Musings 2022 #1

    The CFL season has been a wild ride so far. New rules changes, no clear top team, and some great comebacks and collapses have highlighted another (hopefully) great year of CFL football. I'd like to take a look at the season this year, some general trends and some other stuff I've noticed as I've watched. 

    General Trends:

    The new rule changes to bump offence have seemingly paid off slightly, however it is definitely not as big of a bump as one would think, given an extra five yards on kickoffs, after FGs, as well as the bump for all 'No Yards' calls on punts becoming 15 yards.
    I'm a bit curious though, is this lower offensive output just a result of the layoff of the offseason? Do offences just need a longer time to get into rhythm (as evidenced by the abysmal 2021 offences)? 
    Hmmm.. doesn't really look like we can take much from this. Obviously small sample aside, but looking at the first 8 games of any season doesn't seem to indicate a trend to either scoring more or less points. The 2021 season sticks out hilariously, however.

    Overall, passing efficiency has rebounded a bit, but I would have expected a bit bigger of a bounce from the 2021 season to this year. Something to keep an eye on.
    Hmmmm wait a second where is Ottawa's 2021 season? 

    Maybe if we just expand the limits a bit..

    Another thing I feel like has happened is that there have been a million field goals so far this year. Well..
    Wow. 37% of all points scored this year have been a result of 3 points from a field goal. This is a big bump, especially over the non-outlier 2021 (as mentioned above). There have been 6 field goals made per game so far this year! If only some coaches would think about stop kicking short field goals..

    Things I've noticed:

    It's hard not to start off with the defending Grey Cup champs and how they're doing with life after Andrew Harris. Apparently, they think they still have a top run game, somehow running on 31/60 of their first downs. This number is absurd. The league average over the last few years has been about ~62% first down passes.

    Winnipeg's 52% rush rate on first down mirrors the league average of teams when they are in the 4th quarter and are up by 0 to 7 points. It's not even like they've been successful, averaging a dreadful 3.72 yards per carry. Also, its not even like they've had leads! They've only been leading for ~27% of their two games, despite having two wins!

    Re: Ottawa's resurgence, last year I put up a chart after they won week 1 against Edmonton, as they put up an absolutely insane 2.3 yards per play (literally 0th percentile), and somehow still won the game. That chart can be seen below:
    This year, despite two losses, they have lost in a way that honestly makes you feel better than their week one win last year. 

    Despite losing efforts, they are moving the ball, as evidenced by their 82nd percentile yards per play in week 1, and then a 62nd percentile yards per play in week 2, both against what should be another good Bomber defence.