Respected NFL and New England Patriots reporter Ben Volin had a sizzling hot take about the CFL from one game he’s attended: There’s no downfield passing. It’s boring.
Volin wrote in a piece about the Alliance of American Football failing. The CFL backers quickly set out to correct Mr. Volin.
— Redblack Renegade (@RedBlackGade) April 8, 2019
Ask Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia if there’s no downfield passing in this league. Dumbest thing I’ve heard all day.
— Kris Cherewyk (@KrisCherewyk) April 8, 2019
If I watched ONE NFL game and it was the latest Super Bowl, I may come to a similar conclusion about the NFL, wouldn't I?
— Dean (@SwiftNinjaCow) April 8, 2019
Yes. Most cfl quarterbacks routinely complete 5,000 one yard passes per season. #buyafrigginclue
— Terry Melnyk (@Ticatsfan1) April 8, 2019
No downfield passing? The last game you must have attended was a 1950s era mud bowl
— Bob Madill (@Lionfan15) April 8, 2019
Ben, you’ve seen, “a” CFL game and you feel competent in passing judgment? Give the Canadian game a greater look and you’ll fall in love with it. #CanadianFootballRules
— Curt Solomon (@roadhockeyobses) April 8, 2019
Let’s see what the data shows. The NFL had two 5,000-yard passers in 2018 versus the CFL’s four. Mike Reilly (9.0) and Jeremiah Masoli (9.1) both averaged nine yards or better per pass attempt. Meanwhile Patrick Mahomes (8.8) and Ben Roesthlisberger (7.6) each fell under nine.
Reilly led the CFL with 5,562 yards in 2018 due in large part to pushing the ball down the field, completing a league-high 55 passes for 20 or more yards, 19 of them for touchdowns including a 101-yard strike.
I hate passing the ball downfield…
— Mike Reilly (@Rikester13) April 9, 2019
Reilly’s former teammate Travis Lulay asked for an impromptu Details from Derek Taylor.
I know he’s moving, but where’s @DTonSC when you need him? Can we get a @CFL vs @NFL comparison – Avg Yards/Attempt, Yds/Completion, Pass Yds/Game, and Pass TD’s, etc. Boring is a judgment call, which many would disagree on. But no downfield passing is factually incorrect. 🤷♂️ https://t.co/HvDVqtR4Zb
— Travis Lulay (@TravisLulay) April 9, 2019
And sure enough Taylor came through.
Here's some, all from 2018 seasons:
Avg depth of target
NFL – 8.1
CFL – 10,0
Adj Net yards per attempt
NFL – 6.3
CFL – 6.8
% of plays that were passes:
CFL: 63% https://t.co/U0TRQHEPQs
— Derek Taylor 🇨🇦🏈 (@DTonSC) April 9, 2019
Canadians are a polite bunch and would likely give Mr. Volin a chance to come watch another CFL game and reassess his stance on the style of football played in Canada.