CFL - Special Teams Power Rankings Week 9 - Kickers and Punters
Week 9 is in the books, so let's discuss Statistics, New Starts, Power Rankings, and more in this week's write-up;
There was not much movement in the kicker world this week but there are some interesting statistics to talk about. Kickers only attempted 17 field goals this week, the lowest amount we've seen this season. They connected on 14 of those, which was good for a league-wide 82.4%. As for Point After Attempts, they went 16/17, with the only miss coming from a surprising player. Let's discuss how the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 CFL Kicker Power Rankings;
Rene Paredes (CGY) followed up his great Week 8 with an below average one (for him anyways). He went 3/4 on field goals this week and 1/1 on PATs. He connected on a impressive 51 yard field goal to start the night and contributed 10 of the Stampeders 17 points in their win over the Ottawa Redblacks. He is still performing at an insanely high level and will remain in the First Position for the 8th week in a row!
Marc Liegghio (WPG) will represent the only kicker who will move up in the Power Rankings this week after having yet another impressive outing. Winnipeg's offense was clicking this week and didn't need Liegghio to do much. He did, however, show that whatever issues he had with PATs is gone. He connected on all 5 of his PATs. Liegghio technically went 1/1 on FG (19 yard) but it got called back for a penalty and their drive continued. It ended with a TD where Liegghio hit yet another PAT. He will jump into the Second Position in our Power Rankings this week.
Brett Lauther (SSK) had a Bye Week this week.
David Côté (MTL) went 3/4 this week with a long of 49 yards. He has shown that he is a reliable kicker over the course of the season but he is struggling with one thing. Kicks over 50 yards. After his 50 yard miss this week, he is now 0-2 on attempts over 50 yards. I'm not sure what the issue is, but he needs to figure it out, and he is lucky that none of these kicks have been game-winners.
Sean Whyte (BC) made his only field goal from 47 yards out this week, but the surprise came from his PATs. He attempted 6 in the game and only made 5. This marks his first missed PAT since he joined the lions, and drops him to 29/30 on the year.
Lewis Ward (OTT) represents the Redblack's entire offense in their 17-3 loss against Calgary. He made his 1 field goal attempt from 25 yards out, which was a lucky kick as he bonked it off the right goal post.
Boris Bede (TOR) played well after being called "Mentally weak" by the CFL's all-time receiving yards leader and Hall of Famer Nik Lewis. He came back against the criticism and made 3 of his 4 field goals (the miss was good for a Single), as well as his 2 Point After Attempts in the Argo's 34-20 win over Hamilton.
Sergio Castillo (EDM) was not given any field goal opportunities but connected on the 2 PATs he attempted. I still want to see him improve on his field goals over 40 yards out.
Seth Small (HAM) did very well this week, making all 4 of his field goal attempts, so why didn't he move up in the Power Rankings? Because he has yet to make a field goal over 30 yards. His long this week was 28 yards, and he is currently 0-1 on attempts over 30 yards out. He can do it, as he has made 7 PATs, which are essentially 32 yard tries but I need to see him hit field goals from a greater distance before making any changes.
A little more movement occurred in the Punter Power Rankings this week. Let's discuss how the players performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 CFL Punter Power Rankings;
Richie Leone (OTT) will sit atop the Power Rankings for the 5th week in a row after getting a lot of work in the game against Calgary this week. He punted 10 times, for an Avg. of 47 yards and a Net Avg. of 36 yards per punt. He is turning out to be the Redblacks best Special Teams player this year and it isn't even close.
Marc Liegghio (WPG), as mentioned before had a great week as a kicker in general, had an even better game if we focus on his punts. He punted 4 times, 2 of which landed inside the 10 yard line. He also managed to kick 3 balls over 50 yards to give himself an average of 51 yards per punt. The coffin corner kicks helped him keep his Net Avg. (46.5 Net Avg.) incredibly high as well. He will jump into the Second Position this week.
Joseph Zema (MTL) had a tough week, putting up the worst numbers of his 2022 Season. His Avg. was fine, sitting at a high 48 yards per punt, but his Net Avg. suffered (27.8 Net yards per punt) due to punt return touchdown by Winnipeg's star returner Janarion Grant. I'm sure he had some words for his coverage team after the game. He slides 1 spot into the Third Position. P.S Happy Birthday Joseph! The Aussie punter turns 28 on August 10th!
Stefan Flintoft (BC) doesn't move in our Power Rankings this week but he did perform well. This is his second week with a Net Avg. of 40 yards per punt. He also had a completed pass made to Cottoy on an early 3rd Down. unfortunately it did not gain enough yards to move the chains. Stefan is performing very well, and will look to break into the Top 3 in the coming weeks.
John Haggerty (TOR) is continuously improving each week. It's always nice to see a rookie thrive. He punted 7 times for 383 yards (54.7 yards per punt). 6 of those punts were over 50 yards and the other was a coffin corner punt that landed inside the 10 yard line. He puts up his best Net Avg. of the year with an impressive 41.3 Net Avg.
Cody Grace (CGY) will continue to put up great numbers after struggling in his two first weeks after his injury. He comes back this week to punt 9 times with a 50 yard per punt Avg. He also manages 39.4 Net. yards per punt. Get used to seeing him ball out and return to his All-Star form for the rest of the season, this kid can kick! I love the fire this guy has, just look at this hold he made for Paredes. He will jump into the Sixth Position.
Kaare Vedvik (SSK) had a Bye Week this week.
Jonathan Ryan (EDM), Edmonton's newest Punter made his debut this week after being acquired from Hamilton during their Bye Week. As I predicted, he didn't fair much better than any of the other Punters that the Elks have employed. He punted 7 times for an average of 41.9 yards per punt and was only able to manage 34.9 Net. yards per punt. I suspect that he will have a down year unless the Elks can figure out their coverage team issues.
Michael Domagala (HAM) will remain in the Eighth Position this week after a tough showing in Toronto. He punted 6 times for only 253 yards (42.2 Avg.). He also had a punt blocked early in the 4th, which was returned by Toronto to break the tie and take the lead 24-17. This would ultimately lead to the demise of the Ti-Cats as they fell 34-10 in the first of 4 matchups between the two teams.
Thank you for making it this far in my article! Please make sure to let me know what you think. Thank you to everyone on Twitter who continues to put out great Specialist content. I couldn't do it without you :)