CFL Week 5 Offensive Line Rankings: Montreal Alouettes shoot up the board

2JRR877 August 25, 2022, WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA: Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) throws against the Calgary Stampeders during the first half CFL action in Winnipeg Thursday, August 25, 2022. (Credit Image: © John Woods/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

• A new No. 1: The Alouettes offensive line leads the CFL in pass-blocking grade (75.8) and run-blocking grade (80.5) through five weeks of action.

• Hardrick still standing out: Winnipeg's Jermarcus Hardrick has earned a 70.3 PFF grade over 308 snaps this season,  second among qualifying CFL tackles. He's given up 10 pressures on 164 pass-blocking snaps this year.

• Going to be a long season: The Edmonton Elks offensive line ranks second-to-last in pass-blocking grade (41.6) and dead last in team run-blocking grade (47.6).

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. Montreal Alouettes (Up 2)

LT Nick Callender
LG Pier-Olivier Lestage
C Justin Lawrence
RG Kristian Matte
RT Landon Rice

The Alouettes offensive line leads the CFL in pass-blocking grade (75.8) and run-blocking grade (80.5) through five weeks of action.

It was an outstanding week for every member of this offensive line. Across 55 pass-blocking snaps, they earned a 78.9 team pass-blocking grade and allowed a pressure rate of 13.5%, both of which ranked first in the CFL in Week 5.

Upcoming Week: Toronto Argonauts

The Argos' pass rush has been formidable this year. Entering Week 6, the team ranks fifth in team pass-rush grade (72.9) and first in pressure rate (43.5%).

Dewayne Hendrix has earned an 82.5 pass-rushing grade this season, first among CFL interior defenders.


 2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Up 2)

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

Jermarcus Hardrick has earned a 70.3 PFF grade over 308 snaps this season,  second among qualifying CFL tackles. He's given up 10 pressures on 164 pass-blocking snaps this season.

It's not all good, however: Geoff Gray’s 26.7 pass-blocking grade ranks 22nd among the 25 guards who have played at least 25 pass-blocking snaps on the year.

Upcoming Week: Ottawa Redblacks

While the Redblacks' pass rush continues to fall down the rankings, their run defense remains a strength. They are second in the CFL in yards allowed per rush (3.7) and lead the league in run tackles for loss or no gain (15).


3. British Columbia Lions (Down 1)

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

Week 5 was the third straight week in which the Lions gave up double-digit pressures (10) and a pressure rate above 30% (33.3%).

B.C. ranks second in the CFL in pass-blocking grade (61.6) but seventh in run-blocking grade (58.4).

Upcoming Week: BYE

4. Toronto Argonauts (Up 1)

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

As a group, the Argos offensive line ranks second in run-blocking gtade (75.2) but seventh in pass-blocking grade (55.1). However, they are the only offensive line in the CFL that hasn't allowed a sack so far this year.

RT Dejon Allen is the highest-graded offensive lineman on this team. His 75.3 pass-blocking grade ranks fifth at the position this year — he's allowed just two hurries across 90 pass-blocking snaps.

Upcoming Week: Montreal Alouettes

The Alouettes are struggling to convert pass-rush wins into pressures. They rank third in pass-rush win rate (46.5%) but second-to-last in pressure rate (25.5%).


5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Down 4)

LT Brandon Council
LG Evan Johnson
C Logan Bandy
RG Logan Ferland
RT Colin Kelly

A pitiful performance against a lowly opponent results in the biggest single-week drop by any group this season. Entering Week 5, the Elks defense had failed to record double-digit pressures and a pressure rate above 25%. However, they racked up 12 pressures against the Roughriders' offensive line in Week 5, with the unit earning a 50.5 team pass-blocking grade as a group.

As a group, they rank third in pass-blocking (57.2) and fourth in run-blocking (65.2).

Upcoming Week: Calgary Stampeders

Calgary ranks fifth in the CFL in yards allowed per rush (4.2) and seventh in pressure rate (29.7%).


6. Calgary Stampeders (Up 1)

LT Bryce Bell
LG Zack Williams
C Sean McEwen
RG Ryan Sceviour
RT Hugh Thornton

Calgary missed their top pass-blocker this past week. Without starting left tackle D’Antne Demery, one of the CFL’s top pass protectors, the Stamps gave up a season-high 43.8% pressure rate across 32 snaps.

The Stamps' offensive line ranks sixth in team pass-blocking grade (54.3) and eighth in team run-blocking grade (58.1).

Upcoming Week: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan has an excellent defensive front. The team ranks second in pressure rate (38.6%) and third in yards allowed per rush (4.0).


7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Down 1)

LT Brandon Kemp
LG Brandon Revenberg
C David Beard
RG Coulter Woodmansey
RT Kendrick Sartor

Entering Week 6, the Tiger-Cats rank fifth in team pass-blocking grade (54.6) and sixth in team run-blocking grade (59.1).

This unit desperately needs some stability and health. This year, 10 players have played more than 20 snaps along the offensive line, and no other CFL team has had more than seven players suit up.

Upcoming Week: Edmonton Elks

The Elks’ defense front put on its best performance of the season last week and will hope to build off that. The unit still ranks near the bottom of the league in all the important statistical categories, coming in at last in yards allowed per rush (4.8), pass-rush win rate (34.0%) and pressure rate (24.7%).


8. Ottawa Redblacks (No Change)

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

Desjarlais is making his case to earn his second CFL All-Star selection. His 70.4 overall grade and 72.5 run-blocking grade both rank third among guards, while his 64.6 pass-blocking grade comes in at sixth.

Despite Desjarlais' performances, Ottawa is still struggling in pass protection. Through five weeks, they have allowed a sack or QB hit on 10.1% of their pass-blocking snaps, the third-highest rate in the league.

Upcoming Week: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers have three players who currently have pass-rush grades above 77.0, with Willie Jefferson (78.2), Jackson Jeffcoat (77.4) and Celestin Haba (77.1) all ranking in the top 11 among CFL edge rushers.


9. Edmonton Elks (No Change)

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

It seems like this will be a long season for the Elks. This unit ranks second-to-last in pass-blocking grade (41.6) and dead last in team run-blocking grade (47.6).

Mark Korte has been one of the few bright spots over the first quarter of the regular season. He currently owns the second-best pass-blocking grade among CFL centers at 78.3.

Upcoming Week: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Tiger-Cats have struggled to win at the line of scrimmage this season, as their 36.8% pass-rush win rate ranks seventh among the league's nine teams.

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