CFL offensive output report: points, yards spike in Week 1 action

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/BC Lions

The first week of the 2022 CFL regular season is in the books and it brought with it a number of positive statistical trends.

Photo: John Hodge

Week 1 saw CFL teams score an average of 52.5 points per game, which was up 21.8 percent from last year. The league has averaged 50.1 points per game dating back to 2010, which means this past week beat the ten-year trend by 4.8 percent.

B.C.’s shocking 59-point performance helped elevate the week’s scoring average after relatively low-scoring games in Winnipeg (36 points) and Saskatchewan (43 points). It’s unreasonable to expect the Lions to score 59 points every week, but this is why we work in averages.

Punting in Week 1 stayed virtually unchanged from last season, decreasing slightly from 13.2 per game to 13.0 per game. Since 2010, the CFL has averaged 13.3 punts per game.

Photo: John Hodge

Offensive yards increased by 9.5 percent from last season’s average, improving from 673 per game to 737 per game. The league has averaged 698 offensive yards per game dating back to 2010, which means Week 1 of the 2022 CFL season beat the league’s long-term trend by 5.6 percent.

Photo: John Hodge

There was an average of 563 passing yards per game in Week 1, which is a 12.4 percent improvement over last season’s average of 501. The league has averaged 539 passing yards per game dating back to 2010, illustrating again that the 2022 season has started with above-average offensive output.

The same can’t be said about the ground game as there was an average of just 174 rushing yards per game in Week 1. This was down 12.6 percent from last year’s total of 199 rushing yards and is 15.1 percent below the league’s average of 205 rushing yards per game dating back to 2010.

It’s important not to read into these numbers too much as the CFL has completed only its first week of regular season football. Four games is not enough of a sample size to prove that the league’s rule changes have had the desired effect of creating more offence over the long-term.

With that said, this seems like a solid start coming out of what was widely considered a down year for the CFL in terms of raw entertainment value. Week 1 was generally exciting and created a nice buzz on social media. Let’s see if Week 2 can continue the trend.

The CFL offensive output report was created by 3DownNation’s John Hodge to track how a number of critical statistics change throughout the year following the league’s rule changes designed to make the game more entertaining. It will run regularly though the regular season on Tuesday mornings.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.