TORONTO — Week 17 brought a little more clarity to the playoff picture with the Montreal Alouettes securing their spot and the BC Lions clinching a home game.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers also won their matchup against the Toronto Argonauts to set up an important game against the Lions in Week 18. Meanwhile the Tiger-Cats also punched their ticket to the post-season with a win over the Stampeders.
As teams start looking towards November, we look back on Week 17 to check which units dominated to secure results for their team on CFL.ca’s Weekly 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 17 of 2023
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (73.6 offensive grade, 63.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 75.4 run blocking grade
Winnipeg continued its tradition of playing well up front with an excellent performance by the run blocking unit.
Not only did the Bombers gain 199 yards over 34 attempts on the ground, they also had 14 rushing first downs and 2.7 yards before contact per carry with only a 3.1 per cent of their runs going for zero or negative yards.
Toronto Argonauts (55.2 offensive grade, 70.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 79.3 coverage grade
The Argos coverage unit played up to their standards once more. They led the league in forced incompletions (17.9 per cent) and fewest plays of 15 or more yards (five) against one of the most explosive units around the league.
BC Lions (80.8 offensive grade, 73.8 defensive grade)
Key area: 81.2 run defence grade
The Lions defence dominated the trenches against the Roughriders, allowing only 38 yards on 18 carries against a Saskatchewan that was without starting running back Jamal Morrow.
BC didn’t miss a single tackle in the running game while tying for second in stops with seven.
Saskatchewan Roughriders (64.8 offensive grade, 63.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 73.7 pass rush grade
The Riders defence was able to get to the quarterback once more with four sacks, 15 hurries and two hits against Vernon Adams Jr.
A lot of that pressure was a product of well-timed blitzes by the secondary, as defensive back C.J. Reavis ended the game with two sacks.
Montreal Alouettes (68.6 offensive grade, 72.6 defensive grade)
Key area: 82.4 pass blocking grade
The Als allowed four total sacks but most of them were due to the work of the coverage unit in Ottawa forcing quarterback Cody Fajardo to hold on to the ball too long.
Overall Montreal allowed only nine total pressures for a 21.7 per cent pressure rate, second lowest mark of Week 17.
Ottawa REDBLACKS (60.1 offensive grade, 65.2 defensive grade)
Key area: 37.7 pass blocking grade
Ottawa’s offence on the other hand struggled against a ferocious pass rush from Montreal. The Als led the league in pressures (33), hurries (19), hits (eight) while also tallying five sacks.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (68.0 offensive grade, 78.8 defensive grades)
Key area: 75.2 rushing grade
Hamilton had a very efficient day on the ground rushing for 134 yards on 18 attempts for a 7.4 average.
The Tiger-Cats forced a league-high five missed tackles while also leading the league in explosive plays on the ground with seven. James Butler led all running backs in individual rushing grade (75.1) while ranking second in yards (92) and yards after contact (62) and tying for first in yards per carry (6.6).
Calgary Stampeders (59.9 offensive grade, 63.8 defensive grade)
Key area: 61.3 passing grade
It wasn’t a prolific passing weekend around the league which is why a modest 61.3 grade by Calgary was enough to rank third across all teams.
Despite the ranking, it wasn’t the best game through the air for the Stampeders with zero passing touchdowns and two turnover-worthy plays. The Stamps did have 16 passing first downs, third-best mark of Week 17.
|TEAM||OFFENSIVE GRADE*||DEFENSIVE GRADE*||OVERALL OFFENSIVE GRADE**||OVERALL DEFENSIVE GRADE**|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||73.6||63.7||87.9||86.3|
*Grades based on team-performance in Week 17 of 2023
**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-17 of 2023