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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WEEK 5 CFL FACTS & FIGURES


Week 5 in the CFL features some intriguing streaks, a match-up of opposites, and two teams looking to reverse recent fortunes.

The Calgary Stampeders have won 13 straight games that have followed a bye week and hope to extend that run when they visit a Winnipeg Blue Bombers squad determined to post their first home win.

Friday Night Football features the Ottawa REDBLACKS, winners of all three of their away games so far this year, on the road in Saskatchewan, where the Roughriders are looking for their first victory of the young season.

Saturday’s match-up pits the highest powered offence in the West (the Edmonton Eskimos are averaging 475 net yards per game) against the stingiest defence in the league (the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have allowed only 287 yards per game).

And a rare CFL Monday Night Football encounter features the Toronto Argonauts looking for their first win in their new BMO Field home against a Montreal Alouettes outfit aiming to get back in the win column.

HOME SWEET… WHAT???

- Visiting teams are beating up on their opponents and they’re also giving a drubbing to the old adage about home field advantage.

Last week, teams on the road won all four games. That’s not unprecedented, although it last happened in Week 6 of 2014.

But through 16 games of the 2016 regular season, home teams sport a winning percentage of .219 -- the lowest since 1946.

- CFL road warriors have been pretty dominant, outscoring home teams by 8.6 points per game (29.4 vs 20.8) and outpacing them when it comes to 2nd down conversions (51.45% vs. 44.9%), turnovers (26 total versus 43), sacks allowed (29 vs 47) and pass efficiency (114.1 versus 94.8).

- If recent performance is any indication, the trend could continue this weekend: the four home teams have gone 1 and 7 at home and the four away teams have gone 6-1-1- on the road.

- Road teams haven’t won more games than home teams in the CFL regular season since 1983.

BIG PLAYS

- Big plays are up 28% or 1.3 per game.

- The passing game is the biggest reason: pass completions for 30 or more yards are up 48% from this point a year ago (65 versus 48).

- The REDBLACKS lead the passing parade with 12 big plays; Chris Williams has six and Greg Ellingson has three.

- We’re also averaging one big kick return per game (defined as 30 yards or more on a punt or missed field goal, or 40 yards or more on a kickoff).

- We’re on pace for 82 big returns this year compared to 73 last year, an increase of 12.5%.

BIGGER RATINGS

- Ratings for the CFL on TSN and RDS combined are up 12% overall and 23% in the 18-49 demographic.

- The top rated game last week, featuring the Alouettes hosting the Tiger-Cats, had an average audience of 758,000, including 200,000 on RDS.

- The total average audience for all four CFL games approached 2.9 million – the highest since last year’s Mark’s Labour Day Weekend where an average of more than 3.1 million Canadian viewers watched some holiday football.

BYE WEEK BUMP

- Since 2002, teams coming off a bye week have won 55% of the time (94 wins against 77 losses) when facing a team that played the week before.

- Calgary has the best winning percentage (.789) coming off a bye, winning 15 of 19, followed by BC (.714 and 15-6).

- Calgary has won 13 games in a row when coming off a bye, -- a streak that will span 3,393 days come Thursday and dating from October 14, 2005.

PENALTIES DOWN

- Penalty totals are 11% lower than they were at this time a year ago, despite an average of 26.3 penalties in Week 4.

- The category that has decreased the most: technical fouls - including holding, illegal blocks, and illegal contact - are down 33%.

- This year, there have been 39 coaches’ challenges, an average of 2.44 per game.

- 51% of those challenges have been successful.

- At this point last year, there were 18 challenges, including seven that were successful.

IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS

- The REDBLACKS’ Chris Williams remains on pace to shatter the 2,500 yard mark for receiving yards.

- Tiger-Cat Brandon Banks has averaged a kick return for a touchdown every 17 quarters: he had his ninth last week.

- The REDBLACKS are four-for-four when it comes to placing a player among the weekly Shaw CFL Top Performers: quarterback Trevor Harris earned the honour in Weeks 1, 2 and 4 and Williams was recognized following Weeks 1, 2 and 3.

(Courtesy Paulo Senra/CFL Communications)

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