This Week in the CFL

Stats, Storylines and Trends Heading into Week 13


  • The playoff race is heating up: last weekend’s Winnipeg win, BC loss and Montreal bye made the potential race for the final playoff spot in the West even tighter
  • Montreal, 4th in the East, is tied with BC and Winnipeg at 4 wins (the Als host the Bombers this Sunday)
  • Since the adoption of the crossover rule in 1996, no eastern club has ever crossed over and taken away third place in the West Division
  • Edmonton’s win over the Stamps on Saturday brought them within one game of first place in the West
  • Hamilton’s win over Toronto gave the Tiger-Cats a four-point cushion in first place in the East (the Tiger-Cats host Edmonton Saturday)
  • The last time Hamilton led the East Division by two clear games was at the halfway mark of the 1992 season when they were 6-3 and Ottawa and Winnipeg were both 4-5
  • Offences are also heating up: Week 12 produced 663 yards per game, an increase of 18% over the previous 8-game span
  • Last week’s games averaged 46 points per game, led by Hamilton with 35 and Ottawa with 31. Every team ran off at least one TD drive
  • Speaking of hot, Hamilton QB Zach Collaros now leads the CFL in passing yards (3,286), TD passes (24), passing efficiency (113.2), completions over 30 yards (20), TD percentage (7%), yards per attempt (9.4), net offence per drive (29 yards) and second down conversion passes (82)



  • Ottawa’s impressive 31-18 win in Vancouver – the REDBLACKS’ second road win ever and their first against a Western opponent – underlines how far the expansion team has come in their second year
  • After posting only a single victory at this point last season, and two wins in all of 2014, the REDBLACKS are 6-4 and riding a two-game win streak
  • 41:15: That was Ottawa’s time of possession Sunday night
  • That’s the third-highest time of possession since 1995, when the league started keeping this stat (Calgary had the ball 42:14 versus Toronto in  July, 2010 and BC controlled it for 41:57 versus Calgary in July, 2005)
  • The REDBLACKS blanked the Lions in the second half, a first for the young franchise
  • Ottawa has outscored opponents 21-3 and 17-0 in their last two second halves
  • They start slow but finish strong: their first half point differential is minus 80 (91-171) but their second half differential is plus 42 (140-88)
  • Ottawa has a chance to go three games over .500 for the first time since July 2, 2004 (3-0) and just the second time in 36 years (October 14, 1979 when they got to 7-4-2)
  • The REDBLACKS' record after 10 games is an Ottawa best since an 8-2 mark in 1978.
  • Their win on the west coast was the first for an Ottawa team since the Rough Riders beat the Lions on October 6, 1990. That’s a drought of 9,109 days, or just under 25 years.
  • Until Sunday, Ottawa had gone 1-22 in games in Vancouver since 1974, a span of 41 years
  • The Lions hope to rebound Friday night in Calgary



  • Despite their loss in Winnipeg, the 1-10 Riders remain in the playoff hunt
  • Still, the road is very steep: the fewest wins by a playoff bound club in the “cross-over” era was by Edmonton in 1999 (six victories)
  • Winnipeg (2000), Calgary (2007), and Edmonton (2012) each got in with seven wins, but no other playoff team since 1996 has had fewer than eight wins
  • To get to seven wins, the Riders would have to go 6-1 the rest of the way
  • The Riders host the REDBLACKS Saturday



  • Blue Bomber Khalil Bass’s “pick six” against the Riders brought the total of defensive TDs to 26
  • The league remains on pace for 44 defensive TDs this season, just ahead of the record of 43 set in 2004
  • Tiger-Cat David Caldwell’s blocked punt brought the total number of kicks turned into a turnover or missed scoring opportunity this year to 10
  • Hamilton has had three blocked kicks and a deflected punt



  • Last week’s games averaged 25 penalties, continuing a month-long trend that seen the weekly average fall between 23 and 26 calls per game
  • We’ve averaged 24.85 penalties per game in 2015, up from 22.25 in 2014
  • “Preventable” fouls such as offside and procedure account for 43% of all infractions, technical fouls such as holding and illegal block account for 41%, and roughness fouls including horse collar tackles and roughing the passer account for 16%
  • Coaches have “won” 21 of their  63 challenges this year, for a success rate of 33%, identical to a year ago



  • BC’s Richie Leone kicked the longest one-point convert in CFL history when penalties pushed his attempt back to 48 yards out
  • A rule change has pushed one-point converts back to the 32 yard line and other changes apply penalties to the convert instead of the ensuing kick-off
  • Overall, kickers have made 87% of one-point convert attempts this season



  • Play at home: 30 of 48 games (62.5%) have been won by the home team
  • Lead going into the fourth quarter: the team with the lead going into the final stanza has won 34 of 45 games (76%)
  • Don’t allow big plays: the three teams allowing the most big plays this year are a combined 9-23 (BC, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan)
  • The CFL defines big plays as rushes over 20 yards, passes over 30 yards, punts and missed field goal returns over 30 yards, and kick-off returns over 40 yards

Lucas Barrett

Coordinator, Communications, Canadian Football League

Olivier Poulin

Manager, Communications, Canadian Football League

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