top of page
  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

CFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 3 Review

The third week of the CFL season is over, and it was full of exciting moments. Special Teams made a big impact with game-winning field goals and thrilling kickoff return touchdowns. Let's discuss how the CFL Special Teams units performed in this week's review;

 

Kickers

Kicker of the Week - David Côté (MTL)

   Kickers went 14/16 on field goals (88%) this week, a slight decrease from the 94% seen in Week 3. For the first time all season, not a single PAT was missed out of the 26 attempts. There were also 2 game-winning field goals in Week 3. Here are the CFL Week 3 Kicker Power Rankings:

  Standouts;

  1. Sean Whyte (BC) went 4/4 on field goals this week, extending his streak of consecutive field goals to 10. His longest field goal of the night was from 42 yards out with just 2:38 left in the game, securing the victory for the Lions.

  2. Lirim Hajrullahu (TOR) scored a game-winning, 37-yard field goal as time expired, clinching the win for the Argos. He was also 4/4 on PATs.

  3. David Côté (MTL) scored 17 of the Alouettes' 47 total points, going 4/4 on field goals and 5/5 on PATs. His longest field goal of the night was from 41 yards out.


  Slip-ups;

  1. The Wind (SSK) was to blame for Brett Lauther's lone miss this week. His 43-yard attempt was carried off course by a strong gust, resulting in a wide-right miss.

 

Punters

Punter of the Week - John Haggerty (TOR)

There were 44 punts this week, with punters averaging 49.3 yards and 35.8 net yards per punt. This is the highest average yards per punt we've seen so far in the CFL season, with 21 punts (48%) travelling over 50 yards. Additionally, 13 punts (30%) landed inside the 20-yard line, another season-high. There was only 1 penalty handed out this week. Here are the CFL Week 3 Punter Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. John Haggerty (TOR) punted 6 times for an impressive average of 56 yards and 44.3 net yards per punt. All 6 of his punts travelled over 50 yards, and half of them landed inside the 20-yard line. He also recorded another 2 punts inside the 10-yard line, bringing his total to 5 on the season, the most in the league.

  2. Jake Julien (EDM) averaged 54.9 yards and 36.9 net yards across 7 punts this week, with 5 of his punts (71%) travelling over 50 yards. He had 1 punt land inside the 20-yard line.

  3. Nik Constantinou (HAM) performed well this week, averaging 53.1 yards over 8 attempts. He pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line twice, including 1 punt that remained inside the 10-yard line. Many of his punts were exactly where they needed to be, between the sidelines and the numbers. However, his coverage team did not provide adequate support, resulting in a net yardage of just 37.3 yards per punt.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Adam Korsak (SSK) struggled to keep his punts in the field of play, receiving a rouge as well as a penalty for an illegal punt out of bounds, which hurt his net average and overall position in the power rankings.

  2. Jamieson Sheahan (WPG) was dealing with a hip injury earlier this week but was able to play on game day. His injury was obviously not fully healed, and his statistics suffered as a result. Sheahan only averaged 40 yards per punt, the lowest number we've seen from him all season.

 

Kickoff Specialists

Kickoff Specialist of the Week - Boris Bede (EDM)

  There was a season-high 38 kickoffs this week, with specialists averaging 66.4 yards per attempt. Seventeen kickoffs (45%) travelled over 70 yards, the highest percentage this season. Additionally, kickoff specialists kept 14 kickoffs (37%) inside the 30-yard line, another season-high. The first kickoff rouge was scored this week. Here are the CFL Week 3 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Brett Lauther (SSK) kicked off 6 times, averaging 73.5 yards per attempt, marking his third consecutive week of averaging over 70 yards per kickoff. He had 3 kickoffs (50%) remain inside the 30-yard line and leads the league with 60% of his kickoffs pinning opponents deep. Lauther also scored the first kickoff rouge of the 2024 season.

  2. Boris Bede (EDM) had 6 kickoffs, averaging 72 yards per attempt. Five of his kickoffs (83%) travelled over 70 yards, and he kept 4 kickoffs (67%) inside the 30-yard line.

  3. Marc Liegghio (HAM) had 2 onside kickoffs and was the first specialist to have an onside attempt recovered by his team.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Richie Leone (OTT) did not have a single kickoff travel over 70 yards or remain inside the 30-yard line.

 

Long Snappers

Long Snapper of the Week - Jorgen Hus (SSK)

There were 26 long snaps showcased in CFL highlight packages this week, including 16 field goal snaps and 10 punt snaps. Long snappers struggled a bit, recording 3 off-target snaps, resulting in a strike percentage of 88%. This is the lowest strike percentage we've seen through 3 weeks of play. Two long snappers recorded tackles on coverage teams. Here are the CFL Week 3 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Luke Burton-Krahn (EDM) had a single punt snap highlighted this week, which was recorded as a strike. He is the first long snapper to record 2 tackles in a single week and has shown reliability on coverage, recording 3 tackles in 2 games.

  2. Jorgen Hus (SSK) had the most impressive week of any long snapper, with 3 field goal snaps and 3 punt snaps all recorded as strikes.

  3. Riley Pickett (BC) bounced back after having 2 PATs blocked last week. The Blue Bombers attacked the middle of the line on field goals, but Pickett held strong, with all 4 of his snaps recorded as strikes.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Gordon Whyte (HAM) recorded his first off-target snap on a punt, which was deemed too high.

  2. Louis Philippe Bourassa (MTL) struggled this week, with 2 of his field goal snaps launched at or above Joseph Zema's head. Fortunately, Zema, an efficient holder, was able to wrangle both snaps to ensure David Côté had the best chance at hitting a clean ball.

 

Kickoff Returners

Kickoff Returner of the Week - DeVonte Dedmon (OTT)

There were 37 kickoff returns this week, with returners averaging 22.3 yards per attempt, matching the league-wide average. Returners recorded 5 returns (14%) over 30 yards, including the first return touchdown of the 2024 season. There was also 1 fumble recorded this week. Here are the CFL Week 3 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

    Standouts;

  1. DeVonte Dedmon (OTT) soared into the top position after an elite performance this week. He returned 4 kickoffs, averaging 42.8 yards per return, the highest average we've seen this season. Dedmon recorded a 40-yard return, but his biggest highlight was a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown against Montreal, marking the first return touchdown of 2024.

  2. Janarion Grant (TOR) returned 4 kickoffs for an average of 26.8 yards per return, including a long of 47 yards. Grant suffered an injury during the game but returned to continue fielding kicks in the fourth quarter.

  3. Shemar Bridges (HAM) recovered Marc Liegghio's onside kickoff, regaining possession for the TiCats.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Terry Williams (BC) was kept in check all night, averaging just 15.3 yards over 4 kickoff returns. To be considered an elite returner, he will need to start breaking off some big returns.

  2. Lawrence Woods III (HAM) fielded the opening kickoff but fumbled the ball when he was tackled, resulting in the Saskatchewan Roughriders recovering the ball. They took over deep in Hamilton territory and, 2 plays later, scored the first touchdown of the game.

  3. Mason Pierce (TOR) replaced Janarion Grant when he was injured, returning 1 kickoff for 11 yards. While Pierce was thrust into the starting role unexpectedly, his performance highlights the Argos' lack of depth at the returner position behind the injury-prone Grant.

 

Punt Returners

Punt Returner of the Week - Mario Alford (SSK)

Punt returners performed exceptionally well, returning 36 punts for an average of 11.6 yards per return. This is roughly 2 yards higher than any previous week, largely due to 11 punt returns (31%) travelling over 15 yards. Here are the CFL Week 3 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Janarion Grant (TOR) returned 5 punts for a total of 62 yards, averaging 12.4 yards per return, with a long of 23 yards. He brought 2 of his returns (40%) over 15 yards and leads the CFL in percentage of returns over 15 yards.

  2. Mario Alford (SSK) had the best week of any punt returner, averaging about 18 yards per return. He recorded 3 returns (50%) over 15 yards, including a long of 46 yards, the second-longest punt return of the season.

  3. Chris Smith (WPG) made his CFL debut this week, but things did not go his way. He recorded 2 punt returns, averaging a low 8 yards per return. Smith showed his potential with a 27-yard punt return, but it was wiped out by a penalty on the return team.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Terry Williams (BC) returned 3 punts for a total of 15 yards. His longest return was 11 yards, meaning that on his other 2 returns, Williams averaged just 2 yards per return.

 

Missed Field Goal Returners

Missed Field Goal Returner of the Week - Stavros Katsantonis (HAM)

  Here are the CFL Week 3 Missed Field Goal Returner Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Stavros Katsantonis (HAM) was the sole returner to handle a missed field goal. He fielded the ball around 3 yards inside the endzone and returned it 5 yards to prevent conceding a single point.

 

Coverage Teams

Coverage Team of the Week - The Saskatchewan Roughriders

Coverage teams had a mixed performance this week. On kickoffs, they allowed an average of 22.3 yards across 37 attempts, consistent with the season average. However, they struggled on punt returns, allowing an average of 11.6 yards on 36 punts, a 2-yard increase from last week. Teams showed improvement in discipline, receiving a season-low 13 penalties totalling 129 yards. There was 1 turnover recorded this week. Here are the CFL Week 3 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. The BC Lions had their best week, allowing an average of 8 yards on 2 punt returns and 19.5 yards on 4 kickoffs. They received only 2 penalties totaling 15 yards.

  2. The Saskatchewan Roughriders allowed an average of 10.3 yards on 6 punts and 17.3 yards on 6 kickoffs. They forced a turnover on the opening drive, setting the tone for the game, and received just 1 penalty compared to 8 last week.

  3. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers showed improvement across the board. They allowed an average of 5 yards on 3 punt returns and 15.3 yards on 4 kickoff returns.


  Slip-ups;

  1. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats struggled, allowing an average of 16 yards on 7 punt returns and 25 yards on their lone kickoff return.

  2. The Montreal Alouettes gave up a big kickoff return, impacting their average. They finished the game allowing an average of 36.2 yards on 6 kickoff returns.

 

Individual Special Teams Tackles

Special Teams Player of the Week - Thomas Bertrand-Hudon (SSK)

  There were a total of 68 special teams tackles recorded in Week 3. Penalties were less of a concern, with only 13 being handed out for a total of 124 yards. Through 3 weeks of play, there have been 196 special teams tackles and a total of 49 penalties on special teams, accounting for over 455 yards. Here are the CFL Week 3 Special Teams Tackles Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Rolan Milligan Jr. (SSK) has recorded 7 special teams tackles in the last 2 games.

  2. Aubrey Miller Jr. (EDM) recorded 3 special teams tackles this week.

  3. Thomas Bertrand-Husdon & Christian Albright (SSK) were responsible for the turnover on the opening kickoff. Bertrand-Hudson forced the opposing returner to fumble the ball, and Albright recovered it for the Roughriders.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Mustafa Johnson (MTL) received a penalty for unnecessary roughness on a field goal attempt when he rushed the long snapper head-on, a significant error for a veteran player.

  2. Joel Dublanko (EDM) was penalized for contacting the punter, giving the opponents a first down and contributing to the Elks' loss in the game.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my work.


Continue the discussion over on the Official CFL Forum!


Consider following me on Twitter - @NoahBeauso

Comments


bottom of page