and 2023. This spreadsheet is updated after every game.


I like doing this stuff because, well, for one, it engages the part of my brain that really, really, really likes sports history, and the other is because you can see what teams are working on and where they need to improve in real time.

For instance, Edmonton’s defense is terrible, but it’s not the worst in the league presently (Hamilton’s is) by points allowed and Saskatchewan and Calgary aren’t far behind. But where Edmonton is getting hosed is on offense; we’re averaging just over 13 points a game. Saskatchewan is 7th in the league in points scored, averaging about 20.5 a game, and to reach that mark we would need to score 37 points for the next four straight games. Truly anemic.


Thanks. I found it interesting.

This year according to those numbers it seems Winnipeg is the team to beat. BC is being overrated. As is Toronto. Somewhat fir both. And Ottawa is as bad Edmonton. Which I think they are. And one team is exactly as their record looks. 4-4. Riders. According to the basic numbers.

The CFL has a scoring problem. And a competitiveness problem.

I’ve done scoring sheets for ever season from 2018 to the present week and if we want to find a week that I’d describe as “competitive and entertaining”, that is, 60+ points a game and a margin of victory within 7 points or less, we have four weeks on record from the last four complete seasons and this one that fit that description:

2023, Week 6
2022, Week 19
2022, Week 15
2018, Week 19

And very close honorable mentions to:
2022, Week 10
2022, Week 4

In fact, on average, more CFL games are blowouts than not. The average margin of victory, going back to 2018, has not dipped below 11 once.

The average score of a CFL game, 2018-now:

2018: 32-19
2019: 31-19
2021: 28-16
2022: 31-19
2023 (so far): 30-17

As I continue compiling stats, I guess I’m gonna find out just how bad the rot has been festering.


I’m glad you’re doing this. I thought about 8 points difference because of the 2 point conversion but this is awful close.

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Thing is, even we expand that to 60+ points with an 8 point margin, that only incorporates one more week. The next cluster of margins of victory is between 9-11 points.

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We have a new winner! For most lopsided week of the year!

Here’s the Week 10 team scoring rankings. The wheat is starting to separate from the chaff:




As a point of comparison, here’s last week’s:





Realized I’ve forgotten about this topic for a couple weeks, so here are the updates.

Well, Round 11 was a treat!

It was also the closest-scoring week since Week 6, and is tied with Week 6 for the closest of the season so far (Edmonton blowing out the Ticats spoiled this from being one of the closest in years).




Just what the doctor ordered after four extremely uninteresting weeks of football.

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Week 12 saw things shaken up just a lil. Just a little skosh. (Featuring the new Pythagorean Record category!)





However, scores this week brought things about back to normal. I do find it kinda funny that the losing teams have scored the exact same sum of points three weeks in a row.

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Week 13 numbers are in!





Scoring-wise, this was one of the most competitive weeks in recent times, and definitely one of the highest scoring.

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As a football purist who knows great games csn come in DLL sorts of scoring games. Just give me close games decided by seven or under regardless of score. Better yet 3 and under. Or 4 or more lead changes. Or games that stay within 7 for most of the game going into the final three minutes.

Lots of ways to do stats. I think your statistics suggest a league that is not accurate. Also blowouts always skew “averages”…