Newsflash: This Lions team is GOOD
They’re currently sitting in first place in the West Division, tied in points with Edmonton and Calgary but leading thanks to their strong division record.
Their next two games are against Saskatchewan and Hamilton, two weaker teams that BC “should” win if they continue to play well. After that they host Edmonton and Montreal, and can count on a little help from their fans at the new and improved BC Place.
Should they manage to get to the Grey Cup, they will have a fantastic home field advantage.
Having said that, the Lions aren’t there yet, and they need to be ready for an important game against Saskatchewan this week.
Key to the Game #1 – Stay focused.
Right now the Lions biggest opponents are themselves. If they play smart football there is no reason why they should not beat the Roughriders and earn a very valuable two points. However, the Roughriders will be smarting from their embarassing last loss to the Lions, so there won’t be another 42-5 massacre.
The Lions should generally control the game, so they need to be efficient when they’re in the red zone. Despite McCallum’s heroics and general brilliance, anything inside the 20 needs to turn into seven points, not three. Also, when Saskatchewan gets close to the Lions red zone, the defense needs to shut them down and force them to kick field goals.
Key to the Game #2 – Turnovers.
Typically, the team that controls the clock and executes better will win football games. This sounds simple until you realize that several minutes of possession and seventy yards of offense can be totally reversed with a fumble or interception that goes the other way. Upsets happen when good teams make stupid mistakes against weaker opponents. If the Lions win the turnover battle, it is difficult to imagine them losing this game.
Key to the Game #3 – Quarterback Battle
Travis Lulay is clearly the stronger of the two quarterbacks this season, but Durant is no slouch.
Lulay doesn’t have to be brilliant to put points on the board, but he has to be steady and not make many mistakes. Durant is leading the league in interceptions this year, if the Lions defence can get to him (and they will) than all Lulay needs to do is eat up the clock and keep the Lions moving down the field.
However, if Durant is steady and Lulay makes a few bad choices, the Lions could be staring an ugly loss in the face.
Key to the Game #4 – Momentum
This isn’t so much a key to the game as it is a key to the season. The Lions are riding an incredible streak right now, to have a let down against Saskatchewan would give their next three opponents reason to believe the Lions are coming down.
Conversely, a blowout against Saskatchewan will reinforce the feeling that the Lions are just having one of those years when everything goes right (after that ugly start of course) and teams are more likely to feel intimidated.
The win streak has been great, but now the Lions have to keep it going or else they risk losing momentum at the worst possible time. They should keep that in mind of Sunday and play with the appropriate sense of urgency.
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In the Community
The BC Lions Football Club is pleased to announce that its recently announced “Be More Than a Bystander” project, focused on breaking the silence on violence against women is now going to benefit from the support of three new partners. To read more about this exciting announcement, check out the following link:
Sunday October 16th, 4PM
BC Lions vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders