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The CFL.ca Quarterback Index is a weekly power ranking of quarterbacks across the CFL. The ranking reflects recent performance, historical value, statistical indicators, team success and overall on-field evaluation.
TORONTO — The Edmonton Eskimos are a perfect 3-0 and it starts with their quarterback. With four touchdowns and not a single interception, Mike Reilly has passed Bo Levi Mitchell for top spot in the weekly CFL.ca Quarterback Index, marking the first change at the top in 2017.
While the Eskimos are the only remaining undefeated team in the CFL, Reilly’s hot hand has played an important role. The veteran pivot has completed 72 per cent of his passes for 866 yards — but a closer look at the numbers tells us just how dominant he’s been.
Reilly’s QUAR of 88.3 (graded out of 100) is the second-best in the league behind only Travis Lulay, who’s yet to make a start this season, while the Eskimos’ field general has not turned the ball over and taken only five sacks this season.
While Reilly and Mitchell swap spots, Matt Nichols and Kevin Glenn move up this week following an injury to Jonathon Jennings. Meanwhile, Lulay makes his first appearance on the list after a record-setting night in relief.
More in this week’s CFL.ca Quarterback Index:
Mike Reilly’s 866 passing yards through three games pale in comparison to the gaudy 1,226 he put up at this time last season — yet one could argue that at the moment, the Eskimos passer is playing some of the best football of his career. A near-perfect start to the season sees Reilly unseat his Alberta counterpart for the No. 1 spot.
After throwing two picks against Winnipeg in Week 3, the reigning MOP rebounded nicely against a tough Montreal defence, throwing for 379 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell and Reilly are in a league of their own right now and could jockey for position all season among the league’s top pivots.
It’s hard to imagine the CFL’s leading passer will continue to convert second downs at a rate of 39.1 per cent — the second-lowest in the league. The same thing goes for the Argos’ red zone offence, which has found the end zone a league low 20 per cent of the time (3/15 on the season). The touchdowns will come.
Another week, another tough luck loss for Trevor Harris who continues to put up the numbers despite failing to find the win column. Harris ranks second in the CFL in passing yards to go with eight touchdowns and only two interceptions during another hot start but still has something to prove.
It was the perfect outing for Matt Nichols, who didn’t turn the ball over and wasn’t sacked once in a character win over the Toronto Argonauts. Against the CFL’s sack leader, Nichols managed the Bombers’ offence, took what he was given and engineered a patient and rewarding victory.
Despite the bye week, Kevin Glenn moves up a spot following the injury to Jonathon Jennings. The Riders’ veteran pivot is off to a nice start in 2017 and ranks second among regular starters with a QUAR of 82.3.
Travis Lulay took Jonathon Jennings’ spot after just one play to throw for 436 passing yards, a new CFL record for a quarterback off the bench. The 33-year-old has plenty left in the tank should Jennings require any more time on the sideline.
Week 4 was a step in the right direction for Zach Collaros, who topped his season-high with 361 passing yards in a loss to the Lions. We know what the veteran pivot is capable of.
Despite an efficient night in a win over the Stampeders (17-of-22), Darian Durant remains in the QB Index basement. The two interceptions aside, 296 passing yards were a season-high for Durant while a 13.5-yard average is an encouraging sign.
Jonathon Jennings threw just one pass (an interception) before exiting Saturday’s contest with a shoulder injury. The Lions will cross their fingers that the injury isn’t serious but if it is, they’re in good hands with Travis Lulay.