CFL - Special Teams Power Rankings Week 19 - Kickers and Punters
There are now only 2 weeks left of the regular season for the CFL and each kick/punt matters more now than ever before. Let's discuss how specialists are performing in this week's write-up;
Kickers played very well this week, with one exception. Before Saturday night, kickers combined for 25/25 but one kicker, in particular, brought that perfect completion percentage crumbling down to a 26/29 finish. Kickers also made all 21 of their convert attempts this week, which seems to be a rare thing nowadays. Let's discuss how each of the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 19 CFL Kicker Power Rankings;
Rene Paredes (CGY) continues to play well and is, in my opinion, the most consistent kicker in the league. I mean, just look at his points compared to other kickers. He has 183 points and the next closest is Boris Bede with just 154. Paredes makes all 4 of his field goal attempts, as well as all 4 of his PATs. He had a long of 43 yards and has beefed up his make percentage from 40-50 yards with 2 field goals made in that range this week. He also continues to impress with Onside Kicks and had one recovered by the Stampeders again! I'm looking forward to seeing how Rene closes out the season.
Seth Small (HAM) will jump into the Top 3 this week after yet another amazing week. After entering the CFL back in Week 6, Small has made a big name for himself. He has made 31 of his 34 field goal attempts and only missed 1 PAT over 24 tries. He also holds the 2022 Season Record for the longest field goal (58 yards). This week, he once again impresses by making all 4 of his field goals with a long of 57 yards! He also made 2 convert attempts.
Sean Whyte (BC) will remain in the Third Position in our Power Rankings this week. He went 4/4 on field goals this week and 4/4 on PATs. He played well, making a long of 41 yards but the remaining 3 kicks were all under 26 yards, which is why Small will hop over him. I hope we see Whyte hit a couple more field goals from 40+ yards before the end of the 2022 season.
Marc Liegghio (WPG) will fall two spots into the Fourth Position after being the only kicker not to go 100% this week. He ended his night going just 1/4 on field goals and 3/3 on PATs. His only make was from 38 yards out with his misses coming from 45, 52, and 53 yards out. I would have expected him to hit the 45 yarder, as he has shown many times in the past he can make those. He did manage to hit a 55 yard field goal back in Week 55 so I, wrongly, assumed that he could hit it from 53 and under with ease. I was surprised when both his 50+ yard attempts fell just a couple of yards short. While I hope this isn't the case, it seems that in order for Liegghio to make anything longer than exactly 50 yards, he will need some assistance from the wind. Am I worried, you ask? No, I'm not. Liegghio has performed incredibly well and has shown he has the ability to come back from adversity (think Week 10 against the Alouettes when he went 1/3) and I think he will do exactly that. As long as we don't see another one of these types of games in the Playoffs, Marc will be fine.
Brett Lauther (SSK) had a Bye Week this week and will look to break into the Top 4 before the end of the Season. I think he can do it, just need some more consistency from him. A cute story regarding Lauther though, it looks like he, and some teammates, sent out a signed license plate for someone's 99th Birthday!
Sergio Castillo (EDM) will jump into the Sixth Position because of how well he coaches his linemen on kicking field goals! In all seriousness, Castillo has been incredibly consistent for the Elks since Week 8. He has made 19/20 field goals since, with longs of 46, 47, 50, and 52. The 50 yard long happened this past week, when he went 3/3 on field goals and 2/2 on PATs. I don't expect him to jump into the Top 5 this year, to be honest, but I can see him sneaking in if some kickers above him have a tough remainder of the season.
David Côté (MTL) drops a position this week, mainly because he has hit 12 of his field goals under the 20 yard mark. Castillo has managed to perform better in the 20-50+ yard range. This week, Côté made both of his field goal attempts, with a nice field goal of 45 yards! He also made all 4 of his convert attempts.
Lewis Ward (OTT) had a good week if you couldn't tell from the pattern that is emerging. He went 3/3 on field goals and to my pleasant surprise, 2 of those were from 40+ yards out and his long was from 44 yards! He also went 3/3 on PATs. I hope we get 2 more kicks from 40+ yards before the end of the Season.
Boris Bede (TOR) actually had a really good game and could work his way back up the Power Rankings with a repeat next week. He went 5/5 on field goals, with 3 of those coming from 40+ yards out, and a long of 49 yards. His 5 completed field goals are tied for the sixth most in a game by an Argo! He was the reason the Argonauts won. I need to see more accuracy from over 40 yards.
There was not much movement this week for the Punters of the league. Let's discuss how each of the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 19 CFL Punter Power Rankings;
Cody Grace (CGY) punted 4 times for 207 yards and a monster 51.8 yards per punt. He also had an enormous 194 Net Yards (48.5 Net Avg.) with 3 punts over 50 yards, and 2 punts landing inside the 20 (with one on the 7 yard line).
Richie Leone (OTT) punted 6 times for 238 yards (39.7 Avg.) and 165 Net yards (27.5 Net Avg.). His Net yardage is unfortunately very low, but that is mitigated by the fact that half of his punts landed inside the 20 yard line (with one on the 6 yard line).
Joseph Zema (MTL) impressed me this week with 5 punts for an average of 43.2 yards and 39.8 Net yards per punt. 40% of his kicks were inside the 20 yard line (2 punts). If he continues to keep his Net Avg. up, he will likely remain in the Top 3, but he has his work cut out for him with how many great punters there are this year in the CFL.
John Haggerty (TOR) is the only player to move up in the Power Rankings this week, and he definitely deserved it. He punted 4 times for an insane 53 yards per punt. as expected 3 of those punts were over 50 yards, and 1 landed inside the 20 yard line.
Stefan Flintoft (BC) had a tough game. While he punted 6 times for an average of 49 yards per punt, his Net Avg. dropped to 20.3. BC's coverage team had no answers for Winnipeg's returners. Despite this, Flintoft still managed to hit 3 punts over 50 yards. This dip in Net Avg. is what drops him into the Fifth Position.
Marc Liegghio (WPG) had a better night punting than he did kicking, punting the ball 4 times for 189 yards (47.3 Avg.) and 155 Net yards (38.8 Net Avg.). I want to see more consistency from Liegghio in the Punting department. He seems to have a good week, then a bad week, then an o.k. week, then a good week, etc... He needs more good weeks.
Michael Domagala (HAM) had a great night punting. He did so 4 times for 186 yards (46 Avg.) and 161 Net yards (40.3 Net Avg.). This helps his low Net Avg. on the season. He also pinned one of his punts inside the 20 yard line.
Kaare Vedvik (SSK) had a Bye Week this week.
Jonathan Ryan (EDM) has not impressed me very much this season. He punted 6 times for just 221 yards (36.8 Avg.) and 176 Net Yards (29.3 Net Avg.). One of his punts landed inside the 10 yard line, but that's about all he did. He trails in just about every statistical category and just isn't the Jon Ryan we used to know and love.
Thank you for making it this far in my article! Please make sure to let me know what you think. -Big Ups to everyone on Twitter who continues to post great Specialist content. -
I couldn't do it without you :)