July 19, 2023

Team Grades Powered by PFF: Which units dominated Week 6?

Arthur Ward/CFL.ca

TORONTO — Week 6 was full of excitement and close games that featured excellent performances all around the league.

We had the Calgary Stampeders and their pass-rushing unit with seven sacks helping them beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders on a walk-off field goal. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats won their second in a row with two quarterbacks grading amongst the top pivots of the week. Finally, rookie Dustin Crum turned on the jets to net a come-from-behind win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers that just about surprised everyone.

With so many great individual and collective displays, diving deep into the numbers becomes even more interesting as we assess which units – and by how much – dominated for their teams this week.

So without further ado, here are Team Grades Powered By PFF for Week 6:

» Player and Team Grades Powered by PFF
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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 6 of 2023

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

Key area: 87.9 passing grade

Mark it two in a row for the Ticats as they jumped into a three-way tie with the Montreal Alouettes and Ottawa REDBLACKS in the East Division standings.

A big part of Hamilton’s success on Thursday against the Elks was their passing offence. The bad news for the Tabbies is that quarterback Matthew Shiltz – who had an 83.4 offensive grade – was placed on the six-game injured list just as he seemed to be finding his footing with three big time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays. The good news though is that backup Taylor Powell also graded well with an 82.5, adding a touchdown pass on his first CFL attempt and no turnover worthy plays in relief of Shiltz.

Edmonton Elks (73.4 offensive grade, 47.7 defensive grade)

Key area: 82.8 rushing grade

For the second week in a row the Elks had a high rushing grade for the efforts of Kevin Brown and Shannon Brooks.

Brown finished with 77 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries, to go along five missed tackles forced and a 79.7 individual rushing grade according to PFF.

Toronto Argonauts (78.6 offensive grade, 52.4 defensive grades)

Key area: 92.6 passing grade

The Argos remained undefeated in Week 6 but were challenged on the road in a back-and-forth game against the Alouettes. It took an outstanding effort by Chad Kelly and the passing offence to ultimately claim Toronto’s fourth win of the season.

Kelly finished with the best individual passing grade to go along six big-time throws and only one turnover-worthy play. Double Blue’s pivot completed 21 of 25 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns through the air, including a game-winner to receiver David Ungerer III.

Montreal Alouettes (66.0 offensive grade, 62.2 defensive grade)

Key area: 74.6 pass blocking grade

One of the reasons that Montreal was able to stay in the game against the current champions was a pass-blocking unit that allowed only one sack and one hit against a strong Argonauts’ defence.

Not only the offensive line kept quarterback Cody Fajardo clean for most of the game, they also allowed a pressure percentage of only 22.7, second-best mark of Week 6. Guard Kristian Matte had the third-best pass-blocking grade of the week with 81.7 and allowed no sacks or hits to go alongside a single pressure on Fajardo.

Ottawa REDBLACKS (71.0 offensive grade, 65.5 defensive grade)

Key area: 87.7 rushing grade


Dustin Crum, welcome to the CFL. Ottawa’s rookie pivot did a little bit of everything on the ground when leading an offence that rushed for 150 yards in the comeback win over the Blue Bombers.

The young pivot had the fourth highest rushing grade amongst all players in Week 6 (77.7), second-most running yards and missed tackles forced, two rushing touchdowns, five first downs on the ground, four explosive plays and 10.2 yards per carry.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (73.4 offensive grade, 65.7 defensive grade)

Key area: 51.0 rushing grade

It seems like every week we highlight which units dominated for the Bombers in their previous win. It’s only fair that on a week that they gave up a 15-point halftime lead to the REDBLACKS we look for reasons why things went wrong.

An important one this week was a low rushing grade. A usually strong – if not dominant – running attack for Winnipeg was not able to produce a lot of results against a stout defensive effort by Ottawa. Running back Brady Oliveira had the lowest grade (56.6) amongst rushers with at least five attempts and produced no missed tackles forced and first downs on a 1.8 yards per carry average.

It was an uncharacteristic performance by Oliveira (16 yards on nine carries) who still leads the league in rushing yards with 416.

Calgary Stampeders (71.2 offensive grade, 75.3 defensive grade)

Key area: 79.2 pass rushing grade

Calgary’s Week 6 win against the Riders was in big part due to a seven-sack effort by their defensive front.

Defensive linemen Mike Rose and and James Vaughters led the way and combined for four sacks and five hurries against Saskatchewan’s pivots in a dominating effort at the line of scrimmage on Saturday.

The Stamps also led the league in coverage with a 70.1, giving them a league-best 75.3 defensive grade in Week 6.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (52.8 offensive grade, 64.0 defensive grade)

Key area: 80.0 run defence

The Riders keep competing despite a myriad of injuries to start the season, which now also include quarterback Trevor Harris. One of the reasons they remained competitive once again on Saturday was a run-defence unit that kept the Stampeders to 54 rushing yards on 3.4 yards per attempt.

Linebacker Larry Dean led all defenders with an 81.9 individual run-defence grade after tallying five total tackles.

Toronto Argonauts 78.6 52.4 82.1 80.7
BC Lions Bye Bye 74.1 83.7
Montreal Alouettes 66.0 62.2 70.8 78.1
Saskatchewan Roughriders 52.8 64.0 69.1 83.4
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 73.4 65.7 79.2 77.3
Calgary Stampeders 71.2 75.3 66.9 81.0
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 83.1 68.1 66.9 68.5
Ottawa REDBLACKS 71.0 65.5 62.2 80.4
Edmonton Elks 73.4 47.7 59.5 56.1

*Grades based on team-performance in Week 6 of 2023

**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-6 of 2023

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