top of page
  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

CFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 4 Review

What an unforgettable week of football! Kickers took the special teams spotlight with 3 games decided by last-minute field goals, proving once again that the CFL is the most exciting football league around. We even saw the first instance of the infamous "Dribble Kick" in 2024. Let's discuss how the CFL special teams units performed in this week's review;

 

Kickers

Kicker of the Week - Sergio Castillo (WPG)

  Kickers were extremely accurate this week, going 27/28 (96%) on field goals and 12/13 (92%) on PATs. Their 2 misses represent the lowest number of misses in any given week. There were 3 field goals from 50 yards or more and 6 clutch field goals, all made. Here are the CFL Week 4 Kicker Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Sean Whyte (BC) went 3/3 on field goals this week, including a long of 42 yards. He made his lone convert attempt. Whyte's 29-yard field goal at the end of the first half gave BC the lead. He later nailed a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give BC the win over Edmonton.

  2. Rene Paredes (CGY) made all 4 of his field goal attempts this week, including a 52-yard game-winning field goal. Does Paredes even feel pressure?

  3. Sergio Castillo (WPG) made a career-best 60-yard field goal this week. The long bomb is a franchise record, and Castillo continues to cement himself as one of the best kickers for the Blue Bombers.


  Slip-ups;

  1. David Côté (MTL) struggled to read the wind at BMO Field, missing a 45-yard field goal wide left. His 4 misses have all been wide left.

 

Punters

Punter of the Week - Richie Leone (OTT)

There were 46 punts this week, with punters averaging 49.2 yards and 33.4 net yards per punt. This is the second consecutive week where punters have averaged over 49 yards per attempt. There was a notable decrease in punts remaining inside the 20-yard line, with only 5 punts (17%) pinning opponents deep, a 19% decrease from last week. The punters had no problem getting air under their punts, with 23 of them (50%) travelling more than 50 yards, the most in any given week. Here are the CFL Week 4 Punter Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Richie Leone (OTT) had a great game, punting 7 times for an average of 48.9 yards and 40.9 net yards per punt. He didn't outkick his coverage and was able to hold the Hamilton returners in check all night, including 2 punts that remained inside the 20-yard line (29%).

  2. Jamieson Sheahan (WPG) saved a potentially disastrous play by wrangling in an errant snap with an outstretched arm. He thought about punting the ball but, rather than risking a block, Sheahan wisely decided to run, gaining 18 yards and a first down to keep the Bombers' drive alive.

  3. Jeshrun Antwi (MTL) once again pulled off the infamous Dribble Kick in their game against Toronto. They continue to be the only team in the CFL to even attempt the risky play. Antwi kicked the ball past the line of scrimmage and then dropped on it to give the Als a new set of downs. This play has caused quite a commotion online and has many people talking about special teams, for better or for worse.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Stefan Flintoft (BC) recorded his first punt under 30 yards after shanking a ball 20 yards and receiving an illegal punt out-of-bounds penalty. The play resulted in just 10 net yards gained for Flintoft.

 

Kickoff Specialists

Kickoff Specialist of the Week - Boris Bede (EDM)

  Kickoff specialists averaged 65.4 yards per kickoff across a season-low 22 attempts. Speaking of season lows, there were only 6 kickoffs (27%) that travelled further than 70 yards, an 18% decrease from last week. This is largely because Brett Lauther did not play. There were 7 kickoffs (32%) that remained inside the 30-yard line, slightly above the season average of 30%. Here are the CFL Week 4 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Boris Bede (EDM) kicked off 4 times, averaging 68.5 yards per attempt. He had 3 kickoffs travel further than 70 yards, including a 76-yarder, his longest of the game. Bede continues to pin opponents deep, with 2 of his kickoffs (50%) remaining inside the 30-yard line.

  2. Sergio Castillo (WPG) recorded 3 kickoffs, averaging 71 yards per attempt, his highest average of the season. His 82-yard kickoff might've been the longest of his career and remained inside the 30-yard line.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Marc Liegghio (HAM) didn't get a choice in the matter, but his short squib kick opened the door for Ottawa to come back and win the game.

 

Long Snappers

Long Snapper of the Week - Aaron Crawford (CGY)

There were 39 long snaps showcased in CFL highlight packages this week, including 30 field goal snaps and 9 punt snaps. For the second consecutive week, long snappers had less than 90% of their snaps recorded as strikes, with a strike percentage of 87%. There was a season-high of 5 snaps recorded as balls. Only 1 long snapper recorded a tackle. Here are the CFL Week 4 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Aaron Crawford (CGY) had all 4 of his field goal snaps and both of his punt snaps recorded as strikes. He was perfect under pressure, and his snap on the game-winning field goal was textbook. Crawford continues to impress with the speed of his snaps.

  2. Louis-Philippe Bourassa (MTL) bounced back after a rough Week 3 performance. All 4 of his field goal snaps were recorded as strikes.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Riley Pickett (BC) had a field goal snap sail over his holder's head. Stefan Flintoft was unable to wrangle it in, and the play was blown dead.

  2. Peter Adjey (OTT) had 2 field goal snaps drift upward this week, including his snap for the game-winner. Fortunately, Richie Leone was able to wrangle in the snaps, and they did not affect the outcome of the attempts.

 

Kickoff Returners

Kickoff Returner of the Week - DeVonte Dedmon (OTT)

There was a season-low 23 kickoff returns this week, with returners averaging 21 yards per return. The longest kickoff return of the week was a 43-yard return, and it was the only one to travel further than 30 yards. This represents a 10% decrease in the number of kickoffs that travelled further than 30 yards. There were 2 fumbles, 1 of which was not recovered by a returner. Here are the CFL Week 4 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

    Standouts;

  1. DeVonte Dedmon (OTT) returned 2 kickoffs for a total of 63 yards, averaging 31.5 yards per return. He fumbled his first return and was not able to recover it. Dedmon redeemed himself later in the game with a 43-yard kickoff return, the only one to surpass 30 yards.

  2. Tobias Harris (OTT) fielded the squib kick by Hamilton mentioned earlier. His 27-yard return allowed Ottawa to start their drive on their own 52-yard line, resulting in a game-winning field goal.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Lawrence Woods (HAM) returned 1 kickoff for 19 yards before being benched in favour of Tim White, who averaged 23 yards over 2 attempts. It's safe to say Woods won't be returning kicks anymore. I expect newly-signed Davon "Smoke" Harris to handle returns moving forward.

 

Punt Returners

Punt Returner of the Week - James Letcher Jr. (MTL)

There were 36 punt returns this week, with returners averaging a season-high 12.2 yards per attempt. There were 8 returns that travelled further than 15 yards, and the longest return of the week was 43 yards. Here are the CFL Week 4 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. James Letcher Jr. (MTL) returned 4 punts, averaging 23.5 yards per return. He almost had all 4 of his returns travel further than 15 yards; however, a 23-yard return was nullified by a penalty. Letcher Jr. continues to give Montreal great field position every time he touches the ball.

  2. DeVonte Dedmon (OTT) returned 6 punts for a total of 99 yards. He averaged 16.5 yards per return and had 3 returns (50%) travel further than 15 yards.

  3. Chris Smith (WPG) finally had the breakout game since he took over the returner role a few weeks ago. He returned 4 punts for a total of 63 yards, averaging 15.8 yards per return. His longest return was 22 yards, and he had 2 travel further than 15 yards. I fully expect this to continue as Smith gains more experience in the CFL.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Eric Brooks (CGY) struggled to get anything going this week, returning 4 punts for just 18 yards total, an average of 4.5 yards per return. Brooks needs to step up and make some plays if he wants to climb the power rankings.

 

Missed Field Goal Returners

Missed Field Goal Returner of the Week - Janarion Grant (TOR)

  Here are the CFL Week 4 Missed Field Goal Returner Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Janarion Grant (TOR) fielded a missed field goal 19 yards deep in his own end zone. After nearly being tackled by his hair, he managed to exit the end zone, ensuring no single was given to the kicking team.

 

Coverage Teams

Coverage Team of the Week - The Montreal Alouettes

Coverage teams had a mixed week once again. On kickoffs, they allowed an average of 12 yards across 23 attempts, about 1 yard less than the season average. They struggled on punt returns, allowing an average of 12.2 yards on 36 punts, a 4-yard increase from Week 1. Teams continue to play more disciplined, receiving a season-low 10 penalties for a total of 120 yards. Here are the CFL Week 4 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are performing extremely well on punt returns, allowing under 5 yards per return for the second week in a row. They also received only 1 penalty, the fewest they have been given in a single week.

  2. The Montreal Alouettes were clicking on every level, allowing an average of just 8.3 yards on 3 punt returns and 15.5 yards on 4 kickoff returns. They received 2 penalties for a total of 25 yards.


  Slip-ups;

  1. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats continue to struggle on coverage teams. They allowed a season-high average of 30 yards per kickoff return across 3 returns. The team has subsequently parted ways with special teams coordinator Paul Boudreau. The TiCats have hired Dennis McKnight to replace him.

 

Individual Special Teams Tackles

Special Teams Player of the Week - Robert Panabaker (HAM)

  There were a total of 54 special teams tackles recorded in Week 4. Penalties were even less of a concern than in Week 3, with only 9 being handed out for a total of 105 yards. Through 4 weeks of play, there have been 250 special teams tackles and a total of 58 penalties on special teams, accounting for over 561 yards. Here are the CFL Week 4 Special Teams Tackles Power Rankings;

  Standouts;

  1. Adam Konar (CGY) recorded 3 special teams tackles this week, bringing his total up to 5 for the year.

  2. Adarius Pickett (OTT) made 3 special teams tackles this week.

  3. Robert Panabaker & Felix Garand-Gauthier (HAM) worked together, with Panabaker forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff and Garand-Gauthier recovering it to give Hamilton a great starting field position.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Jeshrun Antwi (MTL) received 2 penalties for a total of 25 yards. He was flagged for an illegal block on a return as well as an unnecessary roughness penalty.

 

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

Komentarze


bottom of page