August 23, 2023

Team Grades Powered by PFF: Als’ defence standing out

Patrick Doyle/

TORONTO — The Edmonton Elks finally got their first win of the season behind a powerful offence led by quarterback Tre Ford. Edmonton had the highest offensive grade of Week 11 and seems to be hitting its stride with Ford under centre.

The other three winners of the week, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders all got a boost from their defensive units in three close contests. The Bombers got a defensive touchdown while the Als and Riders both dominated the line of scrimmage with a ferocious pass rush.

Read more about each unit that excelled in Week 11 here on our 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

*All player grades required a minimum of 15 snaps played in Week 11 of 2023

Edmonton Elks (79.7 offensive grade, 65.1 defensive grade)

Key area: 92.0 passing grade

The Elks had been improving weekly on offence before finally cracking the win column against the Tiger-Cats in Week 11.

That improvement led to Edmonton leading all teams in passing grade for the week under quarterback Tre Ford. The Elks had four big-time throws to only one turnover-worthy throw. Not only that, the Green and Gold led the league in completion percentage (75.0), adjusted completion percentage (89.5) and passing yards per attempt (11.3).

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (70.8 offensive grade, 59.4 defensive grades)

Key area: 82.2 rushing grade

The one positive to draw from the Tiger-Cats loss to the Elks was the running game.

James Butler led all running backs in yards (114), yards after contact (81), first downs (six) and missed tackles forced (three). As a unit, Hamilton was first amongst all teams in yards per carry (7.4) in Week 11.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (56.9 offensive grade, 67.3 defensive grade)

Key area: 72.5 run defence grade

A win is a win is a win, but the Bombers know they didn’t play at their best against the Stampeders in Week 11.

They did enough on defence to escape with the victory, keeping Calgary out of the end zone. They also kept the Stamps running game at bay with 61 rushing yards on a 3.4 average while allowing only three first downs on the ground, lowest mark of the week.

Calgary Stampeders (62.5 offensive grade, 73.8 defensive grade)

Key area: 79.3 coverage grade

Calgary’s defence also kept the Blue Bombers out of the end zone. The only major Winnipeg scored was via its own defence, as the Stampeders held them to 171 passing yards and only five first downs.

The unit was led by defensive back Branden Dozier, who had the fourth highest individual coverage grade (78.6) with a 66.7 forced incompletion percentage, top mark of Week 11.

Montreal Alouettes (62.9 offensive grade, 78.6 defensive grade)

Key area: 82.6 pass rushing grade

We could once again highlight Montreal’s coverage unit (77.7), but instead we’ll look towards a pass-rushing group that led the CFL in Week 11.

Led by edge Shawn Lemon – with the third best individual pass-rushing grade (76.3) of the week -, the Alouettes tallied three sacks, two hits, 18 hurries for 23 total pressures and a pressure percentage of 59.3, best mark across all teams this week.

A big reason why the line had time to get to quarterback Dustin Crum was the play of the secondary, especially defensive back Tyrice Beverette who led the league in individual coverage grade with 83.9.

Ottawa REDBLACKS (65.5 offensive grade, 69.9 defensive grade)

Key area: 82.3 rushing grade

Much like the Ticats, the REDBLACKS can lean on their ground game to draw something positive from yet another close loss in 2023.

Unlike their divisional rivals, however, Ottawa did it by committee with running back Devonte Williams leading the way with 64 yards followed by Crum (42), Jackson Bennett (35), Tyrrell Pigrome (30) and Ante Milanovic-Litre (two). Together they led the league in rushing yards with 173, first downs (12), missed tackles forced (seven) and explosive runs (seven).

Saskatchewan Roughriders (62.4 offensive grade, 65.2 defensive grade)

Key area: 72.2 pass rushing grade

What a game between the Roughriders and Lions on Sunday. Saskatchewan came out hungry to close the gap in the West Division and for three quarters looked like a dominant team against a strong BC squad.

Even after the Lions rallied in the fourth quarter, the Riders showed up via their pass rush to put an end to the comeback attempt as Anthony Lanier II sacked quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. on third down to clinch an important win that pushed them back to .500. Overall they finished with five sacks and six hits in the winning effort.

Defensive linemen Micah Johnson and Lanier both finished with top-five individual pass-rushing grades as the unit finished with the third-best win percentage in Week 11 (49.0).

BC Lions (69.1 offensive grade, 72.3 defensive grade)

Key area: 86.1 passing grade

The Lions fell short on their comeback attempt against the Roughriders on Sunday, but the only reason they ever had a chance to do it was their passing offence.

BC tallied 455 yards through the air and Adams Jr. had a week-high seven big-time throws, albeit with three turnover-worthy plays as the Lions had to take risks after trailing in the fourth quarter. The Leos also led the league in passing first downs (21) and average depth of target (18.5), showing a willingness – or need – to throw the ball down the field.

Toronto Argonauts Bye Bye 79.2 89.7
BC Lions 69.1 72.3 74.9 90.9
Montreal Alouettes 62.9 78.6 74.6 90.8
Saskatchewan Roughriders 62.4 65.2 66.1 83.8
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 56.9 67.3 83.6 86.1
Calgary Stampeders 62.5 73.8 65.7 84.7
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 70.8 59.4 67.3 75.7
Ottawa REDBLACKS 65.5 69.9 66.5 81.2
Edmonton Elks 79.7 65.1 64.8 57.4

*Grades based on team-performance in Week 11 of 2023

**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-11 of 2023

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