3DownNation CFL awards: the best and worst of Week 3

Photo courtesy: Steven Chang/B.C. Lions

Week 3 of the 2024 CFL regular season has come to a close, which means it’s time to look back at the best and worst performances the week had to offer.

Overall, it was another entertaining week as Montreal, Saskatchewan, and Toronto remained perfect, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Hamilton fell to 0-3, Alexander Hollins caught fire for B.C., and the Redblacks came crashing back down to earth.

These awards are selected by 3DownNation’s contributors and will be presented weekly throughout the 2024 season on Tuesday mornings. Enjoy.

Offensive player of the week: REC Alexander Hollins, B.C. Lions

The third-year CFL target was unstoppable against Winnipeg this past week, making seven catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns to help his team improve to 2-1. Hollins was named a West Division all-star in 2023 after catching 78 passes for 1,173 yards and nine touchdowns but is on pace to smash those numbers this year as he leads the league with 23 receptions for 402 yards and three scores.

Honourable mention: QB Cody Fajardo, Montreal Alouettes

Photo courtesy: Gary Lavoie/Montreal Alouettes

Defensive player of the week: LB Tyrice Beverette, Montreal Alouettes

The 29-year-old was all over the field for Montreal in their blowout win over the Ottawa Redblacks, making six tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Had the reigning East Division all-star recorded a pass knockdown, one might say he would have accomplished the football equivalent of hitting for the cycle.

Honourable mention: DL Charbel Dabire, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Special teams player of the week: KR DeVonte Dedmon, Ottawa Redblacks

The William & Mary product was one of few bright spots for the Redblacks last week as he recorded 203 kick return yards on seven attempts, including a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. With a young quarterback at the helm, Ottawa needs all the help it can get when it comes to field position and, after two down years, Dedmon is starting to resemble the returner who was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2021.

Honourable mention: P John Haggerty, Toronto Argonauts

Breakout player of the week: REC Shemar Bridges, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Sunday’s loss to the Roughriders was a game to forget for Hamilton, except for the stellar performance of this newcomer from Jacksonville, Fla. Bridges caught nine passes for 113 yards and one touchdown and now sits fifth league-wide in receiving yards as a rookie. With two-time CFL all-star Tim White off to a miserable start to the year, it appears the Tiger-Cats will continue needing to lean on Bridges for the foreseeable future.

Honourable mention: RB Deonta McMahon, Toronto Argonauts

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/B.C. Lions

Offensive line of the week: B.C. Lions

The unit of Jerrell Broxton, Chris Schleuger, Tyler Packer, Sukh Chungh, and Kent Perkins was brilliant at Princess Auto Stadium, helping William Stanback and Vernon Adams Jr. combine for 107 yards along the ground and allowing zero sacks. Winnipeg’s defensive line was virtually a non-factor in the game as Adams had enough time to hit plenty of intermediate and deep routes for big gains.

Honourable mention: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Coach of the week: OC Jarious Jackson, Edmonton Elks

The Elks fell to 0-3 this past week following a close loss to the Argonauts, though the team’s offence wasn’t to blame for the defeat. McLeod Bethel-Thompson lit it up against his former squad, throwing for 342 yards and four touchdowns as he completed multiple passes to seven different receivers. When you score 36 points in a game — only three of which came off turnovers — your team should win every time.

Honourable mention: HC/OC Jason Maas, Montreal Alouettes

Best play of the week: KR DeVonte Dedmon, Ottawa Redblacks

The 28-year-old native of Williamsburg, Va. found a seam on a fourth-quarter kickoff return and exploited it, stripping a would-be tackle from Titus Wall and following Marco Dubois on a key block. Arguably the most impressive part of Dedmon’s return came near the end when he leapt over a diving Marc-Antoine Dequoy and outran Bryce Cosby to reach the end zone, scoring the first return touchdown of the 2024 CFL season.

Honourable mention: REC Alexander Hollins, B.C. Lions

Worst play of the week: CFL fines kickers

The league fined four kickers this past week for speaking out about microchipped footballs. The players expressed their concerns privately to the league office before the season started and went public only after the balls adversely affected a regular season game, which led the CFL to reverse course and permit non-microchipped footballs on kicking plays. Despite the tacet admission that it was wrong to initially ignore the kickers, the league fined them anyway. Lame.

Honourable mention: LB Joel Dublanko, Edmonton Elks

Best game of the week: Edmonton Elks at Toronto Argonauts

This was a quintessential wide-open, high-flying CFL game that was brilliant from start to finish. If you missed it, it’s probably worth going back and watching it in full — it was that good. The matchup featured 75 points, 745 yards of offence, six passing touchdowns, trick plays, and a walk-off field goal for the win. How do you beat that? The fact that so many former Argonauts made their official return to BMO Field, including quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, made the contest all the more compelling.

Honourable mention: B.C. Lions at Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Photo courtesy: Electric Umbrella/Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

Worst game of the week: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Saskatchewan Roughriders

This certainly wasn’t a bad game, though it was the weakest of a strong bunch as Bo Levi Mitchell regressed to his form from 2023 and the Riders struggled to move the football after Trevor Harris left due to a knee injury. The crowd at Mosaic Stadium also left something to be desired as fewer than 25,000 people turned up for Saskatchewan’s home opener despite the team’s strong start to the year.

Honourable mention: Ottawa Redblacks at Montreal Alouettes