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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

CFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 8 Review

From 50+ yard field goals to punt return touchdowns in the Atlantic, we were treated to a great week of CFL special teams content. Let's discuss how the CFL Special Teams units performed in this week's review;

 

Kickers

Kickers in the CFL had their best week yet with a season-high of 28 field goal attempts! They completed 26 of those attempts, which is good for 93%. We also saw kickers go 6/8 on PATs, which is concerning as there has been a PAT missed 4 weeks in a row now. Kickers were also 4/4 on field goals over 50 yards, which is also a season-high! Here are the CFL Week 8 Kicker Power Rankings;

  • René Paredes had a perfect week, going 6/6 on his field goal attempts. He cemented himself as the best kicker in the CFL with 2 more 50+ yard attempts. Here is his longest of the night, a 53-yarder. He was also named the PFF Player of the Month for July!

  • Sean Whyte also had a perfect night, going 4/4 on FG attempts and 2/2 on PATs. All of his completions were under 40 yards and while it is impressive that he is now on a streak of 15 field goals in a row, I'd like to see him get a few more attempts from over 50 yards.

  • Lewis Ward was, surprise-surprise, also perfect this week, going 4/4 on FGs with 2 of those coming from 50+ yards (3/3 on the year). He was also able to score a field goal from 54 yards, which is his new season long!

  • David Côté was 6/7 this week, completing 86% of his field goal attempts. He was 3/3 on attempts over 40 yards with a long of 42 yards. He did, however, have 2 misses (1 FG and 1 PAT) but didn't allow that to haunt him as he bounced back and went shot-for-shot with one of the All-Time Greats, René Paredes.

  • Boris Bede put the first points on the board for Touchdown Atlantic! He was 3/3 on FGs and 2/2 on PATs.

  • Marc Liegghio extends his FG streak to 16, going 1/1 on FGs but did miss another PAT this week, making just 2 of the 3 PATs.

  • Brett Lauther went 2/2 on FGs and 1/1 on PATs in front of his hometown.

  • Dean Faithfull missed his attempt from 48 yards out. This is his 4th miss of the year. I hope he can find his confidence but am not sure that he will be in Edmonton much longer. The team may look elsewhere coming off the Bye Week.

 

Punters

The Punters punted 55 times and while this is a lot, it isn't the season high, which was 56 punts in Week 5. Over the 55 punts, kickers were able to average 46.2 yards and 34.4 net yards, both of which are uncharacteristically low for the group. Despite the low averages, 13 of those punts (24%) remained inside the 20-yard line and 20 (36%) travelled over 50 yards. We also saw 1 penalty handed out this week and have now had 3 straight weeks with a punter getting penalized. Here are the CFL Week 8 Punter Power Rankings;

  • John Haggerty averaged 49.6 yards and 40.3 net yards over 7 punts this week. He had 2 of those punts (29%) remain inside the 20-yard line, which is average for him. Haggerty also had 3 of his punts (43%) travel over 50 yards, something he has excelled at all year long.

  • Joseph Zema only Punted 4 times for an average of 44 yards but was let down in an unusually poor performance by his Coverage Unit and only recorded 26.3 net yards. Zema was able to keep 1 punt (25%) inside the 20-yard line and also had 1 punt travel over 50 yards. Also just adding to his skill set, he managed to wrangle in a high snap by the team's Long Snapper, aiding Côté in making a 42-yard FG.

  • Richie Leone continues to play well, punting 9 times for an impressive average of 49.7 yards and 39.3 yards per punt. He had 3 of those punts (33.3%) remain inside the 20-yard line and 1 stay inside the 10-yard line. Leone had 5 of his punts (55%) travel over 50 yards, something he had improved immensely since Week 5.

  • Jake Julien has now punted 63 times which leads the league by more than 15 punts.

 

Long Snappers (+5)

The CFL showed 40 long snaps in their highlight packages this week, which is another increase week-over-week. We have consistently seen at least 30 long snaps for the past 4 weeks. With that being said, Long Snappers in the CFL threw 37 strikes (93%) and performed above average (202/228 - 89%). Here are the CFL Week 8 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

  • Aaron Crawford was perfect alongside his kicker, having all 6 of his long snaps recorded as Strikes. He also had this nice tackle on a punt return!

  • Peter Adjey had his first bad snap recorded this week with just 2 of his 3 snaps recorded as Strikes.

  • Tanner Doll continues to impress me. I was skeptical that he could effectively replace Louis-Phillipe Bourassa when he was named starter but he had proven me wrong.

  • Speaking of Louis-Phillipe Bourassa, despite having 1 bad snap, which ended up not mattering thanks to his holder Joseph Zema, he actually played extremely well, logging 8 of his 9 snaps as Strikes.

 

Kickoff Specialists

There were only 18 kickoffs in the 4 CFL games during Week 8. Specialists accumulated 1,192 yards for an average of 66.2 yards per kickoff. Only 3 of their kickoffs (17%) remained inside the 30-yard line, which is below the season average of 24%. Here are the CFL Week 8 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

  • Boris Bede averaged 74.8 yards on 5 Kickoffs this week but had none remain inside the 30-yard line, which isn't the norm for him.

  • David Côté averaged 61.7 yards on 3 kickoffs and was able to keep 1 kickoff (33%) inside the 30-yard line.

  • Brett Lauther attempted a second onside kickoff this week but his coverage unit was unable to recover the ball. He is now 0/2 on the year.

  • Marc Liegghio had his best week of the year, averaging 64.3 yards on 3 kickoffs with 1 of the kickoffs (33%) remaining inside the 30-yard line.

 

Kickoff Returners

Kickoff Returners only returned 18 kickoffs this week, which is a season-low. They didn't do much with those returns either, averaging just 19.2 yards per kickoff with a long of just 31 yards. Here are the CFL Week 8 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

  • Mario Alford was the only Kickoff Returner worth watching this week, averaging 25.6 yards on 5 returns. Alfords long of the night was just 31 yards, but he did have 2 returns over 30 yards.

 

Punt Returners

There were 45 punt returns this week and WOW did returners ever perform well. They averaged a season-high 13.8 yards per return and had 14 of those returned (31%) for more than 15 yards. We also saw 1 Punt Return Touchdown. Here are the CFL Week 8 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

  • Javon Leake has really impressed me and it will show in this week's Power Rankings. He returned 6 punts for 171 yards, an average of 28.5 yards per return. His longest was 71 yards that Leake took all the way to the house for a Punt Return Touchdown! Further, 4 of his punt returns (67%) were over 15 yards, including this impressive example.

  • Tommylee Lewis had a great game, returning 4 punts for 71 yards, averaging 17.8 yards per return. Lewis had 2 of his returns (50%) go for over 15 yards and continues to show why he won the starting Punt Returner job.

  • Tyreik McAllister returned 6 punts for an average of 15.5 yards per return with a long of 36 yards and 3 returns (50%) over 15 yards.

  • Terry Williams returned 5 punts for an average of 13.2 yards per return. Williams added another 2 punt returns (40%) over 15 yards.

  • CJ Sims continues to struggle in the return game, averaging just 9 yards per return on 2 attempts.

 

Coverage Teams

Coverage Teams allowed an average of 13.8 yards over 45 punt returns, which is significantly above average. They allowed an average of 19.2 yards on 18 kickoff returns, which is slightly below average. We finally saw a decrease in the number of penalties handed out, with only 10 being accrued this week. Here are the CFL Week 8 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

  • The Ottawa REDBLACKS had another bad week, allowing an average of 15.5 yards on 6 punt returns and 19 yards on 1 kickoff return. They have not been playing well the last 2 weeks and need to turn it around soon to remain in the Numer 1 Position. At least they aren't being penalized.

  • The Edmonton Elks allowed an average of 11.7 yards on 7 punt returns and 13 yards on 1 kickoff return. They were given 4 penalties and are almost the most penalized team.

  • The Calgary Stampeders, the Montreal Alouettes, and the Toronto Argonauts all finished their respective games without getting a single penalty. Very impressive!

  • The Hamilton Tiger-Cats allowed an average of just 9 yards on 6 punt returns and an average of 17.7 yards on 3 kickoff returns. They also received 2 penalties this week, which is something they badly need to clean up.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my work.


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