CFL Week 7: PFF Team of the Week & Player Awards

2RD11WR Ottawa, Canada. 15th July, 2023. July 15, 2023: Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) sets to throw a pass during the CFL game between Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Ottawa Redblacks held at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, Canada. Daniel Lea/CSM/Sipa USA (Credit Image: © Daniel Lea/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

  • Equal footing: All eight teams that played this week had at least one player nominated in Week 7’s “Team of the Week.” The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had the most with six players nominated.
  • Zach Collaros was this week’s top quarterback: Collaros graded out at 84.6 overall this game, his highest-graded game since Week 2 of this season. One of the more impressive stats of the week was that he had an 83.3% adjusted completion percentage despite leading the league with a 13.7-yard average depth of target.
  • Argos’ ED Folarin Orimolade was a pass-rushing sensation: His 10 total pressures led the league this week, as did his 15.7 pass-rush productivity score (among qualified pass-rushers).
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We’re through seven weeks of the CFL season and have seen many huge performances from week to week. Week 7 was no different, as there were fantastic individual efforts across the league. All eight teams in action had at least one player make the “Team of the Week.” The Winnipeg Blue Bombers led the way with six players named while the Edmonton Elks and Toronto Argonauts had just one apiece.


Team of the Week

Offense 

  • QB: Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • RB: Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • Outside WR: Clark Barnes, Calgary Stampeders
  • Slot WR: Nate Behar, Ottawa Redblacks
  • Slot WR: Justin Hardy, Ottawa Redblacks
  • Slot WR: Reggie Begelton, Calgary Stampeders
  • Outside WR: Kenny Lawler, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • LT: Stanley Bryant, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • LG: Brandon Revenberg, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • C: Chris Kolankowski, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • RG: Thomas Jack-Kurdyla, Edmonton Elks
  • RT: Colin Kelly, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Defense

  • DI: Mike Rose, Calgary Stampeders
  • DI: Woody Baron, BC Lions
  • Edge: Folarin Orimolade, Toronto Argonauts
  • Edge: Bryce Carter, Ottawa Redblacks
  • LB: Boseko Lokombo, BC Lions
  • LB: Cameron Judge, Calgary Stampeders
  • Cover LB: Ben Hladik, BC Lions
  • CB: Brandin Dandridge, Ottawa Redblacks
  • CB: Demerio Houston, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • HB: Richard Leonard, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • HB: Amari Henderson, Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • S: Quincy Mauger, BC Lions

Special Teams

  • K: Sean Whyte, BC Lions
  • P: Bailey Flint, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • Returner: Tyreik McAllister, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Players of the Week

Quarterback of the Week: QB Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Perhaps Collaros heard all the talk about Argonauts’ QB Chad Kelly last week and wanted to remind everyone that he’s still the top quarterback in the CFL. Collaros scored an 84.6 overall grade this game, his highest-graded game since Week 2 of this season. One of the more impressive stats of the week was that he had an 83.3% adjusted completion percentage despite leading the league with a 13.7-yard average depth of target. Collaros made multiple big-time throws and didn’t have a single turnover-worthy play. He now leads the league with 14 big-time throws to just three turnover-worthy plays (tied for fewest among quarterbacks that have started multiple games).

Offensive Player of the Week: WR Nate Behar, Ottawa Redblacks

It was a fantastic game for Behar, even if his raw stats may have been overshadowed by others across the CFL. Nonetheless, his 78.0 receiving grade this week led the league for a reason — Behar made clutch catch after clutch catch. He picked up multiple first downs on his catches and led all WRs with three missed tackles forced on his receptions. His late fourth-quarter touchdown catch to put the Redblacks up was huge but not as huge as his game-winning two-point conversion catch. After a slow start to the season, Behar is now the clear No. 1 receiver for QB Dustin Crum, as he leads the CFL in targets and receptions since Crum took over.

Offensive Line of the Week: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

After talk of this offensive line getting older and slowing down began to pick up in recent weeks, it had a vintage performance in this game. The Bombers blocked well enough in the run game and helped their run game gain 126 yards. However, it was their pass protection performance that really set the unit apart. The Bombers allowed two sacks and just seven total pressures all game. They weren’t beaten on a single other play, giving them a 97.7% pass-blocking success rate as a unit. That was the highest score for a unit, well ahead of Toronto’s second-best 95.1%.

Pass-Rusher of the Week: EDGE Folarin Orimolade, Toronto Argonauts

It was a big week for Orimolade, whose one sack recorded does not do him justice for how he played. Orimolade finished his game with a sack, a hit and an impressive eight hurries. His 10 total pressures led the league this week, as did his 15.7 pass-rush productivity score (among qualified pass-rushers). Orimolade’s 30 total pressures this season ranks third in the CFL and his 16.3% pass rush win percentage ranks third, behind only Saskatchewan's Anthony Lanier and BC's Mathieu Betts.

Run Defender of the Week: DI Demarcus Christmas, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Another week and another Roughrider earned the top run defender award. This time it was Christmas on the interior making his presence felt. He made a tackle and an assist in the run game but was a force away from the tackle too, blowing up multiple attempted blocks on him. His interior play was a big reason the Lions rushed for just 58 yards and only one first down. Christmas is currently the seventh-highest-graded run-stopping interior defender on the season with a 70.1 run-defense grade.

Coverage Player of the Week: HB Richard Leonard, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Leonard was simply not getting beaten in coverage in his game against the Argonauts last week. Here’s what happened on the five targets he saw. The first was a catch where Leonard made the tackle for a gain of just four yards on second-and-8. The second he knocked away with his right hand. The third saw his tight coverage force an inaccurate throw. The fourth he knocked away with his right hand yet again. The fifth was a catch for seven yards in which he made the tackle immediately. This was the first game of the season where Leonard did not allow a first down, and the 11 yards he surrendered were a season-low.

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