BC Lions Return home to square off against Edmonton
It’s a battle of 2-1 ball clubs but the BC Lions are coming off a humbling loss and the Eskimos head to BC Place coming off a huge victory over Winnipeg. Can the Leo’s rebound with a solid game-plan or will the Klondike boys strike gold on the West Coast?
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BC has yet to put together a 60 minute game and there are holes in every phase of their game while Edmonton is the most enigmatic 2-1 team in the league.
The Lions need to shore up their tackling on D, stiffen up the coverage on specials, and find some rhythm on the offence.
Meanwhile the Esks have put up 61 points in their 2 wins but in the loss to Saskatchewan they only managed 1.
Both teams are striving for consistency in this week’s 5 Top Shelf Keys to the game.
1.) Another Week another New Receiver
It’s just one of the elements of football. But in a game with so many moving parts it’s inevitable for roster changes week to week.
Travis Lulay will have to adjust to one more receiver in his arsenal on Friday as Nick Moore gets the nod to start for the injured Kierrie Johnson. SB Shawn Gore will make a return from his hamstring injury.
While all the receivers are talented they are just different faces every game hindering the cohesion of the O.
2.) Grounded Game
Going into the game against the Riders all the talk about Andrew Harris was his chances of being a 1,000 yard rusher and a 1,000 yard receiver. He finished that affair with 8 carries and 4 catches for a total of 82 yards. Talk about letting the air of his tires.
Harris is not just a playmaker, he is a difference maker.
He has to control the football. BC must establish the run game early if they hope to win.
3.) Only Hugh
RB Hugh Charles leads the Esks in both rushing and receiving and should be the prime focus for the BC Defensive unit.
I surmise a shadow game will be employed but Coach Stubler, pitting Adam Bighill one-on-one against the Edmonton rusher. Edmonton’s greatest chance of victory rests securely on the shoulders of Charles.
4.) QB Carousel
The old saying in football is that “if you have 2 Quarterbacks you don’t have any”. This might have been the case in Edmonton as they boasted two decent pivots coming out of training camp. They elected to start Steven Jyles over Kerry Joseph but both have seen action this season already.
After a win over the Blue Bombers last week, Jyles will start against BC, but he may be on a short leash if Keron Williams and the BC front four get to him.
5.) Close the Dome
And I don’t care if it’s 48 degrees and blue skies. The Lions never opened the roof last season and Paul McCallum was better than excellent.
Lions brass had the lid lifted against Hamilton and McCallum was only successful 3 out 4 attempts.
Last week-end in Regina he sailed 2 past the uprights. Maybe missing kicks outdoors is more psychological than technical but let’s just help the guy out and close the roof. Or do you want the Field Goal unit covering wide kicks again?
- Friday is Brent Johnson night. Be there as #97 gets enshrined in the Ring of Honour
- Also in attendance is the Grey Cup. Bring in a non-perishable food item and get your picture taken with the iconic 100 year-old trophy.
- Byron Parker will return to the wide side corner.
- Local fans will recognize Eskimos #92 Justin Capicciotti. The Defensive End from Simon Fraser was selected 14th overall in this year’s draft.
The West Final rematch is poised to be a defensive as these two clubs both possess high end talent on that side of the ball. Each team also features a dual threat out the back-field.
The game’s deciding factor will be which QB has the most success through the air.
For Edmonton, Jyles will try to keep his place as the starter, Lulay will have to adjust to the different receivers around him.
Lions go into Friday night’s game hoping this losing thing is a one game aberration and will try to rectify their woes by playing a full 60 minute, balanced, game.
Accomplish this and this game should be in hand.
And if the special teams can’t make a tackle, Brent Johnson just may suit up at half time.
Cheers, The Bartender