This Week in the CFL

Stats, Storylines and Trends Heading into Week 12

Mark’s #LDWeekend

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders' victory over Winnipeg extended their Labour Day winning streak to 11 games.
  • The game was watched by 1,118,000 viewers on TSN, making it the highest rated game of the season to date.
  • Over the Mark’s Labour Day Weekend, 115,102 fans attended the four games, making it the second best weekend this season.


Labour Day Weekend Rematches

  • Coming out of the Labour Day Weekend games there is a schedule quirk that sees three completions of back-to-back sets in Week 12 featuring Toronto-Hamilton, Calgary-Edmonton and Winnipeg-Saskatchewan
  • The Stampeders and Eskimos will be holding their 27th consecutive Labour Day/Following Week set of games.
  • Edmonton coach Chris Jones has gone 18-10 as a head coach.
  • Jones is 0-4 versus Calgary and 18-6 against the rest of the teams in the CFL.
  • The Ticats and Argonauts play for the second week in a row; that double-header matchup has occurred three times in the last four seasons
  • The third and final game between the two teams gives the Argonauts an opportunity to regain a share of first place in the East. However, Hamilton holds the tie-breaker.
  • The Bombers and Riders have played each other back-to-back weeks in each of the last 10 years - that rematch series, known as the Banjo Bowl since 2004, is tied 5-5.


Kicking and Punting

  • First-year kicker Boris Bede hit all three of his field goal attempts last week.
  • He remains on pace to set the field goal percentage record for CFL first-year players at 92.5%.
  • That would be fourth highest ever for any player.
  • He would trail only Rene Paredes (94.7% in 2014), Paul McCallum in 2011 with 94.3% and Paredes again in 2012 at 93%.
  • Rob Maver sits behind four players in net punting average, but for a good reason: Maver’s directional punting has led to Calgary opponents starting their drives inside the 10-yard line on 10 occasions and 20 times inside the 20-yard line.


5,000 Passing Yards Club

  • There are four CFL pivots on pace to be at or near 5,000 passing yards this season.
  • Zach Collaros (5,458) and Henry Burris (5,008) are both on pace, with Bo Levi Mitchell (4,919) and Trevor Harris (4,795) just behind the pace.
  • Collaros is on pace after throwing for a career-high 400 yards against the Argonauts.
  • The career performance comes exactly one year to the day after his previous career high.
  • It was the first time a quarterback had thrown for 400+ yards and four touchdowns in the same game and only the ninth time in the last five years.
  • In games Bo Levi Mitchell has started for Calgary, they have a record of 23-4.
  • Through 27 starts Warren Moon went 22-4-1 and Jackie Parker 22-5.
  • Mitchell will have to keep going to keep pace with Warren Moon who got to 27-4-1 before his next non-winning start.


Give Away, Take Away

  • Hamilton has an incredible 20 more takeaways than turnovers
  • Next best is Toronto with three more takeaways than turnovers
  • Calgary is even and every other team in the league has more turnovers than takeaways
  • Saskatchewan is  -11 which may explain why they have the league’s top ranked offense (382 yards a game) and worst record (1-9)
  • Overall, teams have won 30 times when they won the turnover battle, seven times when they broke even, and only seven times when they had more turnovers than their opponents
  • Cashing in on drives and avoiding turnovers must be the keys to success: Winning teams average 30.9 points per game while losing teams average 18.4 points per game but the yardage gap (360 yards versus 307) isn’t as wide


Fast Acting

  • The Tiger-Cats scored on their first possession Monday
  • They’ve scored 31 points on their first possessions this year, the best in the league
  • Next best are BC (24 points) and Montreal (22 points)
  • Still, you do not have to start fast to finish well: Calgary (8-2, the best record in the league) has only scored 3 points on first possessions


Scoring up, but defenses still strong

  • If you thought the rule changes would let offenses run wild, put up your hands up (but do not put them on the receiver beyond five yards)
  • Scoring is up 8% and 3.8 points per game over last year (49.3 compared to 45.5)
  • Points scored by offences is up 6% or 2.1 points per game
  • Net offense is up 2% or 15 yards per game
  • On the other hand,  passing yards are up 9% or 45 yards per game
  • Rushing yardage is way down: a decrease of 13%or 38 yards per game
  • The average gain on first down is exactly the same (6.2 yards) but the 2nd down conversion rate is up (48% this year compared to 42.2% a year ago)
  • A great debate is brewing over who has the best defence in the CFL… Edmonton (16.1 points against per game), Calgary (16.6), Montreal (16.6) or Hamilton (17.6)



  • Penalties are up by three flags per game (24.8 so far this year compared to 21.6 in all of 2014)
  • Games averaged 24 penalties per game over the weekend, slightly less than the average for the year, but significantly less than the opening month, when we averaged 27.1 flags per game
  • Other than the traditional high-flag Toronto vs Hamilton encounters (they drew 31 penalties last week), the other three games last week averaged just 21.7 penalties per game.
  • The first game between the Argonauts and Ticats earlier this year also drew 30 penalties.
  • So far this year, coaches have been successful on 34% of their challenges (18 out of 53)
  • Edmonton is the least penalized team in the league (11.0 per game) and Saskatchewan is the most penalized (14.3)


Move Over, World’s Fastest Cow

  • The jackrabbit that raced down the field at McMahon Stadium on Mark’s Labour Day Weekend was instantly featured on TSN’s Sportscentre, ESPN,  USA Today, Yahoo Sports, SBNation, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports and TMZ (who resisted the impulse to link him to Jessica Rabbit), and was talked about on television and radio stations across North America
  • The rabbit's touchdown run, capped by a mid-air barrel roll in the end zone, was viewed overnight by 20,000 fans at alone and thousands more on YouTube
  • @CFL asked the Twitterverse to come up with a proper name for #CFLRabbit: entries included A-Hare-ius Bowman, Jim Hopp, Bugs Runny, and Jack Levi Rabbit (because he found pay dirt)


Purolator Tackle Hunger

  • Ticat fans donated 113,366 pounds of food to Purolator Tackle Hunger at Monday's game
  • That’s good for third, behind Edmonton’s 130,000 pounds and Winnipeg’s amazing 297,200 pounds
  • CFL teams have teamed up with Purolator to generate 649,598 pounds of food so far this year
  • The next CFL food drive is Sunday, September 20 in Montreal

Olivier Poulin

Manager, Communications, Canadian Football League

Paulo Senra

Director, Communications, Canadian Football League

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