CFL - Special Teams Power Rankings Week 11 - Kickers and Punters
Week 11 is through and overall, the specialists all played well. Let's discuss back-and-forth game winners, uncharacteristic seasons, Power Rankings, and more in this week's write-up!
After last week's toss-up, there was not much movement this week. They tied their Week 9 stat-line by making 14 of their 17 field goal attempts, which is good for 82.4%. Actually, we had a carbon copy of Week 9, because the kickers in the CFL also matched their PAT stat-line (16/17, 94.1%). Let's discuss how the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 11 CFL Kicker Power Rankings;
Rene Paredes (CGY) will continue to make me sound like a broken record after staying in the Top Position for the TENTH CONSECUTIVE WEEK! He made all 3 of his kicks, with a long of 41 yards out. He also made his only PAT.
Brett Lauther (SSK) had a perfect week, which is good considering he only hit one field goal from 12 yards out and one point after convert. Why are the Riders blue-balling us? Lauther making 50+ yard field goals is primo CFL kicking content. I want to see more of his leg, please.
Sean Whyte (BC) had another game where he didn't kick a field goal. He did take the field to make 4 PATs though, which is nice to see. He is now leading the league in PATs Made, with 37 successful converts. Second place is at 25. Wow.
Marc Liegghio (WPG) had a Bye Week and will look to right his Week 10 wrongs in Week 12.
David Côté (MTL) was, in a word, breathtaking. After scoring a tie-breaking 1-point conversion late in the 4th Quarter, he had to stay on the sidelines and watch the Hamilton Tiger-Cats march down the field and give Seth Small a chance at a 51 yard game-winner. Small made that kick and the score was now 28-26 with 00:42 on the clock. Somehow Trevor Harris single-handedly brought MTL back into the game and set up David Côté for a 48 yard game-winner with just 00:08 seconds left in the game. Côté lined up and drilled it through the uprights to send over 20k fans home in a good mode! He finished the night going 2/2 on field goals, and 2/2 for PATs.
Boris Bede (TOR) is quietly having a very good second quarter of his 2022 CFL Season. After going 9/12 through the first six weeks (75%), he has since made 16/18 (88.8%). He ends the week going 4/4 on field goals and 1/1 on his only PAT. His long was from 40 yards out.
Sergio Castillo (EDM) had a very productive time this past week, even though he only hit 3/4 of his PATs. He managed to nail his only field goal opportunity when the Elks trotted him out early in the first quarter for a 52 yard attempt! This 50+ yard kick ties his longest field goal made in 2022.
Seth Small (HAM) had an up-and-down week. He ended the night going 2/3 for field goals, his only miss coming from a 43 yard field goal in the second quarter. His team would give him the opportunity to redeem himself, however, when they lined him up for a 51 yard game-winner. He kicked the ball true, and made the field goal! Unfortunately, those 3 points he left on the field came back to bite the team in the ass, and contributed to their 29-28 loss to the Alouettes.
Lewis Ward (OTT) is having a bad season. I'm not sure what's going on if he is in his own head or what, but he is not playing well. He went 1/3 this week, missing two kicks over 40 yards out. He is now in possession of the lowest FG % in the CFL (77.8%). What's more concerning, is that he is 3/8 on all kicks over 40 yards. Actually, since 2021, Lewis Ward has only made 15 of his 29 attempts on anything further than 40 yards. That is only 51%. His only saving grace is that he technically made a 46 yard field goal that got called back due to a penalty, but that won't count on the stat sheet.
Punters had a great week, with 6 of the 9 punters doing well (in my opinion). Through 11 weeks, Punters are averaging 47 yards per punt and 37.7 Net yards per punt. Collectively, they have put 22% of their kicks inside the 20 yard line. Let's discuss how the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 11 CFL Punter Power Rankings;
Richie Leone (OTT) had another great week as he sticks around in the Top Position through Week 11. He punted 5 times, for an average of 43 yards, and 39.6 Net yards per punt. He also pinned 40% of his kicks inside the 20 yard line, which is well above league average.
Marc Liegghio (WPG) had a Bye Week but continues to perform at such a high level that it just doesn't make sense to move him outside of the Top 3.
Cody Grace (CGY) falters a bit during his 4 game of the 2022 CFL Season. While his average and Net Avg. were great (43.1 yards 39.4 Net yards respectively), he was unable to get any punt inside the 20 yards. I guess he used up all his "inside the 20" punts last week when 60% were inside the 20 yard line.
Joseph Zema (MTL) won the game for the Alouettes. I said what I said. He is consistently holding and punting well. This week he had 6 punts which were good for 298 yards (49.7 Avg.) and 234 Net yards (39 Net Avg.). He also scored a Rouge this week, which helped the Al's win by 1 point! Despite this, Cody Grace is just playing out of his mind and is on pace for a more Top 3 worthy season.
Stefan Flintoft (BC) will drop into the Fifth Position even though he is playing very well in terms of Avg. and Net Avg. yards per punt. The area he struggles in is pinning his opponents deep. He has only hit 8 of his 46 punts inside the 20 yard line (17%). I would like to see more of these punts force fair catches instead of returns.
John Haggerty (TOR) turned it around this week, punting a Season high 9 times for a total of 426 yards and 370 Net yards (47.3 Avg. and 41.1 Net Avg.). Haggerty managed to get 33% of his punts inside the 20 yard line. He leads the league in Punts over 50 yards (26).
Kaare Vedvik (SSK) also had a good week, punting 6 times for 50.7 yards and 41.8 Net yards per punt. He will look to have more games like this one, where he got 33% of his punts inside the 20 yard line, as it has been something he has struggled with.
Michael Domagala (HAM) is on an upward trend this week after hitting 5 balls for 217 yards. 2 of those landed inside the 20 and he escaped with a respectable 38.4 Net yards per punt. I hope we see more of this from Michael.
Jonathan Ryan (EDM) is officially on my hot-seat radar. I can't wrap my head around why he is playing so badly. It's almost like I predicted: a struggling coverage team paired with an aging punter coming off a season-ending injury wasn't going to work out. Ryan had his worst week since coming back to the 2022 CFL Season in Week 9. He punted 6 times for a tough 37.2 yards and an even worse 29.5 Net yards per punt. I am not impressed with the front office of the Edmonton Elks. We will have to wait to see how Ryan has performed through 7 games in Week 15 to determine if cutting Matt Mengel was worth it or not. Hint: It isn't gonna be worth it.
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