B.C. Lions vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL blog: love ‘em & hate ‘em style

Lions dream season snapped in Regina

What a wake up call!

Just when things were going swimmingly for the BC Lions, posting 3 wins in a row and apparently coasting towards the playoffs, they were thrust back into reality by a dominant Saskatchewan Roughriders team.

The Riders, who have now won 4 of their last 5, defeated the Leos 27-21 in at Mosaic Stadium. It was BC’s second loss this season in Regina.

In order for the Lions to get back on track they must first acknowledge what went wrong.

Here is this week’s Love ‘Em and Hate ‘Em.

Love ‘Em

Off the Mat

The score wasn’t really indicative of the game, the ‘Riders controlled the game from about midway of the second quarter, but I did like how BC showed a little resolve by picking themselves off the canvas with two late Touchdown drives, both to WR Marco Iannuzzi.

These receptions allowed Lions QB Travis Lulay to continue his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 24.

Also factored into the scoring drives was a successful onside kick.

While these plays were quite enough to secure the win they did show some promise.

Game Changers

The Lions receiving corps was dealt a huge blow in this game, losing both Arland Bruce III and Geroy Simon halfway through the contest.  What I liked was how the other receivers stepped their game up in an attempt to resurrect life back into the Lions Offense.

Whether it was Iannuzzi’s TD’s or Kierrie Johnson’s acrobatic grabs down the sidelines, Lions GM Wally Buono has brought in enough talent to get the Leos down the home stretch.

Hate ‘Em

Over Matched

Coverage breakdowns are a result of defenders not being on the same page or a physical mismatch, unfortunately for Lions Safety Cauchy Muamba, he was victimized by both.

Westin Dressler’s first touchdown came after the secondary didn’t react to Dressler’s route and Muamba was left covering everything deep by himself.  In a league with such large end zones it was all but impossible for Cuachy to catch up.

Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris and SB Shawn Gore were all but forgotten in the game plan

Greg Carr’s game clinching TD catch happens simply because he has 8 inches of height over the Lions Safety.

Over Run

For the first time in what seems like an eternity, week 4 to be exact, the BC Defense surrendered over 100 yards rushing.  Some could point the finger to the absence of DT Khalif Mitchell, but even when Mitchell was serving his suspension, BC never gave up the century mark.

Now Korey Sheets is an elite Running back but the Lions were just a step behind and overwhelmed.

LB Adam Bighill proved he is the best athlete in the CFL because he tracked Sheets all over the field, racking up 13 tackles and his fourth Defensive Player of the Week honour.

If the rest of the D wants to improve their chances of success they must stop acting like a worn out bra and give Bighill some more support.

Forgotten Men

With the loss of Simon and Bruce III you would think that the Offense would shift the focus to the up-coming superstars for the Orange-clad gridiron gang.

Instead RB Andrew Harris and SB Shawn Gore were all but forgotten in the game plan.  Both of these young non-imports, have proved this season that they are capable of carrying the mail for this team.

What confuses me the most is that when Harris did carry the ball he moved the chains, makes you wonder what the outcome might have been if he had more than 12 touches.

Gore didn’t even need a shower after the game, registering 2 catches for 7 yards.  Let’s hope they call his number more often if Simon and Bruce are forced out of duty. 

Well with one eventful week-end the CFL West Division becomes top heavy.  With Calgary now just one game behind BC and Saskatchewan closing in fast, this will be a fantastic sprint to the playoffs.

The Lions a may be showing a little vulnerability in their game after this defeat and a couple of close calls lately but hopefully Coach Mike Benevides can put a little more bite in his Lions as they defend their home turf next week-end against the Stampeders.

Cheers, The Bartender


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About Phil Slater

"The Bartender" - Raised on Vancouver Island where Phil played Football and Rugby in High School. Played O-Line for Bishop's University. A loyal member of the BC Lions nation since age 9. BC bred but travelled sea to sea in Canada trying to get a pulse on fan nation above the 49th. Unofficial voice of bartenders everywhere. Connect with Phil today!
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