lions

Flashback: Lions overrun by Calgary in CFL Western Conference final

Western Final Recap Love’ Em / Hate’ Em Style

With time to digest the game and waft in the misery of being on the outside looking in on the 100th Grey Cup, the BC Lions can formally address what went wrong on Sunday versus Calgary.

Coach Mike Benevides and the rest of the Leo’s will have time to assess the season but they will not have the chance to defend their Grey Cup Championship.

If you can bear to re-open a fresh wound, it’s time to list this week’s Love ‘Em and Hate ‘Em.

Love ‘Em

Statement Game

The lone bright spot offensively for BC was the improved play of young Wide Receiver Nick Moore.  Moore, who bounced between slot back and wide out, for most of the season, appeared to be QB Travis Lulay’s go to guy in the WCF, especially late in the contest.

Moore caught targets for 79 yards put up the Lions only offensive TD and will no doubt have a much bigger role with BC next season.

One Last Award

The fact the he lined up for 5 field goals ticks me off but I do love the fact that K Paul McCallum connected on all 5 tries.  His 17 total points earned the veteran kicker the Special Teams Player of the Week award.  McCallum finished the season leading all kickers in points and was as reliable as ever late in the season.

I’m still not certain why didn’t get the Lion’s nod for Most Outstanding Player considerations.

In my opinion he had a better year than Lulay.

Hate ‘Em

Toothless Lion

It might be tough to point fingers here but the play selection against Calgary was inadequate.  Whether it was under the direction of Coach Bene, the call of Jacques Chapdelaine, or the abilities of the players on the field, there was no deep threat or even a sense of urgency to win a football game.  It was a vanilla game-plan that was ready to keep plays short and settle for field goals instead of major scores, a trend that developed down the stretch.

Stampeders vs. Lions

Time to list this week’s Love ‘Em and Hate ‘Em.

I can only question the health of Lulay, SB’s Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce III as no-one even threatened to go far downfield, aside from one underthrown ball to Simon in the 4th quarter.   The Lions O looked helpless and hapless for most of the game.

Underused

Don’t let the yardage total or receptions fool you, RB Andrew Harris probably never broke a sweat on Sunday.  A valuable piece in the offensive system all season, Harris hardly ran the ball and was relegated to check down routes all afternoon.

Never getting the chance to make a long gain or provide a much needed spark.  During the regular season Harris’ touches were limited as the coaching staff saved him for the playoff race only to forget that he actually dressed for the game.

Question marks lingered around most of the receiving corps meaning the Canadian rusher was the most explosive weapon available but the play design kept him in check.

Dazed and Confused

No, I’m not talking about the coming of age flick from the 90’s; this was the mindset of the Lions defensive secondary all afternoon.  Aside from the pick six turned in by Korey Banks, the orange-clad DB’s were outgunned and overmatched for 60 minutes.

It started early, with Safety Cauchy Muamba blowing his coverage and allowing a 68 yard TD strike, but that wasn’t the only long ball of the game.

Byron Parker and Dante Marsh were also burned deep, again with little to no help from Muamba.  If sweeping changes are to be made on this ball club this off-season look no further than this aging unit.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock at BC Place, a fantastic season come to a close, one game short of the team’s desired goal.  A salute for fine regular season but 2012 will be remembered for a season of missed opportunities.

I can only imagine that Coach Bene is already reviewing the film and aching to start his sophomore season a CFL head coach.

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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