Lions vs. Stampeders CFL blog: love ‘em & hate ‘em…

Roaring Back

BC Lions bump the losing skid by trouncing Calgary 34-8.

It’s hard to pinpoint which unit had the strongest output of 2012.  The offense rolled along swiftly, finally completing drives when needed.

The defense was solid and dominant not allowing a major score and the special teams unit, which kept slick returner Larry Taylor in check, allowed Paul McCallum to go 4 for 4 on Field Goals and 15 total points.

With the win the Lions move from the basement of the CFL to be tied for top spot. While it was a much needed W it wasn’t perfect.

Let’s reflect with this week’s Love Em and Hate Em.

Love ‘Em

JC and His Followers

Jacques Chapdelaine and his Offense played a well thought out and controlled football game in this victory.

This was the first time all season that we saw a level of consistency required to crank out W’s.  Adding to that, I loved the confidence Chapdelaine showed with some of his play calling, direct snaps, QB draws, and the beautiful double reverse to Marco Ianuzzi.

Finally, this O looked like they were having some real fun on the gridiron

Air Canada

Akeem Foster, Shawn Gore and Andrew Harris all had significant numbers through the air.  Travis Lulay connected with this trio of Canadian pass catchers for timely plays and 3 touchdowns.

Foster ended up with 5 catches for 72 and 1 TD, Harris has 5 catches for 37 yards and 2 TD’s, while Gore finished with a team high 7 catches for 67 yards.

Lin-J Shell

This cat doesn’t even have a starting spot on the defence but he already sits 5th on the team in tackles.  A superior ball hawk that also contributes on special teams, Shell just seems to find the football.  The biggest play he made against Calgary was when the Stamps called a fake punt, only to have Lin-J snuff it out causing a turnover on downs.

At the time BC held a small lead and Calgary was gaining some momentum.

Connect 4

It was 4 of 4 for number 4.  Paul McCallum was as close to perfect as you could hope for. Not just connecting on all of his FG’s, some of them were from around the 40 yard mark (39 and 45). A distance he has been struggling with.  McCallum was also perfect on PAT’s and a sailed a punt into the endzone for a single.

Travis Lulay vs. Calgary

Yes, I agree that Travis Lulay is an athlete, and that he can extend drives with his feet

Adding to the fine punting, McCallum’s best move may have been conceding the safety in the first quarter, even if it meant surrendering the lead. (Now I know he reads my columns).

Hate ‘Em

Running QB’s

Yes, I agree that Travis Lulay is an athlete, and that he can extend drives with his feet, but I still don’t see the need to call designed run plays for him on one series and then bring in Mike Reilly on 3 and short in the following series.  Consider the Lions lucky thus far, as this play hasn’t backfired yet.

Too many times we witnessed Jarious Jackson blow this seemingly simple task.  And if you’re bringing Reilly in on those situations you gotta let him launch a pass downfield or else you’re negating the deception of bringing in a different pivot.

Nik Lewis

Apparently Calgary has a very thin playbook. Basically it’s 5 run plays and everything else goes to Nik Lewis.  He has been the Stamps only offensive weapon and the Lions still couldn’t defend him.  Kevin Glenn targeted Lewis at least a dozen times and he finished with 6 receptions for 82 yards. At some times the BC secondary looked a little pedestrian against the big receiver.

The Lions finally showed the results when all three phases come together with solid performances. 

Consistency with a flair for the dramatic was witnessed by the O and the D was back to ornery old self, refusing to give up a major score.  Capping it off was the mastery of the specialists, who turned in their finest efforts to date.  This wasn’t just a win for Coach Mike Benevides, it was a statement.

Up next for BC is a trip to Toronto to face off against the co-leaders of the CFL East in the Argos.

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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