CFL vs. NFL
No it’s not quite the level of the Lion vs the Tuna but still thought about taking a fun compare and contrast look at the two North West football teams.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my fair share of NFL action, as my weekly football pool can attest to (I have been battling for last place for the previous two years!), but there is just something about the underdog CFL game that captures my attention more than the NFL.
Maybe it is the three downs as opposed to four, maybe it is the more frequent air attacks rather than running for short yardage, maybe it is the fact that the game play is faster in the CFL as opposed to the slow down NFL game which seems to take forever, maybe it’s the fact that the media hype machine never made it over the border.
So with that being said comparing the two leagues is kinda like comparing apples and oranges, and since I’m an apple and oranges kinda guy I give you this.
A quick look at the key individual offensive components that make up each squad.
Travis Lulay (LIONS) – After sandwiching a two month stint with the New Orleans Saints in between a pair of opportunities with the Seattle Seahawks, Travis Lulay waited his time backing up Casey Printers on the Lions bench before taking over the full time QB role.
Once given the opportunity to shine, Lulay did nothing other than lead the team in 2011 to their sixth Grey Cup and throw for over 4,800 yards completing 58.7 %, 32 TD’s and add three of his own end zone visits for good measure.
This season, through only two games in, Lulay has piloted the Leos to a 2-0 record, throwing for just over 400 yards on 60.7% completion and 3 TDs, while scampering into the end zone for two himself.
Tarvaris Jackson (SEAHAWKS) – There is a good chance that Matt Flynn‘s name will be slotted in here when the NFL season comes around later this year, but for now we will use Jackson as he was the starter for the Seahawks last year.
Starting 14 out of 15 games in his first season in Seattle after coming over from Minnesota, Tarvaris Jackson managed to post the best numbers of his career with just a tad over 3000 yards and 14 TDs. With a 7-9 record, the ‘Hawks missed out on the playoffs, finishing third in the NFC.
Unfortunately for Jackson, the chances of returning as the starting pivot do not look promising with the signing of Flynn.
WINNER – Lulay
Andrew Harris (LIONS) – In what amounted to his first full season with the Lions last year, Andrew Harris‘ rushing totals averaged only 4.8 yards per carry and finished the season with one trip to the house.
Totaling 458 yards on 96 carries, Harris was the main RB for the Lions during 2011. In the air, Harris brought in 30 receptions for almost 400 yards and 7 touchdowns.
In the two games this season is on pace to double many of his totals from a year ago.
Marshawn Lynch (SEAHAWKS) – Proof that the NFL is more about the ground attack, Marshawn Lynch ran for over 1,200 yards on 285 attempts totaling 12 TDs. Add to that 212 yards and one more TD as part of the passing game, Lynch proved to the the focal point of the Seahawks running game.
Lynch makes fans of Seahawks football say Shaun Alexander who????
He also has a great grill. What’s not to love?
WINNER – Lynch
Geroy Simon (LIONS) – What is there to be said about Simon that hasn’t already been?
Last year, Geroy Simon posted 84 receptions resulting in 1,350 yards and 8 TDs, teaming up with Lulay to lead the Lions on and off the field.
While we have yet to see the Superman pose in the end zone this season, fans (for benefit of those who had flash photography, were granted a special five second pose……Edge/Christian, WWE tag team anyone??) were treated to a special record shattering photo opportunity in the first game of the 2012 season as Simon became the CFL all time receiving record holder with a crowd pleasing over the shoulder catch from Lulay.
Doug Baldwin (SEAHAWKS) – The sky appears to be the limit for Baldwin, who started only one game for the ‘Hawks last year, but in the end finished on top of the stat sheet as the best receiver on the team with 788 yards and 4TDs. As a rookie, Baldwin led the team in both receiving yards and receptions.
Despite his rookie status, Baldwin had more than 300+ receiving yards on Ben Obomanu and 14 more receptions.
WINNER – Simon
Paul McCallum (LIONS) – If you wanted to define work place consistency, look no further than McCallum’s kicking numbers.
In nineteen seasons, McCallum has connected on 100% of his point after touchdown attempts and almost 80% of his field goal attempts. Last year, McCallum posted his best statistical season, hitting for 94% of his FG attempts totaling 1578 yards and just a shade over 200 points.
This season, McCallum is 7-7 on the extra point attempt and has missed only one field goal in eight tries.
Steven Hauschka (SEAHAWKS) – Hauschka has been around the block, being a member of six NFL teams since 2008 (he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings offseason roster in 2008).
Picked up off the waiver wire by the Seahawks in 2011, Steven Hauschka‘s NFL career highlight came when he tied the Seahawks record for five field goals in a single game against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.
As with McCallum, his stat line for extra points was spotless last season, going 34-34, however he managed only 25-30 field goal attempts, good enough for 83%.
WINNER – McCallum
Now I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’, by the looks of things, the Lions appear to be far better off than the Seahawks, both in the recent past, present and heading into the future.
With six Grey Cups to the Lions name, verses just a single trip to the Super Bowl for the Seahawks, combined with more impressive stats overall (minus Lynch), why is it that the majority of football fans prefer the NFL product, when the Lions clearly are the dominant football team in the North West?