CFL offensive output report: yardage spikes as points fall

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

Offensive yardage is up and scoring is down following two more weeks of action in the CFL’s 2022 regular season.

Photo: 3DownNation

Week 11 saw an average of only 44.5 points per game, the second-lowest output so far this year. Saskatchewan (10), Ottawa (12), and Toronto (19) failed to reach the 20-point threshold in their respective games, contributing to a 24.6 percent drop in scoring from Week 10 to Week 11. Scoring recovered by 10.6 percent from Week 11 to Week 12 as the instant classic between Calgary and Winnipeg featured a week-best 60 points.

The number of punts each week has been on a slight upward trend as the season has progressed. Week 11 saw an average of 12.8 punts per game — 9.4 percent higher than the season average — before a 15.7 percent drop in Week 12.

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Week 12 featured the season’s second-highest level of offensive yardage with an average of 765.3 per game. Three teams put up particularly impressive numbers with Saskatchewan (485), Winnipeg (475), and Hamilton (452) all finishing above 450 yards of offence in their respective games.

Passing yards dipped by only 0.9 percent from Week 11 to Week 12, which came as somewhat of a surprise given that the league’s leading passer, Nathan Rourke, missed his first game due to injury. Cody Fajardo’s first 300-yard game since Week 1 helped boost that number, as did Matthew Shiltz and Dane Evans combining for 388 yards for Hamilton.

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Teams are averaging a combined 50.0 points per game this season, which is up 13.8 percent from 2021. This number is also virtually identical to the league’s eleven-year average of 50.1 points per game dating back to 2010. Punting remains at its lowest level over that time span with an average of 11.8 per game, which is also down 10.6 percent since 2021.

Photo: 3DownNation

Offensive yardage remains up 4.1 percent from the league’s eleven-year average and is at its highest level since 2017, increasing 1.9 percent from 2019 and 7.6 percent from 2021. Passing yardage has increased by 7.4 percent since 2021, while rushing yardage has decreased by 6.5 percent over that same time span.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.