Keys To The Game
As the BC Lions get set for their second straight game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, here are five things to watch as they look to complete the sweep.
1. No Elimimian
He suffered the injury in the first quarter last week and did not return. Adam Bighill will once again move to the inside to replace Elimimian, Anton McKenzie will take most of the snaps at WIL linebacker with Jason Arakgi subbing in every few plays, and Korey Banks will maintain his SAM linebacker position.
It’s tough to lose a guy like Elimimian because he makes such an impact on the defense and can intimidate any opposing player. But Bighill, Mckenzie, and Banks are pretty darn good as well and I see no reason why they won’t dominate this week.
2. Securing the Football
In the first quarter last week, a couple of receivers had slippery fingers. Nick Moore dropped two easy passes and Emmanuel Arceneaux let what would have been a 90+ yard touchdown slip through his fingers. While the offense had a big game regardless, those plays could have helped put the game further out of reach.
Those drops plus the late fumble by Thomas DeMarco let Hamilton back into the game so avoiding them this week will be crucial.
3. Ryan Phillips
There has been a lot of speculation that Ryan Phillips‘ streak of 153 consecutive games played might end this week. He’s been battling a nagging groin injury and missed significant practice time early in the week.
However, Phillips made the trip to Guelph and is set to start the game at his usual halfback spot.
Up against the explosive Hamilton offense, all members of the secondary will need to be in top form and, hopefully, Phillips’ injury won’t affect his game.
4. Offensive Line
The Lions offensive line probably couldn’t have played any worse than they did against Montreal, but they certainly improved last week. They managed to hold off the Hamilton blitz and gave Travis Lulay enough time to make plays. But there is work to be done yet.
Andrew Harris is still working towards a breakout game along the ground and he needs the big boys up front to be on their game. For the past few weeks, he hasn’t had enough holes open up for him to run through. If the offensive line can create enough space, expect Harris and the rest of the offense to have another big game.
5. Prepare for Wacky Weather
While it would be tough to replicate “the monsoon game” in week 2, there is rain in the forecast in Guelph and while it likely won’t be more than a few showers, the weather can escalate very quickly.
If that happens, the Lions need to go to the ground attack and, as i mentioned earlier, secure the football.
This should be another solid match up like last week was. Playing the same team back to back is tough and I’m sure the Tiger-Cats will have revenge in their hearts in front of their “home crowd.”
The Lions need to pretty much forget about last week and focus on getting another win.