CFL Week 4 Offensive Line Rankings: Saskatchewan Roughriders move up to No. 1

2JBARWP BC Lions prepares for an offensive during the game between the BC Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at BC Place in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Fri, June 3, 2022. Photo Credit: Wes Shaw/ Shotbug/ Alamy Live News

Saskatchewan Roughriders move up to No. 1: Through four weeks, the Saskatchewan offensive line leads the CFL in pressure rate allowed at just 19.3%. A matchup against the lowly Elks should help solidify the first-place ranking for this group.

• B.C. Lions falling off: A concerning trend has started to emerge in B.C., as this offensive line is giving up more and more pressure as the season goes on. Last week, they gave up pressure on 43.2% of their plays, the highest rate in the league.

• D'Antne Demery remains Calgary's best pass-blocker:  Through four weeks, Demery's 73.7 pass-blocking grade ranks first among qualifying tackles. He's given up just two hurries across 113 pass-blocking saps.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes


Few things are more important to a team’s success than the quality of its offensive line. Disastrous lines, or even disastrous weak-link mismatches, can determine the outcome of games, while strong units give an incredible advantage to an offense.

This CFL season, we will be keeping track of PFF’s offensive line rankings as well as highlighting the biggest weak-link player and their upcoming opponent to identify any obvious matchup advantage one way or the other.

Key:
Red text = weakest link

 

1. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Up 1)

LT Logan Ferland
LG Evan Johnson
C Peter Godber
RG Logan Bandy
RT Colin Kelly

• The Roughriders enjoyed a Week 4 bye but moved up because of the B.C. Lions' recent struggles.

Through four weeks, the Saskatchewan offensive line leads the CFL in pressure rate allowed at just 19.3%. A matchup against the lowly Elks should help solidify the first-place ranking for this group.

Upcoming Week: Edmonton Elks

• The Elks defense had its best game of the 2023 campaign last week against Ottawa. They still struggled, though, producing just seven pressures across 21 plays. Through four weeks, Edmonton ranks ninth in the league in pressure rate (20.0%).


2. British Columbia Lions (Down 1)

LT Jarell Broxton
LG Andrew Peirson
C Michael Couture
RG Sukh Chungh
RT Kent Perkins

• A concerning trend has started to emerge in B.C., as this offensive line is giving up more and more pressure as the season goes on. Last week, they gave up pressure on 43.2% of their plays, the highest rate in the league.

• Couture and Peirson had a tough week against the Argonauts. Both players gave up a sack and combined to allow 10 total pressures across 45 plays. Peirson ended the game with a 34.5 pass-blocking grade, while Couture finished with a mark of 28.4.

• Broxton had his first bad game of the season this past week, giving up four pressures over 44 pass-blocking snaps. Coming into the week, he had given up just four pressures across 114.

Upcoming Week: Montreal Alouettes

• One of the weaker pass-rush units in the CFL, the Alouettes rank eighth in total pressures (37) and eighth in pressure rate (26.1%).


3. Montreal Alouettes (Up 1)

LT Nick Callender
LG Philippe Gagnon
C Justin Lawrence
RG Kristian Matte
RT Landon Rice

• A marvelous week for the Alouettes' offensive line propels them into the top three. Four of the five starters earned pass-blocking grades above 73.0.

• Lawrence earned his first 60.0-plus pass-blocking grade of the season (64.7). He gave up three pressures from 36 pass-blocking snaps.

Upcoming Week: British Columbia Lions

• The Lions continue to lead the league in team pass-rush grade (77.9) and pass-rush win rate (50.7%).

• The Lions' run defense might struggle in Week 5 against the Alouettes, a top-tier run-blocking team. B.C. is currently second-last in the league in yards allowed per rush (5.1).


4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Down 1)

LT Stanley Bryant
LG Geoff Gray
C Chris Kolankowski
RG Patrick Neufeld
RT Jermarcus Hardrick

• After four weeks of CFL action, Geoff Gray’s 30.1 pass-blocking grade ranks 25th among the 27 offensive linemen who have played at least 100 pass-blocking snaps.

• A great run-blocking group, the Bombers' offensive line is the third-highest-graded run-blocking unit (72.1) and leads the CFL in rush yards before contact (2.6).

Upcoming Week: Calgary Stampeders

Through four weeks, the Stampeders rank seventh in team run-defense grade (61.4) and yards allowed per rush (4.7). They could struggle against the Bombers' ground game in Week 5.


5. Toronto Argonauts (No Change)

LT Trevon Tate
LG Ryan Hunter
C Peter Nicastro
RG Gregor Mackellar
RT Dejon Allen

• The Argonauts will likely continue switching out their right guard. Mackellar, the team's third starter in as many weeks, produced a 19.3 pass-blocking grade and allowed two pressures and three other losses in Week 4.

• New left tackle Trevon Tate was a welcome addition in pass protection, as he gave up just one hurry and earned a 67.1 pass-blocking grade on the day. However, he struggled as a run-blocker, posting a 45.4 grade.

Upcoming Week: BYE

6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (No Change)

LT Brandon Kemp
LG Brandon Revenberg
C David Beard
RG Chris Van Zeyl
RT Brandon Kemp

• The Tiger-Cats enjoyed a Week 4 bye so are unchanged in the rankings.

This group ranks fifth in the league in team pass-blocking grade but third in pressure rate through four weeks.

Upcoming Week: Ottawa Redblacks

• The Redblacks' defensive front ranks eighth league-wide in win rate (29.3%), fifth in pass-rush grade (68.8) and sixth in pressure rate (25.3%).


7. Calgary Stampeders (No Change)

LT D’Antne Demery
LG Zack Williams
C Sean McEwen
RG Ryan Sceviour
RT Caleb Benenoch

The Stamps got a Week 4 bye so are unchanged in the rankings.

D'Antne Demery remains Calgary's best pass-blocker. Through four weeks, his 73.7 pass-blocking grade ranks first among qualifying tackles, and he's given up just two hurries across 113 pass-blocking saps.

Upcoming Week: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

• The Bombers’ defensive front has given up just 1.1 yards before contact per rush this season, second in the CFL.


8. Ottawa Redblacks (Up 1)

LT Dino Boyd
LG Drew Desjarlais
C Cyrille Hogan-Saindon
RG Jacob Ruby
RT Zack Pelehos

• Three out of the five starters had their best game of the season last week against the Elks. Pelehos, Ruby and Boyd all graded above 60.0 for the first time this season.

• The continuity and health of this line is a hopeful sign for future improved performance. All five starters have yet to miss a snap this season.

Upcoming Week: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

• While still leading the CFL in blitz rate (54.4%), Hamilton has yet to increase its pass-rushing performance. They sit fifth in pressure rate (33.7%) and sixth in pass-rush grade (70.8).


9. Edmonton Elks (Down 1)

LT Martez Ivey
LG Phillip Grohovac
C Mark Korte
RG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla
RT David Foucault

• New left guard Philip Grohovac did not provide the boost they wanted, as he earned a 22.5 pass-blocking grade in Week 4.  Across 29 plays, he gave up a hit, two hurries and lost two more reps.

• New left tackle Martez Ivey is the group's best run-blocker. His 67.9 pass-blocking grade ranks 10th among 25 qualifying tackles this season.

Upcoming Week: Saskatchewan Roughriders

• The Roughriders boast a solid pass-rushing group. As a whole, they have the third-ranked pass-rush win rate (47.6%) and second-ranked pressure rate (38.7%).

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