Dane Evans had the best week among quarterbacks. QB rankings heading into week 9 as well as 3 Stars of the Week for week 8. Defenses reigned supreme in week 8 as only Dane Evans had over a 75 passer efficiency.
Stars of the Week:
1st Star: Dane Evans (BC)
32 attempts, 25 completions (78%), 330 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 13 rushes for 82 yards.
3rd Star: Chad Kelly (TOR)
21 attempts, 13 completions (62%), 122 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 2-point convert, 1 interception
2nd Star: Mason Fine (SSK)
39 attempts, 27 completions (69%), 302 yards, 2 interceptions
CFL First Period All-Star Team (Weeks 1-7)
Previous QB Rankings:
1. Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Previous Ranking #QB2
Was on the bye in week 8.
2. Chad Kelly, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #QB1
Kelly completed 13 of his 21 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown with 1 interception. He only had 5.8 yards per attempt this game despite coming in averaging the most in the CFL at 11.1. Kelly threw a handful of darts over the middle but did not have his most impressive game. He only had 1 passing play generate more than 20 yards which was to Cam Phillips. This was a game in which the Argonauts’ defense was the big reason for the win.
Kelly’s nicest play of the game may have been a 2 point conversion to Dejon Brissett in the back corner of the endzone.
3. Vernon Adams Jr., BC Lions, Previous Ranking #QB4
Did not play in week 8 due to injury.
4. Cody Fajardo, Montreal Alouettes, Previous Ranking #QB3
Cody Fajardo has had a lot of good games this season. This was not one of them. He was often inaccurate and on more than one occasion threw 2 inaccurate passes in a row. In his final throw, he overthrew Kaion Julien-Grant who was wide open down the middle in what would have been a sure touchdown. Instead, Montreal had to punt and Calgary came back to be very close to scoring a touchdown after starting a late game drive in good field position. Fajardo did have some nice passes to Julien-Grant but it was not a good game overall for him. Fajardo completed 16 of his 29 passes (55%) for 158 yards. He also added 27 rushing yards on 5 carries.
At times he was also locking onto receivers. It seemed he was not going through progressions quickly as Austin Mack and Kaion Julien-Grant accounted for 73% of his targets to receivers. Montreal fans have long awaited the return of Tyson Philpot and he only targeted him once which was very overthrown over the middle. He’s a quarterback who was a 2019 CFL all-star for good reason and is capable of playing so much better.
5. Dane Evans, BC Lions, Previous Ranking QB7
I have 1 super nitpicky complaint. He passed to Jevon Cottoy on this play which clearly did not have a good chance to pick up the first down when there was an open Lucky Whitehead ready to do so and BC had to settle for a field goal.
Now let’s talk about the positives. He looked good right from the start opening up with 2 quick and accurate passes. The biggest play was a 55-yard gain to Alexander Hollins who beat his man on his route. Evans completed 32 of his 25 passes (78%) and 2 touchdowns. His passer efficiency of 130.5 was by far the best of any starter this week as he was the only QB to have over 100. 10 of his passes were over 20 yards and he averaged 10.3 yards per attempt. This was a fantastic day. Some might not give him the credit he deserves as it was against the winless Elks but the Elks defense is actually underrated and is capable of putting some nice plays together and sacked Dane Evans 5 times. The elks had a whopping 13 penalties for 177 yards giving up many free first downs to the BC Lions who had 425 net offence already. Evans was hands down the best quarterback this week.
6. Dustin Crum, Ottawa RedBlacks, Previous Ranking #5
Dustin Crum completed 13 of his 23 passes for 158 yards with 1 interception. On the ground, he rushed 13 times for 82 yards.
It felt like Dustin Crum was going to the running well too often in the loss to Hamilton. Especially in the 4th quarter, he was trying to do too much with his legs. Such as a 2nd and 11 with good protection he elected to run down the middle and took a heavy hit on a 7 yard run and Ottawa had to settle for a field goal from Hamilton’s 8-yard line.
Crum also looked hesitant at times such as near the end of the 2nd quarter he took 2 sacks in a row on plays where he had options for a short pass on the right side had he gotten the ball away faster. On his interception, he underthrew Jaelon Acklin on a 2nd and 10.
On a first and 10 play inside the final minute of the game on Hamilton’s 12, Crum had good protection but decided to run down the middle but it looked as though he had a couple of good throwing options. He did gain 8 yards on the ground.
The cookie monster felt too predictable in week 8. I watched this game with my father and before the 3rd and 2 play I said “I bet you he targets Nate Behar and it gets knocked down.” Crum targeted Behar and it was knocked down at the line. Defenses are starting to figure him out after he had success in his first 2 starts, Hamilton kept in in check pretty well.
7. Jake Maier, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking #QB6
Jake Maier’s performance was in part him not playing as well as he needed to but mostly Montreal’s defense playing well. He was pressured quite often by the Montreal pass rush and Montreal’s secondary was not giving him options downfield often. Maier completed 44 of his 24 passes (55%) for 256 yards and 2 interceptions one of which was a pick 6. A lot of his incompletions were thrown while he was pressured by an Alouette defender. Calgary also failed to provide him with run support in a rainy game as they only handed the ball off to their runningbacks a total of 8 times gaining 34 yards. They seemed to give up on the run game for the 2nd week in a row which cultivates some predictability in the play calling.
Jake Maier was criticized for not running for the first down on the final offensive play for Calgary but he actually did a good job recognizing that Montreal had 2 linebackers ready to hit him long before he would have picked up the 3 yards needed. What he needed to do was find a higher percentage pass to make.
8. Mason Fine, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Previous Ranking #QB8
Mason Fine made a lot of good plays in this game. The first interception was underthrown on a go route and the 2nd one he threw it as he was hit by Shawn Oakman and it was picked off by DaShaun Amos and taken by for a Toronto touchdown. Fine completed 27 of his 39 passes for 302 yards with 2 interceptions. He made a lot of good passes over the middle primarily to Shawn Bane and Jr. Tevin Jones. On one play Fine was getting sacked by Orimolade and he tossed it to Morrow who took off for 18 yards on what was a heads-up play. Fine was unable to play at a high enough level to put Saskatchewan in position to win the game but it is hard to fault him as the Toronto defense did an excellent job pressuring Fine very often. Fine has been thrown into the fire with his 2 starts being against defenses that did very well pressuring him in the BC Lions and the Toronto Argonauts.
9. Taylor Powell, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Previous Ranking QB#9
Taylor Powell’s only play in week 8 was a kneel down after Bo Levi Mitchell was injured on 2nd to last play of the game on a QB sneak.
10. Taylor Cornelius, Edmonton Elks, Previous Ranking #QB10
Taylor Cornelius completed 16 of his 30 passes (53%) for 187 yards and 2 interceptions. Cornelius has not been good enough at quarterback for Edmonton and they are going to change things up after their bye week. His stat lines have been terrible however when watching him play it’s quickly apparent as to why. He almost never has any time to throw the ball. The loss against BC was very similar to the previous loss to BC in regards to the pass rush which was all over him. Cornelius was sacked 1 time but he was knocked down a lot and there were at least 3 times that he was getting sacked but threw the ball away as he was going down so that he would have an incompletion rather than be sacked. Both of his interceptions came in the final 7 minutes of the game during desperation time.
Elks fans are happy to see a change at quarterback but there might not be a QB in the world who could find success with the pressure rates that BC was bringing Edmonton this past week. The Elks are planning to go with either Jarret Doege or Tre Ford.
(IR) Trevor Harris, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Previous Ranking #QB3
Trevor Harris completed 16 of his 22 passes (73%) and 115 yards before leaving the game due to an injury in week 6. He will need to undergo surgery to repair a tibial plateau fracture and it is not yet clear if he will return later this season.
(IR) Jeremiah Masoli, Ottawa Redblacks, Previous Ranking #QB5
Masoli completed 6 of his 10 passes for 37 yards and an interception before going down with a non-contact injury. Masoli’s season was ended by a ruptured achilles in week 5 which was his only game played this season.
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