Lions and Stamps Fight to get out of last Place
It was supposed to be a battle of western supremacy, but with Calgary’s Drew Tate suffering aninjury and the BC Lions in a 2 game losing skid these two teams are battling to stay out of the conference cellar.
Both squads are 2-2 and the loser of this early season match-up will find themselves alone in last place.
The winner could be tied for first.
The Lions stroll into Calgary on Saturday and try to knock the Stetson’s off the Stamps with this week’s 5 Top Shelf Keys to the game.
1.) Back on Track
After the lull in the loss to Saskatchewan, Andrew Harris had a magnificent bounce back game against Edmonton. His game is showing no holes right now as he continues to contribute in both rushing and receiving aspects of the offence.
Some would say too much of a good thing is bad, when it comes to #33 I say keep banging that drum.
Harris proves to be most consistent force in the Lions sporadic offence.
2.) The BIG test
The Lions unit that has been under fire for most of the season has been the kick / punt return coverage team.
They played well against Edmonton but Calgary rolls out, arguably, the best returner in the game in Larry Taylor. The diminutive specialist leads the CFL in return yards and already has a 125 yard TD return this season.
Look for more short punts to the sidelines in this contest. If the Lions want to keep the Stampeders at bay they must keep Taylor bottled up.
3.) Road Weary
The Lions only other road trip thus far has been the scuffle in Sasky, so while BC tries to curb their losing road record, Calgary will try to remain undefeated at McMahon Stadium.
BC bested the Stamps in Calgary last season and the Lions hope to duplicate their recent history.
4.) Red, White and New
In what is proving to be one the wisest off season moves, Calgary’s addition of Kevin Glenn in January is reaping tremendous rewards. After starting QB Drew Tate went down in week 2 Glenn has played well enough for a split in last 2 starts and should have beaten Montreal.
Glenn was acquired by Calgary in a trade with Hamilton, which sent Henry Burris to the Tiger-Cats.
5.) Turf War
The BC Lions Offense has been able to put up tremendous numbers yet they ball club finds themselves sitting at .500. Simply put, the O has travelled significant lengths without scoring, meaning that they have been losing the field position battle.
If the Leo’s hope to have any success the defence must stiffen up and return game must get some decent run-backs.
QB Travis Lulay needs to hit his targets. In 4 games he has 5 picks compared to 11 all of last season.
OL Dean Valli has been taking regular reps at Guard and may slide into the line-up for the first time this week-end.
Calgary’s non-import RB Jon Cornish will challenge Andrew Harris for Outstanding Canadian honours.
DE Keron Williams will try to keep his 4 game consecutive sack streak intact.
The Lions were wishing that all 12 Offensive starters from last year’s Grey Cup squad would simply dominate their competition, 5 weeks into the season and that same twelve have yet to line up together, handcuffing the potential of Jacques Chapdelaine’s system.
Calgary was going into the season wishing to unleash the league’s newest star in Tate, now they hope that a CFL veteran can carry them into the playoffs.
A loss against the Stampeders means the Lions will have suffered defeat against all CFL West opponents, a win may just be turning point needed to get this season back on track in what may be the biggest game of Mike Benevides young career.
Cheers, The Bartender