August 9, 2023

Team Grades Powered by PFF: Riders’ pass rush dominating?

Arthur Ward/

TORONTO — There was a lot of movement in this week’s Power Rankings with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers resuming their place at the top after beating the BC Lions on Thursday, followed by wins from the Stampeders, Alouettes and Roughriders.

All four teams – and even a few of the losing clubs – had dominating performances by some of their units, like a Saskatchewan pass-rushing group that lived in Ottawa’s backfield, an explosive passing and rushing offence for Winnipeg and a lethal duo of receivers in Montreal.

These and more standout performances you’ll find here in our our weekly Team Grades Powered By PFF for Week 9:

» Player and Team Grades Powered by PFF
» CFL Honour Roll, Week 9: Collaros, Metchie, Bombers’ O-line make the grade
» Get your tickets for 2023 games now
» Power Rankings: The Bombers strike back
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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

*All player grades required a minimum of 15 snaps played in Week 9 of 2023

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (84.2 offensive grade, 77.6 defensive grade)

Key area: 81.2 rushing grade

We could highlight Winnipeg’s passing offence here, but they were equally dominant on the ground against the Lions.

The Blue Bombers had the second-best mark in rushing yards after contact with 71, first in majors with two, third in first downs with nine and first in yards per carry with 7.2.

BC Lions (52.3 offensive grade, 58.0 defensive grade)

Key area: 60.7 coverage grade

BC’s pass-defence unit had an uncharacteristic performance against the Blue Bombers in Week 9. Winnipeg threw for 447 yards against the Lions, including deep connections from quarterback Zach Collaros to wide receivers Kenny Lawler and Dalton Schoen.

The Leos allowed four touchdowns and 13 first downs through the air to go alongside 21.1 yards per reception by the Bombers, highest mark of Week 9.

Calgary Stampeders (69.3 offensive grade, 75.4 defensive grade)

Key area: 83.6 rushing grade

Nobody had more rushing yards in Week 9 than the Stampeders and running back Dedrick Mills.

Mills led the league in rushing first downs with eight, missed tackles forced on runs with six, yards after contact with 84 and explosive runs with five. Calgary had 168 rushing yards in total and 12 first downs on the ground.

Toronto Argonauts (52.8 offensive grade, 68.9 defensive grades)

Key area: 70.2 coverage grade

There aren’t a lot of positives to draw from the Argos’ first loss of the season except that Toronto kept Calgary to 149 passing yards, lowest mark of Week 9.

That low number was largely due to a focus on the running game for the Stamps though, as quarterback Jake Maier still finished with the highest completion percentage of the week while handing the ball off to the running backs most of the time.

Montreal Alouettes (75.1 offensive grade, 70.0 defensive grade)

Key area: 72.0 receiving grade

The Alouettes trailed only the Bombers in receiving yards with 318, including 177 yards after the catch, top mark of Week 9. More impressive was the fact that 125 of those 177 came after contact, showcasing a tackle-breaking ability by Montreal’s receivers.

Tyler Snead and Austin Mack combined for 206 receiving yards with 96 of those coming after contact in the win against the Tiger-Cats.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (58.6 offensive grade, 61.3 defensive grade)

Key area: 77.6 rushing grade

Hamilton was second in the league in yards per carry with 6.6 against the Alouettes.

Running back James Butler was third in rushing yards after contact with 41 despite only carrying the ball nine times in the losing effort. His play earned him the second best running grade amongst all players in Week 9 with 80.2.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (63.6 offensive grade, 77.4 defensive grade)

Key area: 70.9 pass rushing grade

The Roughriders won the battle of the trenches against the REDBLACKS with six takedowns on quarterback Dustin Crum to go along four hits and seven hurries.

Defensive lineman Anthony Lanier II finished with three sacks, a hit and a hurry for five total pressures as Saskatchewan’s defence dominated the line of scrimmage.

Ottawa REDBLACKS (69.1 offensive grade, 69.8 defensive grade)

Key area: 90.1 passing grade

Crum completed 80 per cent of his passes in the loss to the Roughriders trailing only Maier in Week 9. The pivot had two big-time throws in only 21 attempts, trailing only Zach Collaros of the Blue Bombers in big-time throw percentage with 9.5.

Despite the efficient passing numbers, Crum was under pressure all game and was unable to turn what would have been an otherwise efficient passing outing into more than field-goal drives for the REDBLACKS.

Toronto Argonauts 52.8 68.9 76.4 88.0
BC Lions 52.3 58.0 72.6 90.2
Montreal Alouettes 75.1 70.0 73.1 86.1
Saskatchewan Roughriders 63.6 77.4 68.3 87.3
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 84.2 77.6 84.5 85.0
Calgary Stampeders 69.3 75.4 66.9 85.2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 58.6 61.3 65.7 76.6
Ottawa REDBLACKS 69.1 69.8 65.0 85.7
Edmonton Elks Bye Bye 60.0 55.4

*Grades based on team-performance in Week 9 of 2023

**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-9 of 2023

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