August 30, 2023

Team Grades Powered by PFF: Ticats dominate the trenches

Jimmy Jeong/

TORONTO — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats did something no other team had been able to in 2023. They went into BC Place and took down the Lions with a dominant performance on ball sides of the ball.

That show of power translated into PFF’s grades with highmarks all around for coach Orlondo Steinauer’s team, especially when it came to the big guys up front on both offence and defence.

The other three victors in Week 12, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts and a now-streaking Edmonton Elks also graded highly for their performances as all four teams went for 30 or more points in their winning efforts.

Read more about each unit that excelled in Week 12 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 12 of 2023

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (72.5 offensive grade, 72.1 defensive grade)

Key area: 77.9 coverage grade

The Blue Bombers led the league in Week 12 in coverage grade as they held the Alouettes to 142 passing yards.

Winnipeg allowed only eight first downs through the air, while keeping Cody Fajardo to a 56 completion percentage with an interception by defensive back Winston Rose.

Montreal Alouettes (60.8 offensive grade, 63.3 defensive grade)

Key area: 60.2 rushing grade

It wasn’t only the passing game that struggled for the Als, as they finished with the worst rushing grade of Week 12 and were unable to establish a presence on the ground against the Blue Bombers front.

Montreal had only one rushing first down despite going into halftime trailing by only three points. That was largely due to a constant presence of Winnipeg defenders in the backfield, as the Alouettes averaged only 0.1 yards before contact per attempt, last across all teams in Week 12.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (75.0 offensive grade, 74.2 defensive grades)

Key area: 79.3 pass rushing grade and 72.8 run blocking grade

The Tiger-Cats took down the Lions at BC Place with a dominant performance on the trenches. Not only did they lead the league in run-blocking grade (72.8) but their pass rush also made Lions’ quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. uncomfortable all game in Vancouver.

Overall Hamilton finished with two sacks, three hits, 20 hurries and a 75 per cent pass rush win while the offensive line was second in yards before contact with 57 on a 2.4 average.

BC Lions (66.9 offensive grade, 60.5 defensive grade)

Key area: 63.2 run defence grade

That’s three losses in four games for a Lions team looking for answers. While the offensive line struggled to contain the Tabbies pass rush, on defence the Lions also struggled to stop running back James Butler from taking over the game.

BC allowed Hamilton to run for 132 yards on 24 runs and a major as the Tiger-Cats controlled the clock to handle the Lions their first home loss of the season.

Toronto Argonauts (78.4 offensive grade, 66.4 defensive grade)

Key area: 76.8 passing grade

The Argos had one of the most balanced offences across the league in Week 12, figuring in the upper half in all offensive categories, including passing.

The Chad Kelly-led unit was second in passing yards per attempt (11.7), tied for first in average depth of target (13.3), second in passing yards (361) all the while keeping Calgary away from their quarterback for the entire game with zero sacks allowed.

Calgary Stampeders (61.9 offensive grade, 61.8 defensive grade)

Key area: 81.0 passing grade

The Stampeders went blow for blow with the Argonauts in Week 12 and that’s heavily due to a prolific passing game headlined by Jake Maier and Reggie Begelton.

The Maier-led offence led the league in passing yards (387), touchdowns (four) and big-time throws (three) in the losing effort for Calgary.

Edmonton Elks (76.1 offensive grade, 65.4 defensive grade)

Key area: 84.9 passing grade

Edmonton once again led the league in passing grade for the week as pivot Tre Ford continues to provide energy to an Elks team suddenly riding a two-game winning streak.

The key to the Green and Gold’s success through the air has been efficiency. Ford again had a high adjusted completion percentage (accounting for drops and throwaways) of 94.1. That’s even more impressive when you take into account that they were pushing the ball downfield with a 17.6 yards per attempt mark on an 11.2 average depth of target.

Ottawa REDBLACKS (66.7 offensive grade, 59.7 defensive grade)

Key area: 48.3 coverage grade

The other side of the coin is a coverage unit in Ottawa that struggled to contain the Elks.

The REDBLACKS allowed 10.57 yards per coverage snap, 21.1 yards per reception and a 66.7 open target percentage, as Edmonton amassed 317 passing yards on a 17.6 average.

Toronto Argonauts 78.4 66.4 81.2 88.2
BC Lions 66.9 60.5 75.0 90.2
Montreal Alouettes 60.8 63.3 73.8 90.2
Saskatchewan Roughriders Bye Bye 66.1 83.8
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 72.5 72.1 84.0 86.8
Calgary Stampeders 61.9 61.8 65.6 83.0
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 75.0 74.2 69.2 78.0
Ottawa REDBLACKS 66.7 59.7 67.1 79.3
Edmonton Elks 76.1 65.4 67.2 58.8

*Grades based on team-performance in Week 12 of 2023

**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-12 of 2023

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