It’s that time of year. The CFL teams are vying for position in the playoffs and people are starting to think which player has made the biggest impact. Who will be the 2018 CFL MOP?
During ‘awards season’ the CFL hands out a number of player honours including, Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, Most Outstanding Rookie, and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.
In the not too distant future the CFL will announce each team’s nominees in each of these categories as voted for by CFL head coaches and football reporters of Canada.
Since the turn of the century the overall Most Outstanding Player award has been won by a quarterback on 14 of the 18 occasions the award has been given.
There are arguments that can be made for receivers, like Brandon Banks, for defensive players like Adam Bighill and running backs like William Powell. None have been truly dominant though, which makes you think it could go to a QB once again.
So with our focus on the ‘main’ player award, and because it tends to be a QB, here are the three current leading quarterback candidates:
Mike Reilly – QB Edmonton
Reilly looked like he would repeat as the MOP from last year, [ Reilly 2017 MOP ], without any real challenge until a few weeks ago. Even with a 2 week slump in form, which he broke out of last week, he still leads the league with 4,974 passing yards is tied for first with 12 rushing touchdowns, is first with 40 total touchdowns and is first among QBs with 519 rushing yards.
The Esks are 8-8 and could be eliminated from the playoffs which would be a huge blow to Reilly’s chances.
Jeremiah Masoli – QB Hamilton
This has been Masoli’s first full season as the starting quarterback for the Ti-Cats. He has taken them into the playoffs and they are competing with Ottawa for the East Division title. Statistically Masoli is second in passing yards, third in touchdown passes, and second in rushing yards. More importantly he also leads the league in passer rating (101.8) and yards per attempt (9.4).
The home and home series against Ottawa could define both Hamilton’s playoff picture and Masoli’s final standing when it comes to individual awards.
Bo Levi Mitchell – QB Calgary
Two years after 15 win season and taking home the MOP trophy, the Stampeders remain competitive. Mitchell is a large part of the reason why. He leads the league with 31 touchdowns thrown but is just fourth in the league with 4,136 yards passing.
The Stamps have been hit by a rash of injuries at the wide receiver position. Now there are question marks over how quickly Mitchell and a re-structured group can get together and provide the less dominant than usual Stamps with some impetus.
All images originally from cfl.ca