CFL Week 2: PFF Team of the Week & Player Awards

2T5E3PC B.C. Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., right, and David Mackie celebrate after Adams scored a touchdown against the Calgary Stampeders during the first half of a Canadian Football League playoff game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

• No stopping Ottawa RB Ryquell Armstead: His 4.4 yards after contact per carry led the league. Most impressively, Armstead forced seven missed tackles on those carries.

• EDGE Lorenzo Mauldin a force for Ottawa: He was one of three defenders in Week Two to record a pass rush win rate of 20% or more, and he led the league with a 14.3 pass-rush productivity score.

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Week 2 is in the books and already we’ve seen some impressive play across the CFL this season. This week’s impressive performances came from some newcomers such as Winnipeg CB Tyrell Ford and Ottawa RB Ryquell Armstead as well as stalwarts like Montreal LG Pier-Olivier Lestage and Saskatchewan DI Anthony Lanier II.

After another impressive comeback win, the Saskatchewan Roughriders lead the way with eight players making the “Team of the Week.” The second-most went to the Redblacks’ seven players after they opened the season with an impressive win of their own.


QB: Vernon Adams Jr., BC
RB: Ryquell Armstead, Ottawa
Outside WR: Alexander Hollins, BC
Slot WR: Jalen Philpot, Calgary
Slot WR: Justin Hardy, Ottawa
Slot WR: Jerreth Sterns, Saskatchewan
Outside WR: Shemar Bridges, Hamilton
LT: Martez Ivey, Edmonton
LG: Pier-Olivier Lestage, Montreal
C: Peter Godber, Saskatchewan
RG: Dariusz Bladek, Ottawa
RT: Jermarcus Hardrick, Saskatchewan


DI: Anthony Lanier II, Saskatchewan
DI: Tibo Debaillie, BC
Edge: Lorenzo Mauldin IV, Ottawa
Edge: Malik Carney, Saskatchewan
LB: Jameer Thurman, Saskatchewan
LB: Micah Awe, Calgary
Cover LB: Adarius Pickett, Ottawa
CB: Tyrell Ford, Winnipeg
CB: Nafees Lyon, Montreal
HB: Damon Webb, Ottawa
HB: Rolan Milligan, Saskatchewan
S: Loucheiz Purifoy, Edmonton

Special teams 

K: Brett Lauther, Saskatchewan
P: Joseph Zema, Montreal
Returner: DeVonte Dedmon, Ottawa

Quarterback of the Week: QB Vernon Adams Jr., British Columbia

Looking at the stats on paper, it didn’t seem like an overly special game from Adams — 17 completions for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Nonetheless, those numbers do not do his game justice. Adams made a ridiculous six big-time throws this week. The result of those six throws were just two completions for 78 yards. Of the four incompletions, two were dropped passes, one was a force-out by the defender and the other saw the defender rip the ball from the receiver on the way to the ground. It shows that raw stats don’t tell the whole story. Adams led all players with a 94.6 overall grade this week.

Offensive Player of the Week: RB Ryquell Armstead, Ottawa

When Devonte Williams was ruled out for the season due to a torn Achilles this past offseason, the Redblacks suddenly had a massive hole at running back. It’s early, but they may have quickly found a star to plug that hole. Armstead was handed the ball 16 times and gained 95 yards — 71 of those yards came after first contact. His 4.4 yards after contact per carry led the league. Most impressively, Armstead forced seven missed tackles on those carries. That was the most by any offensive player in Week 2.

Offensive Line of the Week: Montreal Alouettes

Another week, another offensive line award for the Alouettes. This unit is a well-oiled machine that is capable of both run and pass blocking with equal dominance. Montreal led the CFL this week with an average of 2.9 yards before contact per carry, a full yard more than second-highest. In the passing game, the Alouettes allowed just one sack and seven total pressures, tied for the fewest in the league this week. Through two weeks of the season, Montreal leads the CFL with a 92.3 pass-blocking efficiency score.

Pass-Rusher of the Week: EDGE Lorenzo Mauldin IV, Ottawa

Nobody in the CFL made as big of an impact rushing the passer as Mauldin did this past week. In 35 pass rush snaps, the edge rusher finished with a sack, three hits and five additional hurries. He also totaled two more pass-rush wins that didn’t result in pressure. He was one of three defenders in Week 2 to record a pass-rush win rate of 20% or more, and he led the league with a 14.3 pass-rush productivity score. Mauldin’s nine pressures in this game were the most he’s recorded in a game over the past three seasons.

Run Defender of the Week: LB C.J. Reavis, Saskatchewan

The Roughriders had their work cut out for them this week by taking Hamilton RB James Butler. They stepped up massively, holding the star running back to just 27 yards on 12 attempts and zero missed tackles forced. C.J. Reavis spearheaded that effort, as the SAM linebacker made a league-high four solo run stops and finished with an 85.2 run-defense grade, the top mark in the league.

Coverage Player of the Week: Cb Tyrell Ford, Winnipeg

For the second straight week, a Winnipeg Blue Bomber earns this distinction despite a tough loss for the team. Ford did all he could for this Bombers defense, playing lockdown coverage all game on the Redblacks’ receivers he lined up across from. Ford was targeted four times in 38 coverage snaps and allowed just one reception for 17 yards on a second-and-20. He forced incompletions on the other three targets he saw. He also made a solo defensive stop as a secondary coverage player. This was a massive step forward for the young corner after allowing eight catches for 149 yards one week ago.


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