It's official. The Lions play for top spot next Friday!

Thanks to Hamilton unceremoniously sticking it to Calgary in a big way Sunday afternoon, it makes the re-opening at B.C. Place on September 30 all that much more thrilling for both stay at home fans and fans that will witness the game live at the stadium. The Lions will be playing Edmonton for top spot in the West! At the present time the standings are as follows:

Edmonton 14
Calgary 14
Lions 12

If the LIons win they have earned 1st spot in the West at least until Calgary meets Saskatchewan on Saturday afternoon. Though the Lions, Eks and Stamps will all have 14 points, the LIons take honors having scored more points against each of the other two teams this season. If Calgary beats Saskatchewan on Saturday the Lions will still have second spot at least for the next week while Calgary regains 1st place prestige.

The LIons are not only on a roll, they are healthy and they have gelled. They are finishing off the opposition in convincing fashion. Their receiving corps is phenomenal with the likes of Foster, Simon, Gore, Bruce and now even P. Jackson is figuring into the equation. The Lions are coming into their own and their winning ways have less to do with the opposition having a dry spell. Some would argue that the Lions are winning their games on the misfortunes of the opposition. Not true. For example the Lions destroyed Edmonton 36 to 1 in Edmonton back on August 19. Some say it is because Edmonton was hurting. Hogwash! Why do I say that? Because Edmonton went into Calgary and destroyed the Stamps 35 to 7 on September 05! Were the Stamps hurting? Is that why they lost 35-7? Is that why the Stamps were able to take it to the Esks just 4 days later and beat the Esks in Edmonton?

Several posters on the forum felt that the Lions could have and perhaps should have won at least 3 of their first 4 games of the season. I agreed totally. One of those games the Lions lost by only 2 points. Another game they lost by only 4 points. The game against Hamilton way back when was lost by 8 points but Hamilton scored very late in the game which created a bigger point spread.

Had the Lions won those 3 games they would have 18 points today! "What goes around comes around" is not always true and does not need to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. The Esks enjoyed a dynasty which started in 1978 when they won the Grey Cup. They would win 4 more consecutive Grey Cups before surrendering the throne. In fact the Esks even made a Grey Cup appearance in 1977 before their dynasty began!

It is true that a team's good fortune can turn on a dime or twisted knee, broken ribs, or a concussion that so many of our QBs have suffered in past years. This year is no exception. We need only look at the game between Toronto and Winnipeg over the weekend. Pierce was taken out of the game followed by his backup Brink. Jyles for Toronto was also taken out of the game. Calvillo the other evening was taken out of the game. Take the starting QB out and you have chance of regaining momentum and even winning the game if you're the weaker team.

There are no guarantees that the roster you start with at the beginning of the game is the one you'll finish with at the end or at the end of the season. Injuries take their toll. But this does not mean that any one team is due. It does not mean that there is an allotted number of injuries for each team. Hopefully, Lulay will stay healthy. Hopefully key positions will not become suspect due to injury.

Rather than take the view that the Lions have been winning because of the misfortunes of other teams I choose to believe that their 5 game win streak is because they are a much improved and much better team than some have given them credit for. The Lions did not beat Saskatchewan because the Roughies are a hurting team or a weaker team. After all Saskatchewan demolished Winnipeg, a hugely improved team. And Saskatchewan demolished them in back to back outings. The Roughies came into this past week's game against B.C. on a 3 game winning streak.

I'll be going to the game on Friday September 30 fully expecting the Lions to take it to the Eskies. The Eskies are not as good as the Lions. The Lions will not be taking the Esks lightly. They know Ricky Ray can kill the LIons with his scrambling and running ability but the Lions are superior in all categories. I believe we'll be in top spot when the game is over.

I have to admit this is the first time in Chapdelaines coaching career that I can finally say he is doing a good job(atta boy). Yes Lions skilled positions are looking good but the key is how the running game is causing so much to open up everywhere else. Thinking out of the box and putting the defense in positions to make easier blocks is the key. You can make an average offensive line look really good. Please don't go back to handing the ball off to a ace back and having him search for an opening. There is a time and place to do that but it should not be 90% of your running plays. Good job Chappy! Now keep it up!

Good call on playing for first place many weeks ago beaglehound---

I think this game is really simple- The Lions are playing an Edmonton team that is dangerous on the road---

Edmonton can win this game if they do what they have done vs Calgary twice and Edmonton and Sask earlier on the road--

Their Defense has to completely shut down the opposing QB- THe Edmonton defense has completely shut down the opposition and jumped out to an early lead--
With the early lead it allows Edmonton to run the ball and play field position- Then Ricky RAY can manage the game and other teams will BLITZ which is a complete NO NO vs RICKY RAY--

If you look at the games in which Edmontons defense did not dominate the opposing offense, edmonton has lost every single time in blowouts--

This game has an interesting storyline developing? We have one of the better DOME qbs in our league in RICKY RAY, who plays well in domes-- I have been calling this for years, and RICKY RAY's arm is completely FINISHED-- It is to the point where he cannot throw simple 15 yard passes, his passes are bouncing and short hopping them--

IF YOU RUSH 4 vs RAY he does not have the ARM STRENGTH TO BEAT A PRO TEAM-- Did anyone watch RAY vs the ALS or RAY vs CGY in his last 2 home starts?

RICKY RAY is looking for 1 thing, a BLITZ so he has MAN TO MAN and he can THROW one of his FLOATERS in the air---

If you look at it, its no coincidence RICKY RAY ended Jason Tuckers career by leading him into heavy hits with his FLOATERS-
RAY has injured STAMPS this year, Broke Jason barnes RIBS, broke Adarius Bowmans RIBS, gave Marcus HENRY a concussion- last week vs ALS STAMPS almost got killed again--

The truth is that RAY barely has high shoool arm strength-- Watch the last game the Lions played in EDMONTON?
They walked in there, rushed 4, RAY panicks, has no arm strength and CANNOT DO IT- He just cannot complete anything vs 8 in the secondary--

The 3 keys to VICTORY ARE-- 1- Offense has to SHOW UP and not get SHUT DOWN BY EDMONTON--
2- Don't blitz RAY- HE CANNOT BEAT A ZONE- HIS ARM IS SHOT-
3- Start out fast, get Edmonton behind and make RAY BEAT You, which he cannot do---
4- Take away Edmonton run game and make RAY beat us throwing--
5- Stay composed and calm and dont get distracted by the DOME

One thing to note is Edmonton after bad losses comes out with their best GAMES-- They surprise and shut down the opposing team with their defense--

Taking away

The Lions zones are gelling and with the pass rush are very effective----

If we play the same defensive plan vs SASK, in which we take away the middle and make the QB throw the wide side of the field this will work-- Ricky RAY cannot even make that throw that Durant was making to the widest part of the field---

This is excellent vs RAY- Its clear that RAY cannot fit balls into tight areas or zones- He is a SPOT THROWER meaning he throws to an open area- Those open areas are not there vs our ZONE--

If we BLITZ Him, he is automatically looking at FRED STAMPS DEEP-- And even then his deep ball is a FLOATER often underthrown and STAMPS making an acrobatic catch--

Last week vs MONTREAL who rushed 4 and seemed to have a good pass rush off the edge RAY simply was toast- He looked like his usual self vs ZONE- He had no answers--

TO ME the LIONS defense is a COMPLETE PHYSICAL mismatch vs RAY- We are faster than their O LINE and should be able to get pressure on RAY--
RAY was too slow vs MTL- MTL is a good pass rush and at least disrputs the pocket, when you do that vs RAY he will crumble--

This game is all about our D LINE-- If we can get any pressure like we have in the last 5 weeks its a WIN for us--

The only issue is if the Edmonton O line dominates our D LINE which allows RAY To run the ball and gives him time to throw his slow floaters--

The Edmonton D by dominating the opposition gives the Edmonton O confidence also, the 2 run hand in hand-- In the games where Edmonton Defense has not dominated a game they are going to LOSE the game--
Once the Defense does not dominate RICKY RAY is exposed-- RAY is very soft, he will crumble easily, you can take the game from RAY like MTL did and he will seem content to allow you to do it--

It would be disturbing to somehow let RAY move the ball vs us-- Truth be told the way the Lions are playing defense I would be surprised if RAY could do anything vs our Defense-

If we come in prepared with the right game plan, RAY cannot beat us--

Gridiron~

Your pre-game analysis is thorough and great as always. Thanks for taking the time to go into such detail. I was talking to an Edmonton fan who knows his Eskies. He believes that the Eks' O Line is mediocre and it proved it when the Esks went on their losing streak. He felt that the reason Ray was so successful earlier in the season is because his premier receivers like Stamps were on the field and could get open very quickly allowing Ray to get rid of the ball quickly. If Ray cannot unload quickly he gets into trouble. In other words the Esk O Line did not have to hold the opposition D Line for very long. Stamps is back so that is a big help. I cannot remember who the other healthy receiving threats are.

One thing that worries me about Ricky Ray is his uncanny ability to run against the Lions. Yep....I'm talking about Ray's owning rushing success. In one of last year's meetings [mid Oct] against the Esks, Ray managed rushed for 135 yards! That is rare!

The Lions completely shut down the Esks August 19 but then of course Fred Stamps was out of the line up I believe. The Lions O Line did dominate the Esks' D Line scoring 36 points against them. Fred Stamps or no Fred Stamps we just need to see a repeat of what the Lions did the Esks back on August 19!

Yeah for some reason Ray runs well against us. I never know why since he's not exactly the fastest guy, but he just seems so slippery out there and uses that hook slide to perfection.

On paper, BC is superior in offense, defense, special teams, turnovers and penalties. Key mismatch in #2 most QB sacks versus Edmonton most sacks allowed.

Great point Thirdperson! I'll take your word for it. I've been watching the Lions sack committee creep up on Winnipeg. So they've surpassed them now have they? You gotta love it!

I can't wait for the game this Friday! Even though the roof will likely be closed because they are predicting rain on Friday I've heard that management will allow it to rain inside even with the roof closed to create that outdoors feeling. ROTF Anyone catch the news that the new roof might be leaking? lol That's what you get when you pay only $600 million for a new roof!

Lets see, the only thing he has really changed is having our offence throw the ball in the area of the first down marker on 2nd down. Gone are the 3 yard passes when we need 10. This earns the man credit???

My daughter (who is eight) can spot where we need to get to for a first down.

The credit should go to bringing in Bruce and to Robertson getting hurt. A Defence playing like world-beaters doesn't hurt either.

Chap was taking tons of heat and I was definitely not shy in criticizing his playcalling, but he does deserve some credit. The Lions have ran the ball for over 100 yards for the past 5 games. They are doing it by committee too. The biggest difference is that Chap is not just calling the usual off tackle run play and then giving up when it gets stuffed. We are seeing toss sweeps, shovel passes and just about everything. We regularly use 2 back sets. Robertons, Harris, Brown and even Lee are all getting touches. We are even seeing them bringing in guys on the ends for more protection every now and then. Before it would always be 5 receiver set on 2nd and long and no blitz recognition. The game against Calgary was a great game for Chap and Lulay. Even though stats wise, it wasn't anything great, but they finally had plays to counter the blitz. Calgary was blitzing like crazy, but it didn't matter because they couldn't get to Lulay. This is all playcalling and Lulay recognizing when the blitz is coming. If they did this earlier, guys like Dickenson and Pierce might have lasted longer here.

The addition of Bruce has opened up Simon and relieved some pressure off Gore. The defense has been lights out. Right now the Lions are playing well at all facets of the game. I do want to see some improvement on special teams coverage. It wasn't great last game.

What I find it funny Beagle, Is that a couple of weeks ago you started a thread that if everything falls into place the Lions could be fighting for first . But anyways I remember Nina calling you an idiot and Tyrone backing each other up. Seems like you added more mud to their faces, now we hear nothing from them this week.

Yep....Karma can be a real bummer! rotflmho

The key this Friday is for the Lions to finish off Edmonton and then on Saturday to see Calgary lose against Saskatchewan. That will set up another fabulous game at B.C. Place next week when the Lions play Calgary. THAT will be the mother of all CFL games in my opinion because it means the Lions could take sole possession of 1st place based on points in the standings. [with an Edmonton loss against Saskatchewan next week of course]

But we all know what can happen in the CFL. Who would have thunk Toronto would take it to Winnipeg this past weekend? Should the Lions lose their game this Friday, and Saskatchewan beat Calgary on Saturday, our Lions would remain in third place but would have Saskatchewan chomping at their heels.

It's the best 2 out of three; the up coming game this Friday - Oct. 29th under the Dome - and once more in the playoffs. >> I could be wrong, but the winner could/may have a chance to stop Montreal; the defending champion in the 2011 Grey Cup.

Your right Beagle that anything can happen in the Cfl If your not ready to play or taking any team lightly. Mind you I hope we never end up in Winnipeg situation were they have a healthy 3rd string QB going into their next game.
The good thing about this streak Beagle is even if the Lions do lose they still have the tie breaker against To,Sask, and Edmonton. Hopefully in the end the Lions will host a playoff game.

"Hopefully in the end the Lions will host a playoff game." ~by lions40

Yes indeed Lions40. I'm so hoping for that. Hosting the Western Final would be delicious but hosting a western semi-final would be a tasty treat too.

First things first however. If the Lions are firing on all cylinders this Friday evening, like they have been these past 5 games they will demolish Edmonton and then we see a showdown against Calgary the following week.

A new revamped stadium. A revitalized Lions team playing for 1st place in the West. More comfortable seating. Now if Sarah McLachlan when she sings our national anthem sings it like it is suppose to be sung and doesn't add her personal interpretation to it [like some songbirds have tried and end up killing the song] I'll be very happy. Hope you'll make the game Lions40 :slight_smile:

Unfortuate for me I'll be working all the Lions home games until the playoffs Beagle . Hope you and your wife enjoy the game though. I'll be taping the game as a consolation. As long as nobody tell me the score..lol

...I think your team has an excellent chance to host a playoff game at this point...congrats in advance....

Thanks RedandWhite. Let's hope so.

Lions40~ If you're taping the game be sure NOT TO look at the Lions forum here until you've seen the game or you will have ruined the suspense. My wife and I are very much looking forward to the game. This evening we had a special surprise. We had business to attend to in downtown Vancouver and who did we bump into? Aaron Hunt and Ryan Philips! What a great couple of guys to chat with.

Yes totally agree but what really helped the Lions offense was arrival of Arland Bruce. Not only do you have a Veteran receiver to help out the young bucks but it also is another threat on the field besides Geroy.

why does the BC offense still use sideline signals? they have direct communication with the QB's now.