The grind of the long CFL regular season is officially upon us.
That, in combination with a couple of quarterback injuries including Trevor Harris in Edmonton and Bo Levi Mitchell coming back down to earth slightly from his exceptional Mark’s Labour Day Weekend performance, led to Week 14 supplying one of the lower overall accuracy grades of 2019.
Let’s take a look at how the four games played out for on target quarterback play:
In extremely limited action Harris had an off week, suggesting he never really was all that comfortable. Hate to see another CFL starter get banged up but Logan Kilgore was very impressive on the majority of his throws, not just with putting the ball where it needed to be or where it best helped the receiver, but also not being afraid to challenge the Stampeders defence vertically early on in his game play.
The more CFL quarterback play I watch, the more it seems the highest grades are destined for the safest throws who refuse to push the ball or have throws schemed open for them at or behind the line of scrimmage.
That’s a trend that undoubtedly hurts the gun slingers and dare devils of the CFL quarterbacking world such as Bo Levi Mitchell.
Chris Streveler was named as a Shaw Top Performer for his Week 13 heroics against the Riders. While Streveler’s overall game impressed, his accuracy and arm continue to develop against live defences.
Cody Fajardo – Streveler’s counterpart in the ultra entertaining Banjo Bowl – was the first off the podium finisher for Week 13 with an accuracy grade just barely behind that of Montreal’s Vernon Adams Jr. and BC’s Mike Reilly. For Fajardo, the 65.6 mark was his fourth-lowest of the season, behind only his Week 1 relief duty in Hamilton, Week 4’s blowout loss to Calgary and last week’s Labour Day Classic in Regina.
Honestly, sometimes I just can’t explain why quarterbacks paying against each other end up with the exact same grade but it does happen from time to time and the most recent example was Friday night in Montreal.
For Reilly, it was a completely new approach offensively. At just 6.8 yards per attempt, Reilly set a new season low by a wide margin and had 36.6% of his passes completed behind the line of scrimmage.
As for Vernon Adams Jr., he once again continues to find ways to win games and is trying his best to make the final weeks of the regular season worth talking about, especially the Alouettes game against Hamilton in Montreal which could set the tone for an Eastern Final.
2. Toronto Argonauts QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
For McLeod Bethel-Thompson it was yet another week of ups and downs but the high volume of his passing numbers and the efficient use of names like James Wilder Jr. and Armanti Edwards earned a podium spot for Week 13 as the Argos secured just their second victory of the 2019 season.
Shockingly the basement of the CFL’s East Division supplied the two most accurate quarterbacking performances this week as Jonathon Jennings tries to stake his claim for more than just a one-year deal in the nation’s capital after taking over – again – from Dominique Davis.
And now for the big board 2019 season standings:
Not much movement at the top again as the top four performers were all inactive either through injury (Nichols, Masoli), bye weeks (Evans) or returning to their backup role (Arbuckle). Add in Trevor Harris going down for Edmonton and you get a stagnant top end.
On the bottom side, Bo Levi Mitchell slid slightly while Chris Streveler’s Banjo Bowl performance was not quite enough to get his season mark above the CFL average.
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