CFL: Quarterback Index – Stage is set for the best

The CFL.ca Quarterback Index is a weekly power ranking of quarterbacks across the CFL. The ranking reflects recent performance, historical value, statistical indicators, team success and overall on-field evaluation.

TORONTO — The two top quarterbacks in the CFL are swapping places on a weekly basis in the CFL.ca Quarterback Index.

Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack, but there’s no real consensus on a No. 1 pivot in the three-down game.

This week, Mitchell has moved back in front after a season-high 452-yard effort, which saw his Stampeders move to 8-1 at the halfway point of the season.

Reilly, meanwhile, added three more touchdowns to his impressive total in 2018, maintaining his weekly average and remaining on pace for 54 combined majors on the season.

Not to be outdone, Jeremiah Masoli had his first 400-yard game of the year in a win over the Eskimos, as he continues to try and solidify himself as a top-three pivot in the game.

There are plenty of questions for Mark’s Labour Day Weekend. More in this week’s QB Index:

BO LEVI MITCHELL CGY
THIS WEEK: 1 | LAST WEEK: 2

With half the season in the books, Bo Levi Mitchell is on pace to throw for an astounding 40 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, with a realistic chance at 5,000 yards for the second time in his career. Already the league’s all-time winning percentage leader among quarterbacks, Mitchell is currently playing the best football of his life.

MIKE REILLY EDM
THIS WEEK: 2 | LAST WEEK: 1

Despite his offence being shut out in three of four quarters in a loss to Hamilton, Mike Reilly threw three touchdown passes and remains on pace for 54 total majors in the season. The reigning Most Outstanding Player is averaging a league-best 9.4 yards per attempt and could even threaten for 6,000 passing yards, setting up an exciting showdown with Bo Levi Mitchell.

JEREMIAH MASOLI HAM
THIS WEEK: 3 | LAST WEEK: 3

Though inconsistent throughout much of the evening, Jeremiah Masoli made big plays in the game’s biggest moments to lead the Ticats to a come-from-behind win over Edmonton. Considering the biggest knock on Masoli has been his inability to produce late in football games, picking up the fifth game-winning drive of his career could be a turning point heading into Labour Day.

TREVOR HARRIS OTT
THIS WEEK: 4 | LAST WEEK: 4

It’s practically a coin flip between Trevor Harris and third-ranked Jeremiah Masoli. Harris has heated up of late, averaging 409.7 yards per game over his last three, with a chance to add to that against the Montreal Alouettes in Week 12. If Harris could just be a little more consistent, there would be little doubt about his status as an elite CFL quarterback.

TRAVIS LULAY BC
THIS WEEK: 5 | LAST WEEK: 6

Travis Lulay handled himself well against one of the league’s top defences, throwing for 240 yards and a touchdown without any picks in a loss to the Riders. With Emmanuel Arceneaux possibly sidelined, Lulay faces some difficult challenges in trying to keep the Lions afloat in the West — but the 34-year-old veteran has looked solid since returning to the lineup.

MATT NICHOLS WPG
THIS WEEK: 6 | LAST WEEK: 5

The roller coaster ride continues for Matt Nichols, who couldn’t get the Bombers’ offence going in a Week 11 loss to the Stamps. Nichols has yet to eclipse the 300-yard passing mark in seven games this season and, fair or not, is under the microscope going into a critical home-and-home with the Riders.

ZACH COLLAROS SSK
THIS WEEK: 7 | LAST WEEK: 7

The stat line was underwhelming, and some throws were off target, but Zach Collaros again showed promising signs in the Riders’ win over the Lions Saturday night. The 30-year-old showed no fear of attacking defences vertically with deep completions to Shaq Evans and Devon Bailey, while his agility in the pocket somewhat resembles that of the 2015 Zach.

MCLEOD BETHEL-THOMPSON TOR
THIS WEEK: 8 | LAST WEEK: 8

Despite coming off a loss, the numbers look promising for Argos’ sophomore pivot McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The 30-year-old has six touchdowns to just one interception, while his 108.0 quarterback puts him in between Bo Levi Mitchell and Mike Reilly, albeit the sample size is small. The Labour Day Classic will provide a measuring stick, as he enters hostile territory against the league’s stingiest passing defence.

ANTONIO PIPKIN MTL
THIS WEEK: 9 | LAST WEEK: 9

Antonio Pipkin has given the Montreal Alouettes something to ponder as Johnny Manziel returns to practice this week. In two starts, Pipkin has thrown for 520 yards and a touchdown, completing 63 per cent of his passes. More importantly, he’s won a game, something the Als have only accomplished one other time this season. While he won’t admit it, Head Coach Mike Sherman is in a tough spot right now.

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