TORONTO — Five out of the six playoff spots have already been clinched but the teams are not holding back in playing their best football over the final weeks of the season.
The BC Lions kicked things off against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as both teams put up efficient passing outings, while the Calgary Stampeders got the best of the Saskatchewan Roughriders with an outstanding defensive performance.
The Montreal Alouettes meanwhile were able to get a comeback win over a frisky Edmonton Elks team, while the Toronto Argonauts battled a fierce rushing attack by the Ottawa REDBLACKS to remind everyone why they have already secured a spot in the Eastern Finals.
We are looking back on all four matchups to highlight which units dominated to secure results for their team in our 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.
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*All player grades required a minimum of 15 snaps played in Week 19 of 2023
BC Lions (81.6 offensive grade, 71.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 91.5 passing grade
The Lions once again had their passing game lead the way in 2023.
BC led the league in passing yards (338), average depth of target (11.8), and first downs (22) while also ranking second in passing yards per attempt (9.6) in yet another explosive outing through the air.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (72.4 offensive grade, 58.8 defensive grade)
Key area: 81.5 passing grade
The Tiger-Cats also got a boost from their passing offence featuring pivots Bo Levi Mitchell and Matthew Shiltz.
The veteran duo combined for 18 passing first downs while leading the league in big-time throws with four.
Calgary Stampeders (56.5 offensive grade, 74.5 defensive grade)
Key area: 77.6 coverage grade
Calgary’s defence stepped up to keep their season alive, registering the highest defensive grade of the week.
The Stampeders didn’t allow a single touchdown through the air while also leading the league in stops (10), tackles (27) and allowing only 11 passing first downs.
Saskatchewan Roughriders (64.8 offensive grade, 73.9 defensive grade)
Key area: 74.3 run defence grade
The Roughriders did a great job stopping the run against the Stampeders, allowing only 36 yards over 13 carries for a 2.8 average.
Running back Ka’Deem Carey had 32 yards on the ground over six carries as Saskatchewan kept the Stampeders to only 208 total yards of net offence.
Montreal Alouettes (66.7 offensive grade, 68.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 84.9 pass blocking grade
Montreal’s pass-blocking unit did a good job in giving quarterback Cody Fajardo time in the pocket to make plays.
Edmonton’s defence ended up tallying three sacks on the day but those were mostly coverage sacks as Fajardo had to wait longer for players to get open down the field. The Als offensive line allowed only two hurries for a 5.6 per cent pressure percentage, best mark of Week 19.
Edmonton Elks (73.6 offensive grade, 73.4 defensive grade)
Key area: 81.3 rushing grade
Edmonton was able to move the ball against a stout Montreal defence, finishing second in rushing yards (140), first downs (nine) and yards per carry (6.0).
Quarterback Tre Ford and running back Kevin Brown combined for 115 yards on 15 carries.
Toronto Argonauts (77.2 offensive grade, 64.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 84.3 rushing grade
The Argos rushed the ball effectively despite not having veterans AJ Ouellette and Andrew Harris available against the REDBLACKS.
Toronto finished first in first downs (10), yards after contact (104), while also ranking second in explosive plays (five) and third in missed tackles forced (five).
Ottawa REDBLACKS (63.7 offensive grade, 53.7 defensive grade)
Key area: 79.7 rushing grade
The REDBLACKS once again led the league in rushing yards (150) and yards per attempt (7.5), while also getting top marks for rushing first downs (10) and explosive runs (seven).
Leading the way for Ottawa was running back Devonte Williams who finished with the top individual rushing grade of the week (81.4) after rushing 16 times for 125 yards and a major.
|TEAM||OFFENSIVE GRADE*||DEFENSIVE GRADE*||OVERALL OFFENSIVE GRADE**||OVERALL DEFENSIVE GRADE**|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||Bye||Bye||88.4||87.0|
*Grades based on team-performance in Week 19 of 2023
**Cumulative grades based on team-performance in Weeks 1-19 of 2023