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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

CFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 17 Review

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Week 17 has come to a close, and the CFL witnessed a wealth of intriguing special teams statistics. In this weekly Special Teams Power Rankings article, we'll provide an extensive, analytics-driven examination of the league's special teams performance. If you're looking for the weekly highlights, they can be found in this week's Special Delivery article here. Let's discuss how the CFL Special Teams units performed in this week's review;



Here are the CFL Week 17 Kicker Power Rankings;

  • Overall, Kickers were 22/28 on field goals, with a completion percentage of 78.6%. This marks the third consecutive week where kickers have performed below the season completion percentage of 85.7%.

  • Sergio Castillo (WPG) was 6/7 on field goals making 3 from 40+ yards with a long of 49 yards.. His lone miss was from 50+ yards.

  • The 6 misses recorded in Week 17 match the season high for missed field goals in a given week, which has only happened once before, in Week 15.

  • Kickers were 15/16 on PATs, with the lone miss being credited to Marc Liegghio.

  • The longest field goal of the week was a 50-yarder from none other than Sean Whyte (BC).

  • There were 2 Rouges recorded by David Côté (MTL) and Brett Lauther (SSK).



Here are the CFL Week 17 Punter Power Rankings;

  • There were 46 punts recorded this week, just below the season average of 47 punts per week.

  • Punters averaged 46.9 gross yards per punt, essentially the same as the season average of 47.1 gross yards per punt (811 attempts).

  • Boris Bede (TOR) recorded the highest yardage per punt this week, averaging 53.7 yards over 6 attempts.

  • Punters did not fare as well in net yardage, averaging 34.3 net yards per punt, about 2 yards less than their 36.2 net yard season average.

  • Adam Korsak (SSK) had the higher number of net yards per punt, recording an average of 41.3 net yards per punt through 6 attempts.

  • Unfortunately, Jamieson Sheahan (WPG) averaged -1 net yards on his single punt attempt this week.

  • Punters had 23.9% (11/46) of their punts remain inside the 20-yard line, with 4 being downed inside the 10-yard line. This is slightly below the season average of 26.1% and matches the average of 4 punts landing inside the 10-yard line per week.

  • Adam Korsak (SSK) was the most precise Punter this week, with 3 of his 6 punts landing inside the 20-yard line, with 2 of those staying inside the 10-yard line.

  • There were 18 punts that travelled over 50 yards, which is about 39% of all attempts. This is above the season average of 37.1%.

  • Joseph Zema (MTL) and Adam Korsak (SSK) both had 4 of their 6 punts (66.6%) travel over 50 yards.

  • There were no penalties handed out to punters this week; the season average is roughly 0.88 penalties per week.


Long Snappers

Here are the CFL Week 17 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

  • We witnessed 38 long snaps this week, well above the weekly average of 29 long snaps featured in the CFL's highlight packages.

  • Of those 38 long snaps, 37 of them were recorded as strikes, giving long snappers an overall strike percentage of 97%. This was their best week in the 2023 season. (The 2nd best week was week 12 when they were 26/26, but only having 1 ball over 38 attempts is much more impressive.)

  • Mike Benson (WPG) had a great game coming off the Bye Week, with all 8 of his long snaps being recorded as Strikes.

  • The lone long snap recorded as a ball was from Gordon Whyte (HAM), who was 3/4 on the week.


Kickoff Specialists

Here are the CFL Week 17 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

  • There were 26 kickoffs this week, slightly lower than the average of 29 kickoffs per week.

  • Kickoff specialists averaged 64.7 yards per attempt, which is essentially the same as the season average of 64.8 yards per week.

  • Boris Bede (TOR) led the kickoff specialists yet again with an average of 69.7 yards over 3 attempts.

  • There were only 5 kickoffs that remained inside the 30-yard line, approximately 19% of all attempts, below the season average of 23%.

  • Boris Bede (TOR) was also the leader in terms of kickoffs remaining inside the 30-yard line, recording 2 such attempts (66.6%). Sergio Castillo (WPG) also recorded 2 kickoffs remaining inside the 30-yard line, although they accounted for only 40% of his attempts.

  • Onside kickoffs were again an important factor in multiple games this week, with 4 of them being recorded.

  • Brett Lauther (SSK) was the only kickoff specialist to have an onside kickoff recovered, going 1/2 on the week. Saskatchewan has now had 3 of their 7 (43%) onside kickoff attempts recovered (Lauther 2/5 and Korsak 1/2) and leads the CFL in this department.

  • There were no Rouges or penalties handed out this week.


Kickoff Returners

Here are the CFL Week 17 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

  • There were 26 kickoff returns made this week, averaging about 23.3 yards per return, above the season average of 21.8 yards per kickoff return.

  • James Letcher Jr. (MTL) led the CFL this week, averaging 34.5 yards on 2 kickoff return attempts. Letcher also recorded the longest return of the week, 50 yards.

  • Of those 26 returns, only 4 went for more than 30 yards, accounting for about 15.4% of all returns, slightly below the league average of 17%. This marks the 4th week in a row where less than 20% of returns have travelled 30 yards.

  • The 4 kickoff returns that went for more than 30 yards came from James Letcher Jr. (MTL), Thomas Bertrand-Hudon (SSK), Terry Williams (BC), and Tobias Harris (OTT).

  • There were no touchdowns and no fumbles.


Punt Returners

Here are the CFL Week 17 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

  • There were 36 punt returns recorded this week, and punt returners averaged 13.8 yards per return, above the season average of 11.4 yards per return.

  • Javon Leake (TOR) had only 1 punt return this week, but it went for 48 yards, making him the leader for the week.

  • Tyreik McAllister (HAM) had the longest return this week, logging a 54-yard punt return.

  • Of those 36 returns, 10 of them went for more than 15 yards, accounting for 27.8% of all punt returns, much higher than the 21% season average.

  • James Letcher Jr. (MTL) had the most punt returns over 15 yards, with 3 of his 6 (50%) returns making an impact.

  • There were 2 fumbles recorded by Tyreik McAllister (HAM) and Brandin Dandridge (OTT).


Coverage Teams

Here are the CFL Week 17 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

  • Coverage teams allowed an average of 13.8 yards per punt return on 36 punt returns, slightly higher than the season average of 11.4 yards allowed.

  • The BC Lions excelled, allowing an average of just 6 yards on 4 punt returns.

  • The Winnipeg Blue Bombers allowed 48 return yards on their only attempt.

  • Coverage teams conceded an average of 23.3 yards on 26 returns, also slightly above the season average of 21.7 yards allowed.

  • The BC Lions allowed an average of just 15.3 yards on 4 kickoff returns.

  • The Montreal Alouettes did not perform as well, allowing an average of 27.6 yards over 5 kickoff returns.

  • There were 17 penalties handed out this week, slightly above the average of 15.5 penalties handed out per week.

  • The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were given 4 penalties this week and are now averaging 2.3 special teams penalties per week.

  • There were no blocked punts or kicks this week.


Thank you for taking the time to read my work.

Consider following me on Twitter - @NoahBeauso


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