TORONTO — Week 18 featured dominant performances by a trio of East Division teams in the Toronto Argonauts, Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats winning by multiple scores.
The week also provided us a taste of the top two teams in the West going face to face in overtime. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers came out on top behind a resilient offence that overcame quite a performance by the BC Lions pass rush.
We are looking back on all four matchups to highlight which units dominated to secure results for their team on CFL.ca’s Weekly Team Grades Powered by PFF:
» Player and Team Grades Powered by PFF
» CFL Honour Roll, Week 18: Kelly, Johnson, Bombers’ O-Line make the grade
» Player Grades Powered by PFF: Who was the best of Week 18?
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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 18 of 2023
Toronto Argonauts (72.5 offensive grade, 78.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 87.4 passing grade
It wasn’t a particularly explosive performance by the Argonauts passing attack but it was an efficient one. Toronto had 178 passing yards on a 9.4 average with one big-time throw and zero turnover-worthy plays while leading the league in average depth of target with 15.9.
Edmonton Elks (59.4 offensive grade, 60.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 76.3 pass rush grade
Edmonton’s defence led the league with a 45.5 pressure percentage in Week 18 despite an unfavourable game script.
In only 23 pass rush snaps – as Toronto ran the ball 31 times -, the unit led by A.C. Leonard tallied two sacks, four hits and five hurries against the Argonauts.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (74.4 offensive grade, 73.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 82.3 rushing grade
The Bombers experience in big games showed up against the Lions in Week 18. Trailing by seven points entering the fourth quarter, Winnipeg tied the game before eventually winning in overtime.
A big reason for the win was a running attack that averaged 6.4 yards per attempt with 127 total yards. The Bombers had 38.1 per cent of all runs going for a first down or a touchdown in huge part due to the offensive line helping running back Brady Oliveira and co. average a league-best 3.1 yards before contact.
BC Lions (74.1 offensive grade, 66.0 defensive grade)
Key area: 80.4 pass rush grade
The Lions were able to get pressure on Zach Collaros and force the quarterback into making uncharacteristic errors to the tune of two fumbles and an interception.
BC had 19 total pressures, including three sacks, four hits and 12 hurries. Five of those pressures came via defensive lineman Mathieu Betts with a sack, a hit and three hurries.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (72.6 offensive grade, 79.6 defensive grade)
Key area: 86.5 coverage grade
The Tiger-Cats allowed only 179 yards and nine first downs passing to the Roughriders while also forcing five incompletions.
Linebacker Stavros Katsantonis had the second highest individual coverage grade of Week 18 (88.5) allowing only one first down over four coverage snaps while also intercepting quarterback Mason Fine once.
Saskatchewan Roughriders (60.9 offensive grade, 57.5 defensive grade)
Key area: 75.8 rushing grade
The Riders were second in rushing yards (144) and first in yards after contact (100) in Week 18.
The running attack led by running back Jamal Morrow also led the league in rushing first downs (nine) while ranking second in explosive plays (five) and yards per carry (5.8).
Montreal Alouettes (73.7 offensive grade, 76.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 82.3 pass rush grade
Montreal dominated on both sides of the ball against the REDBLACKS, highlighted by a league-best pass rush grade.
The Als registered five sacks, three hits and nine hurries against Ottawa’s pivots while leading the league with a 61.3 pass rushing win percentage.
Ottawa REDBLACKS (51.9 offensive grade, 62.0 defensive grade)
Key area: 77.2 rushing grade
Ottawa struggled to get anything going against the Alouettes on Thanksgiving, in part because it was unable to fully deploy its running game.
Despite grading relatively high – thanks to five missed tackles forced over only 11 runs – the REDBLACKS were kept to a league-low 51 yards and only two first downs on the ground.
|TEAM||OFFENSIVE GRADE*||DEFENSIVE GRADE*||OVERALL OFFENSIVE GRADE**||OVERALL DEFENSIVE GRADE**|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||74.4||73.7||88.4||87.0|
*Grades based on team-performance in Week 18 of 2023
**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-18 of 2023