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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

CFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 6 Review

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Well, it's safe to say that Week 6 of the CFL season was among the most exciting thus far. Let's discuss how the CFL Special Teams units performed in this week's review;

 

Kickers

Kickers in the CFL went 20/22 (9.9%) on field goals and 22/23 (95.6%) on PATs this week. There was also an impressive 3 field goals made from over 50 yards. Here are the CFL Week 6 Kicker Power Rankings;

  • Rene Paredes was 4/4 on field goals and 2/2 on PATs this week. He also completed 2 field goals from over 50+ yards, including this 50-yard game-winner as time expired.

  • Lewis Ward continues to impress me with his field goal attempts over 40 yards. He was 2/2 this week and is now 6/7 on the season.

  • Brett Lauther is yet again listed as a non-participant in practice before Saskatchewan's matchup in Week 7. Could it be because he was 1/2 on field goals last week, bringing him to a total of 5 missed kicks on the year? We'll have to wait and find out.

  • Boris Bede is no longer 100% on the season after missing from over 40 yards out.

  • Sergio Castillo flies into the Top 2 after yet another impressive performance where he went 2/2 with a clutch, 48-yard attempt in OT to give his team the lead and another FG from 52 yards sail straight in between the uprights.

  • Dean Faithfull had a bounce-back game in Week 6, going 3/3 on field goals with multiple coming from 40+ yards. He did, however, miss a PAT.

 

Punters

On average, Punters accumulated 47.6 yards and 36 net yards over 49 punt attempts in Week 6. They had 12 punts (24.5%) remaining inside the 20-yard line with an additional 2 punts remaining inside the 10-yard line. Over 38% of punts (19) were over 50 yards in length and only 1 penalty was given out to a Punter. Here are the CFL Week 6 Punter Power Rankings;

  • Cody Grace had an o.k. performance in Week 6, despite his low, low net yardage of roughly 15 net yards per punt. His Coverage Team really let him down and Mario Alfords return unit was on point in terms of blocking scheme which allowed him to dominate. Grace was able to punt the ball an average of 48.4 yards on 7 punts, with 2 of the punts (28.6%) remaining inside the 20-yard line (1 inside the 10-yard line). He also had 3 of his punts travel over 50 yards.

  • Joseph Zema averaged an impressive 49.5 yards over 6 punts.

  • John Haggerty averaged 45.2 yards per punt (5 punts) and had 2 punts remain inside the 20-yard line.

  • Bailey Flint had another rough game, averaging just 42.4 yards on 5 punts with 0 punts travelling over 50 yards. He managed to keep 1 punt remain inside the 20-yard line but was also given a penalty for an Illegal Punt out of Bounds.

  • Adam Korsak averaged 52 yards per punt on 6 punts, with 4 of them (66%) travelling over 50 yards.

  • Richie Leone averaged 50.8 yards on 6 punts, with 3 of them (50%) travelling over 50 yards.

  • Jamieson Sheahan had probably the best week of any Punter, averaging 47 yards per punt over 8 punts, with 3 of them (37.5%) travelling over 50 yards and another 3 remaining inside the 20-yard line.

 

Kickoff Specialists

Kickoff Specialists kicked off 33 times this week for a total of 2,156 yards; An average of 65.3 yards per attempt. They had 5 kickoffs (15.2%) remaining inside the 30-yard line. Here are the CFL Week 6 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

  • Boris Bede continues to be the only kicker worth talking about in terms of Kickoffs. He had his best performance yet, kicking off 5 times for an average of 74.6 yards per attempt. He also had 2 of his kickoffs (40%) remain inside the 30-yard line.

  • Dean Faithfull had 2 onside kickoff attempts this week, both of which failed.

  • Richie Leone continues to struggle to get long-distance kickoffs, averaging under 60 yards for the 3rd time in 5 games.

  • Sergio Castillo kicked off 4 times for an average of 70.8 yards and had 1 kickoff remain inside the 30-yard line.

 

Kickoff Returners

Kickoff Returners had one of their best weeks ever, returning 33 kickoffs for an average of 22.3 yards per return. There were 8 returns (24.2%) over 30 yards, however, there were also 2 fumbles that occurred. Here are the CFL Week 6 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

  • Mario Alford continues to show why he is one of the best returners in the CFL with yet another 30+ yard return, bringing his total to 4 on the season.

  • Chandler Worthy had 5 returns for 110 yards (22-yard avg.) with 2 returns over 30 yards which will bump him into the Fourth Position.

  • Jackson Bennett (OTT) had a fumble on his only kickoff return.

  • Tyler Ternowski (HAM) had a fumble on his only kickoff return.

  • CJ Sims has not impressed me lately and really hasn't had a great game returning kickoffs since Week 3.

  • Tyreik McAllister returned his only kickoff return for 46 yards.

 

Punt Returners

Punt Returners accumulated 481 yards over 41 punt returns, which averages out to about 11.7 yards per return. There were 11 returns that travelled over 15 yards and 2 that resulted in Touchdowns. Here are the CFL Week 6 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

  • Mario Alford is the best returner in the CFL and it isn't even close. He asserted his dominance by averaging 26.3 yards on 7 returns, 2 of which resulted in Punt Return Touchdowns that helped his team get the W.

  • Winnipeg is going to struggle to find someone who can match Janarion Grant's production while he is out on the injury reserve. Greg McCrae averaged just 4.5 yards on 6 returns.

  • Tyreik McAllister is breaking out onto the Returner scene with another 74 yards on 4 punt returns, which averages out to 18.5 yards per return. There were 3 of his returns (75%) that were returned for more than 15 yards

  • Tommylee Lewis joins the Stampeders and immediately makes an impact on Special Teams. He averaged 12.4 yards on 5 punt returns and had 3 returns (60%) go for more than 15 yards.

 

Coverage Teams

Coverage Teams allowed on average 11.7 yards per punt return and 22.3 yards per kickoff return. The average for the season is 10.7 average yards allowed on punt returns and 21.1 average yards allowed on kickoff returns. They accumulated 15 penalties, which is down from the 30 we saw last week. Here are the CFL Week 6 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

  • Calgary embarrassed themselves, allowing an average of 26.3 yards on 7 punt returns. I know they were up against the best returner in the game but still, that's rough. They only received 2 penalties this week, which seems to be about average for them.

  • Ottawa REDBLACKS allowed an average of just 4.5 yards on 6 punt returns and 14 yards on their only kickoff return. They also did not receive any penalties this week.

 

Long Snappers

For those of you who are unaware, last week I began tracking Long Snapper statistics. Here is how the data is gathered. I watch every highlight package that is put out by the CFL. In these highlights, we get to see every Field Goal snap, a Punt snap or two, and maybe a PAT snap if we are lucky. I will be grading Long Snappers using a "Strike-Zone" basis similar to a pitcher in baseball. A "Strike" is a good snap that ends up where you want it. This is roughly between the numbers of the holder on field goals and about chest height for punters (every punter/holder is different though some might like high/low snaps which makes it harder to judge). A "Ball" is a bad snap. While I am excited about this development, I must let you know that while I am aware this is an extremely small sample size, it is all I can manage at this point in time. I believe this method will provide me with enough of an overview that when combined with a Long Snappers Kicker's total accuracy (Field Goal+PAT %) and Punter's average yards per punt (Higher Avgerage = More Time to Punt = A Clean Snap) I can get a decent idea of how good these specialists are. Here are the CFL Week 6 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

  • Aaron Crawford continues to impress me and his statistics show why. He was 6/6 on Strikes this week, helping his teammates win the game in stunning fashion.

  • Jorgen Hus has been perfect all season in all the highlight packages. His kicker is struggling but I don't think it's Hus' fault. His Punter also leads the league in Punt Avg.

  • Peter Adjey struggles for the second week in a row, throwing 2 bad snaps out of the 3 recorded. He needs to improve if he wants to move out of 9th place.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my work.


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