June 15, 2023

Team Grades Powered by PFF: Week 1

David Kirouac/CFL.ca

Week 2 is here and that means we have data to collect from Week 1 to start analyzing how teams are doing in the current season, according to PFF.

We’ll break down team grades so far to give you reasons to be optimistic (or concerned) about your favourite team going forward.

With the Toronto Argonauts making their home debut on Sunday against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, there is no 2023 data on the current champions yet.

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» Player Grades Powered by PFF: Week 1
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PFF utilizes extensive review of game footage to provide additional context for every action on the field. Highly-trained PFF staff break down every game, player and play to provide over 200 unique data points, which are used to compile Player Grades – a numerical representation up-to-100 of performance at their specific position.

For more information on PFF, Player Grades, the Grading Scale and more, please visit pff.com/grades.

*All player grades required a minimum of 15 snaps played in Week 1 of 2023

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (78.3 offensive grade, 71.0 defensive grade)

Key stat: 85.2 passing grade

Quarterback Zach Collaros picked things up right where he left off in 2022, leading an explosive passing attack in Winnipeg as he looks for his third straight Most Outstanding Player Award. Winnipeg also boasted the best receiving grade of the week (69.3) with Nic Demski (79.2) finishing with the best receiving grade amongst all wide receivers in Week 1.


BC Lions (72.0 offensive grade, 74.2 defensive grade)

Key stat: 85.4 pass blocking grade

One of the many cool things about PFF is adding more data to the ability to evaluate offensive line play. It’s easy to watch an offence like the Lions, and attribute all the success to talents like Vernon Adams Jr. (70.0) and Dominique Rhymes (72.7), but these two would be the first to tell you that an offence goes nowhere without good blocking across the line.

That’s what the Lions offensive linemen group put on tape in Week 1, led by Kent Parkins (71.7) and Jarell Broxton (70.2), all five linemen for BC graded in the top 27 offensive players of Week 1.

Montreal Alouettes (65.8 offensive grade, 83.2 defensive grade)

Key stat: 85.1 coverage grade

The Als finished with the best defensive grade and the third best offensive grade of Week 1 in their win over the REDBLACKS.

Perhaps even more important is the coverage grade. Montreal’s defence made quarterback Nick Arbuckle‘s life difficult on Saturday, highlighted by defensive back Ciante Evans (85.7) who finished with two interceptions and led all defensive players in Week 1 as he continues to dominate after signing with the Als this off-season.

Calgary Stampeders (52.6 offensive grade, 65.3 defensive grade)

Key stat: 76.3 rushing grade

It’s no secret that the Stamps rely on a powerful running game to set up their offence to success. That’s why the injury to All-Star running back group Ka’Deem Carey, who won’t play this week against the REDBLACKS, gives fans cause for concern.

Despite Carey’s injury in last week’s game against the Lions, however, Calgary finished with the highest rushing grade of Week 1, with backup Peyton Logan (63.3) – who should get the bulk of the carries this week – finishing with the fourth highest rushing grade (66.9) of Week 1.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (55.7 offensive grade, 61.2 defensive grade)

Key stat: 68.9 pass rushing grade

It wasn’t the debut Bo Levi Mitchell (49.2) and the Ticats wanted, but there are still some positives to draw from Week 1.

Hamilton finished with the fourth highest pass rushing grade (68.9) of the week and recently-acquired linebacker Jameer Thurman (77.4) had a successful first game in the Black and Gold, finishing seventh amongst all defensive players in overall grade.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (63.5 offensive grade, 82.2 defensive grade)

Key stat: 81.3 run defence grade

The Riders had the second best defensive grade of Week 1 behind a good effort in both run defence (81.3) and coverage (81.1). No defensive unit had a more clutch stretch of plays than Saskatchewan’s run defence stopping quarterback Kai Locksley from getting into the end zone late in the game to seal their first win of the season.

Quarterback Trevor Harris (60.6) had an up and down game in his debut for the Riders, but ultimately got the job done and finished with the fourth highest offensive grade amongst quarterbacks in Week 1.


Ottawa REDBLACKS (50.7 offensive grade, 63.0 defensive grade)

Key stat: 22 stops*

Ottawa led the league in stops in Week 1, pressuring quarterback quarterback Cody Fajardo all evening and ending the game with six total sacks. Linebacker Douglas Coleman II finished with the sixth highest pass-rushing grade of the week, getting two sacks in only six attempts rushing the passer.

Offensively the REDBLACKS are a work in progress, finishing with the second-lowest grade of the week in Arbuckle’s first game. Wide receiver Nate Behar (63.0) was the highest graded player for Ottawa’s offence by catching five of seven targets for 46 yards and two first-down conversions.

*solo tackles or sack that leads to an offensive failure according to PFF

Edmonton Elks (49.2 offensive grade, 67.5 defensive grade)

Key stat: 72.4 run defence grade

It wasn’t all bad for the Elks as they finished with the fifth highest defensive grade of Week 1, including the third highest run defence grade, shutting down Jamal Morrow and the Riders ground game until the last drive of the game.

Edmonton’s offence on the other hand did not find a lot of success outside of star wide receiver Eugene Lewis (79.7), who finished with the highest offensive grade of the week amongst pass catchers.

Team Offensive Grade* Defensive Grade*
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 78.3 71.0
BC Lions 72.0 74.2
Montreal Alouettes 65.8 83.2
Calgary Stampeders 52.6 65.3
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 55.7 61.2
Saskatchewan Roughriders 63.5 82.2
Ottawa REDBLACKS 50.7 63.0
Edmonton Elks 49.2 67.5

*Grades based on team-performance in Week 1 of 2023

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