|The first installment of "Best in the League" on CFL.ca is all about the playmakers; a duel that features Brandon Banks and Chad Owens.|
The CFL wants to know who the league's best playmaker is.
Argos' slot-back Chad Owens and Ti-Cats' returner Brandon Banks are the nominees, and for good reason. The entertainment these two superstars provide on their own is enough to put fans in the seats on a weekly basis.
Offensively, an elite playmaker is someone who has a knack for simply making big plays. Every time they touch the football, there's a chance they can go to the house.
And that's why Brandon Banks gets my vote.
Every time Banks gets the ball, people are on the edge of their seat. They hold their breath and watch the magic unfold. More times than not, Banks will make something happen.
He had a remarkable year in 2014, proving his dominance on special-teams by returning four kicks for touchdowns. The former Washington Redskins' returner also contributed on offence, where he was on the receiving end for five scores while recording his first 500 receiving yard season in spot-duty. So far in 2015, Banks has continued right where he left off in the playoffs, running back two punts to the end-zone in only three games. He even had an electrifying kickoff return touchdown in week three, but it was nullified by a picky blocking-in-the-back foul on Bakari Grant.
Sure, Chad Owens is the better player for the impact he makes on offence. Despite being limited to only 11 games in 2014, he managed to account for 86 catches, 979 yards and seven touchdowns. Had he stayed healthy, the former Most Outstanding Player award winner was on pace for over 1,600 yards receiving with eleven touchdowns. But as phenomenal of a player as Owens is, he doesn't strike fear into opposing coaches' eyes like a certain 5'7", 153 lbs speedster does.
To put it all into perspective, Banks has 5 return touchdowns (six total) in his last seven games going back to week nineteen last year. And that doesn't include the three scores he's had called back since then. Chad Owens, meanwhile, has 5 return touchdowns in his career.