The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Week 8 featured the two top teams in each division doing top-teams-in-each-division things.
The BC Lions went into Edmonton and shutout the Elks behind another stellar performance from their defence. The Toronto Argonauts meanwhile went to Halifax for this year’s Touchdown Atlantic and earned their second straight win at the Maritimes and sixth straight to open the year in the game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The REDBLACKS didn’t get their third straight come-from-behind win as this time the Hamilton Tiger-Cats shut the door on a late-attempt by quarterback Dustin Crum to earn the victory.
Finally, the Alouettes took care of business at home against the Calgary Stampeders to move into second place in the East Division.
All that action means we have plenty of data to go through in our our weekly Team Grades Powered By PFF for Week 8:
» Player and Team Grades Powered by PFF
» CFL Honour Roll, Week 8: Evans, Ento, Lions O-Line make the grade
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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 8 of 2023
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (67.0 offensive grade, 73.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 67.8 receiving grade
The Ticats had six different players making multiple catches against the REDBLACKS on Friday. One of them was backup quarterback Kai Locksley, who had two catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Hamilton led the league in multiple receiving categories in Week 8, including yards after the catch with 198, receiving first downs with 19, and plays of 15 or more yards with 10.
Ottawa REDBLACKS (53.8 offensive grade, 63.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 58.1 pass rushing grade
The REDBLACKS have one of the most ferocious pass-rushing units in the CFL, but that wasn’t the case on Friday.
Ottawa’s frontline struggled against a good Hamilton pass-blocking effort and finished with only one sack, no hits and 15 hurries on passing plays from quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.
Toronto Argonauts (67.5 offensive grade, 76.4 defensive grades)
Key area: 84.9 run defence grade
The Argonauts made it a priority to stop the run-game and force quarterback Mason Fine to win the game with his arm.
Toronto didn’t miss a single tackle against the Riders on Saturday and allowed only 54 yards on the ground to Saskatchewan’s offence.
Saskatchewan Roughriders (67.2 offensive grade, 58.6 defensive grade)
Key area: 66.0 receiving grade
The Riders trailed only the Tiger-Cats in receiving grade for the week. Nobody had more receiving yards than Saskatchewan with 401, including 148 after the catch and 17 first downs.
BC Lions (71.8 offensive grade, 73.1 defensive grade)
Key area: 88.6 passing grade
Quarterback Dane Evans earned a spot in this week’s CFL Honour Roll with a 90.1 overall grade. Evans completed 25 of 32 passes for 330 yards and a pair of majors in his first start of the season for BC.
The veteran pivot had three big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays as BC’s passing offence pushed the ball down the field with an average depth of target of 12.9, highest mark of Week 8.
Edmonton Elks (53.5 offensive grade, 57.0 defensive grade)
Key area: 37.2 pass blocking grade
A lot of attention is understandably paid to Edmonton’s quarterbacks as the team attempts to navigate a turbulent first-half of the season.
Regardless of the situation with the pivots, however, the pass-blocking unit in Edmonton has a lot of rom for improvement after struggling once more against a powerful pass rush from the Lions that generated a pressure on 42.1 per cent of the snaps.
Montreal Alouettes (65.1 offensive grade, 79.2 defensive grade)
Key area: 80.6 coverage grade
This is not the first time we talk about Montreal’s coverage unit here.
Led by defensive back Kabion Ento, a talented Alouettes’ secondary allowed a league-low 56.8 completion percentage while adding two picks and eight forced incompletions, two times more than any other team in Week 8.
Calgary Stampeders (53.0 offensive grade, 67.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 85.0 rushing grade
The Stamps didn’t go to the ground a lot in the loss against the Alouettes but when they did they found success.
Calgary had four rushing first downs and rushed for 6.4 yards per carry, best mark across the league. Despite a glimpse of success running the ball, the Stampeders only had 12 rushing attempts, more than only the Edmonton Elks in Week 8.
|TEAM||OFFENSIVE GRADE*||DEFENSIVE GRADE*||OVERALL OFFENSIVE GRADE**||OVERALL DEFENSIVE GRADE**|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||Bye||Bye||81.5||80.3|
*Grades based on team-performance in Week 8 of 2023
**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-8 of 2023