CFL - Special Teams Power Rankings Week 6 - Kickers and Punters
The 2022 Season is official 1/3 through and we had another great week of kicking and punting in the CFL! Let's discuss missed opportunities, Touchdown Atlantic, Power Rankings, and more in this week's write-up;
Well, this week we had a very interesting statistics sheet for kickers. Across the CFL, kickers attempted 21 field goals and 22 Point After Attempts. They made 16/21 field goals (Good for 76%) and 20/22 PAT's (Good for 91%). Let's discuss how the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 6 CFL Kicker Power Rankings;
Rene Paredes (CGY) returns to familiar form this week after he went 4/4 on field goals and made his 1 PAT. Paredes also has reason to celebrate as he hit a new season long of 50 yards! No other kicker is performing better than Rene, and he has already scored 63 points this season!
Sean Whyte (BC) stays in the Second Position after another Bye Week. He is still one of only 2 kickers who are 100% on the season and looks to remain at 100% through Week 7.
David Côté (MTL) had yet another great week and is very close to breaking into the top 2. I want to see the Alouettes give Côté a chance from 50+ yards this season, as he has yet to hit a 50 yarder in his CFL career. Also, just as a side, Côté was able to recover his own on-side kick during the game this week, which is always impressive.
Brett Lauther (SSK) visited his home province this week during the first CFL regular season game played in Nova Scotia! During Touchdown Atlantic 2022, Lauther was able to perform his craft in front of his family and friends, and perform he did! Overall, he played well. He made 3 of his 4 field goal attempts as well as both of his PATs. Unfortunately, his game-winning field goal in the 4th Quarter was negated when a Cody Fajardo pass was intercepted for a touchdown, sealing the win for the Argonauts.
Seth Small (HAM) has finally taken the field! I was a big fan of what he did during the preseason (3/3 FG, long of 51 yards) and was surprised that he was released instead of Domagala. Well, Small finally got his chance, and boy, did he ever play his ass off! He went 4/4 on his kicking attempts (1/1 FG, 3/3 PAT) and showed that he might just be the future for the Tiger-Cats. He will help the Cats move up 4 spots into the Fifth Position.
Mac Liegghio (WPG) falls one spot to the Sixth Position this week because he has once again struggled to make the big kicks that matter. While he went 2/2 on field goals, with a long of 48 yards, he only went 2/3 on PATs. The last convert attempt was missed, leaving the score 26-19 for the Bombers. While the Stamps couldn't get it done in the end, Liegghio left the door open a crack for them.
Lewis Ward (OTT) had a rough night. There is no getting around that. He went 1/3 on field goal attempts and missed the game-winner, which is not something we are used to seeing from him. While both of those kicks came from 50+, as a kicker in the CFL, you need to make those. If he makes just one of those two kicks, the Redblacks sneak away with the win over the Ti-Cats.
Boris Bede (TOR) is starting to worry me. He is currently hitting a career-low 75% of his field goals and I don't know why. He went 2/3 on field goals this week, with the critical miss coming off a game-winner in the 4th Quarter with 2:48 left in the game. Luckily Toronto's Defense showed up and was able to win the game for the Argos. I hope this game's miss came due to wind in the Atlantic, but I'm really not sure anymore.
Sergio Castillo (EDM) is officially 3 weeks without being perfect on his kicks. While I love Castillo, I fear he may be in the hot seat as he has attempted 19 field goals (2nd most in the CFL) and only has a completion percentage of 78% (2nd lowest in the CFL). This being said, Castillo went 2/3 on field goals and 2/3 on PATs this week. At this point in the season, you have to ask; How many more chances does Head Coach Chris Jones give Sergio?
Quite a bit of movement for our Punters following the 6th Week of the CFL Season. Let's discuss how the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 6 CFL Punter Power Rankings;
Richie Leone had a decent week during his Week 6 game against the Ti-Cats. Given their QB situation, I assumed that we would see a lot of Leone, but 11 time? Wow, that's tough. He still sits in the top 2 for Net Avg. yards per punt (38.2 Net Avg.), but has not been helped much by his offense, who haven't been setting him up with great field position. Nevertheless, Leone continues to pin opponents inside their 20 yard line over 20% of the time and his ability to kick the ball 50+ yards is keeping him in the First Position.
Joseph Zema (MTL) had the best week of his 2022 campaign, statistically speaking. He punted 5 times, 3 of which were over 50 yards, and 1 landed inside the 10 yard line. He was able to hit a new season high of 44.2 Net Yards per punt. If he continues to play at this level, Zema might just dethrone Leone.
Marc Liegghio (WPG) played well this week, punting 6 times for an average of 43.8 yards and 34.8 Net yards. He was able to put his punts inside the 20 yard line 33% (2 punts) of the time. He drops a position because of competition coming up around him.
Matt Mengel (EDM) had a tough game this week against Montreal's outstanding return team, which is something we may need to take into consideration moving forward. His coverage team did not show up this week, allowing Mengel's Net Avg. to drop to just 22.5 Net yards per punt. While he may not have had the best stat line this week, he continues to have one of the best legs in the CFL, and at the end of the day, his team won the game. This W meant a lot to Mengel, as he had been cut by the MTL Alouettes in Preseason. We will see Mengel return to the field come Week 7 when the Elks take on the undefeated Bombers', and I expect we will see Mengel punt quite a few times, considering how well the WPG Defense has been playing.
Kaare Vedvik (SSK) had a sensational game this week and has been continuously improving since his Week 3 slump. Maybe Chris Jones bringing in Punter James Smith really lit a fire under Vedvik's ass. He punted 5 times during the TD Atlantic game for a total of 222 yards (44.4 Avg.). He was also able to ensure the opponents were unable to return his punts and was rewarded with a season-high Net Avg. of 43.6 Net yards per punt, as well as a jump of 3 Positions in this week's Power Rankings. I can't wait to see Vedvik continue to impress, especially since the guy he replaced has recently signed with Hamilton.
Cody Grace (CGY) will fall 1 Position after a poor performance compared to what is expected of him. He has only played 2 games though, so it's tough to judge too much. I will have a better idea of where he stands compared to the rest of the league in Week 8 when the Stamps face the Bombers.
Stefan Flintoft (BC) had a Bye Week this week.
John Haggerty (TOR) is starting to go in the right direction. He will jump out of last place into the Eighth Position this week after punting 7 times, for an average of 51.4 yards per punt. He had 5 of his punts go for more than 50 yards and pinned them in the 20 yard line 2 times. If his Net Avg. yards per punt continue trending upward, as they have for the past 4 games, this rookie will find himself among the best of the best in no time!
Michael Domagala (HAM) found a way to get on the field this week after I thought he had been released by the team. for whatever reason, newly acquired Punter Jon Ryan was not ready to go, so they chose to play Domagala at the Punter Position. I hate to say that he did not do great, punting 8 times, for a Net Avg. of just 35.6 yards per punt. I find it hard to believe that the Ti-Cats will keep him on their roster once Jon is healthy. He may find a place on the PS so the Cats can call on his number if Small starts to falter later this Season.
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