Headline: Stampeders romp over the Lions 41-21 in freezing Calgary
Like hurricane Sandy pummelling the eastern seaboard, the BC Lions were up against a perfect storm of their own Friday night in Calgary. Cold temperatures, sidelined stars and nothing to gain or lose with the outcome, the Lions started bad and quickly proceeded to get worse.
Only catching a glimpse of reprieve deep in the second quarter.
With backup quarterback Mike Reilly under center for the ailing Travis Lulay, Calgary used the home stadium to their advantage and roughed up BC’s pivot early and often.
With their eyes so focused on the CFL West Final, Coach Mike Benevides’ squad clearly didn’t see the Red and Black obstacles in their way.
Time to run-down the beat down in Cow Town in this week’s Love ‘Em and Hate ‘Em.
With stars like Lulay and Arland Bruce III out of the line-up, the Lions brightest star, slot back Geroy Simon, not only found his way back on the field, he found the end-zone as well. Simon, who had been sidelined with a hamstring injury for the past three weeks, connected with Reilly for only his second TD catch of the season.
Showing no effects of his injury, Simon eluded the Calgary coverage and was left all alone in the zone. The major was the 100th of his career.
Another bright spot for the Leos was the return of the return game. After hitting the late season doldrums, Specialist Tim Brown exploded back into form with picture perfect run back for a tuddy.
Brown was equally electric on kickoff returns as well. It’s nice to see him return to prominence in the return game as only he and Stu Foord are currently available to the BC coaching staff. Marco Iannuzzi is still suffering concussion symptoms and Anthony Stewart has been released.
A solid return team will be critical come playoff time.
Momentum and confidence were the only stakes on the table Friday evening, and the Stampeders walked away holding both prizes.
With the two top spots already decided in the West, these clubs are all but destined to meet in the West Final at BC Place on November 18th. If that were to happen, the Stamps now hold some serious bragging rights over the Lions.
BC looked every bit disinterested with the game after being put behind early in the contest, and the only thing concerning them was how to get back to Vancouver in one piece.
On paper the Lions Secondary is a juggernaut. Full of CFL all-stars, seasoned veterans, all-time leaders and blessed with the perfect combination of experience and speed. On the field they make bad adjustments, look to pick instead of defend, and couldn’t tackle a solid eight-grader.
Nick Lewis is a big bad dude who routinely humiliates defenders. Trying to shoulder check him or bounce him out of bonds isn’t going to work.
It’s like throwing a rock at a train, even if that train is stopped, the rock still bounces off. With Korey Banks, Ryan Phillips, and Byron Parker leading, the Lions have an embarrassment of riches at defensive back but lately it’s been their play that’s embarrassing.
O is for Olé
I praise them when they play well so I must berate them when they play poorly and this past outing was worst performance of the season for the Lions O-Line. It may not have been their guy that came free and knocked the ball out of Reilly’s hand on the second play from scrimmage.
A play which put BC behind early, forcing the offense to throw more often, but the communication was lacking and so was the blocking. Anwar Stewart had himself a career, racking up 4 sacks on Friday for Calgary against a seemingly porous line that allowed for 8 sacks total.
This unit had been on quite a roll of late so we’ll chalk this outing up as night to forget. Someone please look into G Matt Norman’s availability. I’m pretty sure he’s not writing an exam until December.
Fashion Faux Pas
The white on white on white uniform scheme may have had some merits, as a blizzard was on the forecast but hopefully the monochrome team gear experiment has been retired. The last time the Leos’ tried this was a Halloween game where they went with an all-orange ensemble.
If memory serves correct, BC was trampled in that affair too.
Winning isn’t everything but losing sucks. Every time.
In a contest where BC just wanted to remain healthy they barely got out alive. But let’s not despair, it was a week 17 shellacking last season against Hamilton that allowed BC to refocus in a Grey Cup winning year so maybe being demolished by the Stamps is just what the doctor ordered.
The Lions have one more opportunity to right the ship at home in BC Place against Saskatchewan on Saturday.
Hopefully they set their goals higher than just participating in this game.
Cheers, The Bartender