Mission accomplished for CFL

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

The CFL tinkered with special teams rules in an attempt to boost scoring this season, and, seven weeks into 2007, it's up a rouge per game.

Games this season have averaged 47.8 points per game, an increase from 46.6 last season when blocking rules on returns contributed to terrible field position, and offered less chances to score.

So why no more of an increase? It seems offences are still at the same level as a year ago, especially when it comes to moving the ball.

If everyone stays on pace, there would be six 1,000-yard rushers this season and four 4,000-yard passers, one more each than a season ago. Eight receivers are projected to join the 1,000-yard club, the exact same as 2006.

The high-flying Saskatchewan Roughriders lead the way this season, scoring 28 points per game, while Hamilton is once again at the bottom with 18.5 points an outing, quite similar to last year when the Lions led and the Ticats were in the basement.

However, the blocking rules have had the effect the CFL was looking for in one area: TDs. There are already four return majors this season, where last year there were only three all season.

OPENING DRIVE

Every week it seems Anthony Calvillo hits some historic mark. The Alouettes QB passed Danny McManus for second in all-time completions the same night receiver Ben Cahoon set the new franchise mark for 100-yard games and caught his 50th career TD. Calvillo has long chased Toronto's Damon Allen in several categories -- including completions -- and may now get to gain some ground because Allen is on the nine-game injured list with torn toe ligaments ... In another milestone, Ricky Ray passed Tracy Ham for most pass attempts in Eskimos history in a win over Hamilton. Ray will set high standards for Edmonton pivots for decades to come ... Stampeders head coach Tom Higgins has every right to protest the CFL office about the schedule. Calgary is the only team to play two road games in less than six days with the second outing coming with the opponent on more rest. It's happened to them twice already, so, not surprisingly, the Stamps lost both back-end starts. To his credit, Higgins won't use it as an excuse ... Both Winnipeg LB Barrin Simpson and Hamilton LB Zeke (and Destroy) Moreno are on pace to break Calvin Tiggle's record of 129 defensive tackles in a season.

ENDZONE TOSS

This was sweet revenge week: Kent Austin won in Toronto against the team that fired him as offensive co-ordinator last year, while Rob Pikula kicked the game-winning field goal against the Lions, the team that traded him earlier this season ... Everything about the Blue Bombers and star running back Charles Roberts seems to go against the norm. He was warming up in his dress shoes before beating the Lions. When the team was down in the third quarter, Winnipeg stuck to its game plan and ran Roberts through the B.C. defence. Usually teams abandon the running game when in a hole. Not the Bombers. Amazingly, Roberts had his first 100-yard game this season, although he leads the league in rushing ... Kamau Peterson (don't call me Incompleterson) continues his resurgence in Edmonton, now catching three TDs in the past two games. "I don't know if it's the environment or that time in my career, but everything seems slower for me this year," Peterson said. "I'm reading coverages before they happen." It also doesn't hurt Ricky Ray is feeding him the ball on a rope.

EXTRA POINTS

Nice to see a good guy in Gilles Lezi step up and make a game-changing play the other night. The Bombers fullback couldn't finish last season with Calgary because of a mysterious kidney ailment that even stopped him from playing much in Winnipeg's training camp. He had a tough start against the Lions -- taking a penalty and missing a route -- but laid a couple of great special-teams hits before knocking the ball loose from Ian Smart, which turned out to be a key turnover.


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