July 12, 2023

Team Grades Powered by PFF: Top groups of Week 5

Arthur Ward/CFL.ca

TORONTO — With Week 5 in the books, we’re starting to see a separation between clubs within their respective divisions.

There are three teams sitting with three or more wins and only one loss in what looks like a very competitive West Division between the BC Lions (4-1), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4-1) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-1).

The East is still trying to find its way outside of the defending champions Toronto Argonauts (3-0), who were on a bye week. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-3) got their first win and are tied with the Ottawa REDBLACKS as both sit only one game behind the second-place Montreal Alouettes (2-2).

All of that football actions means lots of grades from Pro Football Focus to sort through and assess how each unit did in Week 5 and how they stack against each other going into Week 6.

» Player and Team Grades Powered by PFF
» CFL Honour Roll, Week 5: Harris, Jeffcoat, Riders O-line make the grade
» Get your tickets for 2023 games now
» Subscribe to the CFL’s newsletter for exclusive offers and league updates

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 5 of 2023

Saskatchewan Roughriders (75.7 offensive grade, 76.6 defensive grade)

Key area: 89.1 passing grade

Trevor Harris finished 19 of 29 for 292 yards, a touchdown and a pick in the win against the Edmonton Elks. Those numbers – coupled with a league-high three big time throws – gave Harris and Saskatchewan’s offence the highest passing grade of Week 5.

The pivot had the highest average depth of target passing the ball with 11.0 as he pushed the ball down the field against the Elks. Harris’ aggressiveness paid off late as he led the Riders to a late game-tying drive that added eight points and opened the door for a rouge on the ensuing kickoff to seal the victory.

Edmonton Elks (66.1 offensive grade, 64.9 defensive grade)

Key area: 84.9 rushing grade

Edmonton had a league-high 10 rushing first downs in the loss to the Roughriders as they led most of the game before Saskatchewan put together a late drive to capture the win.

The Elks also led the league in rushing yards with 143 with running back Kevin Brown (65) and quarterback Taylor Cornelius (58) leading the way.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (70.5 offensive grade, 68.1 defensive grade)

Key area: 78.8 pass rushing grade

Winnipeg’s defence caused all sorts of havoc for Calgary’s offence, finishing the game with a 54.5 pressure percentage and the best pass rushing grade of Week 5.

According to PFF, the Blue Bombers pass rushers won their matchup 60.6 per cent of the time, second-best mark of the week and a big factor behind shutting down the Stamps’ offence in the second half.

Calgary Stampeders (70.8 offensive grade, 60.2 defensive grade)

Key area: 70.8 run blocking grade

Calgary kept things close with Winnipeg in the first half, but was shutout in the final two quarters of the 24-11 loss at IG Field.

Part of the Stamps’ success in the first two quarters was their running offence, as Dedrick Mills finished with the highest rushing grade of the week behind an offensive line that also topped the league in run blocking grade.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (66.6 offensive grade, 70.2 defensive grade)

Key area: 81.5 rushing grade

Hamilton got their first win of the season behind a rushing attack that had the third-best mark of the week with 104 yards, while finishing with eight first downs on the ground.

The Tiger-Cats led the league in Week 5 in missed forced tackles with seven while also netting 60 yards after contact.

Ottawa REDBLACKS (63.6 offensive grade, 75.1 defensive grade)

Key area: 82.0 coverage grade

Ottawa allowed only 4.77 yards per route run and 9.3 yards per reception, both second-best in Week 5.

Leading the way was defensive back Brandin Dandridge with a 75.5 grade coverage grade, third-best amongst all defenders.

BC Lions (64.9 offensive grade, 64.3 defensive grades)

Key area: 21 stops*

The Lions bounced back from their loss to the Argonauts in Week 4 to beat the Alouettes at home behind a strong performance all around.

BC led the league in Week 5 in stops with 21, which included seven sacks by a pass rush that continues to dominate opposing offences. Mathieu Betts once again led the unit with two to add to his league-high nine quarterback takedowns.

*Solo tackle or sack that leads to an offensive failure

Montreal Alouettes (62.3 offensive grade, 70.7 defensive grade)

Key area: 61.9 rushing grade (last)

Als’ running backs could not get anything going on the ground against the BC Lions on Sunday. Running back William Stanback finished with six carries for 17 yards.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo added 57 yards and a touchdown in eight attempts for Montreal, but the team finished with the worst rushing grade of Week 5. The Als tallied only five rushing first downs, second-worst mark of the week.

Toronto Argonauts Bye Bye 79.4 88.9
BC Lions 64.9 64.3 74.1 83.7
Montreal Alouettes 62.3 70.7 70.6 79.0
Saskatchewan Roughriders 75.7 76.6 73.2 84.3
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 70.5 68.1 78.0 76.7
Calgary Stampeders 70.8 60.2 64.2 76.3
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 66.6 70.2 61.4 65.6
Ottawa REDBLACKS 63.6 75.1 58.0 80.2
Edmonton Elks 66.1 64.9 54.5 60.1

*Grades based on team-performance in Week 5 of 2023

**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-5 of 2023

The comment system on this website is now powered by the CFL.ca Forums. We'd love for you to be part of the conversation; click the Start Discussion button below to register an account and join the community!