Maybe the lackluster loss to the soaring Stamps on Friday was somewhat predictable,after a rollicking romp the week before in Winnipeg.
Without its best QB, missing receivers Courtenay Taylor and Marco Ianuzzi ,and a new guy (Myddleton) at right guard, BC was unable to generate enough offense to beat a highly motivated Rider team with Corey Sheets in the lineup.BC’s inability to block up front prevented Andrew Harris from getting any traction on the ground. Time after time Demarco had no one to throw to and, unable to throw it away, took sacks that ended a lot of drives. A pair of third quarter interceptions, one that snuffed out a promising drive, left the second year pivot unable to consistently hook up with his receivers in the second half.
The biggest problem the team has had since late August is the offense, specifically the fat guys up front on the offensive line. Its the same issue the Riders had for the month of September with Sheets injured. After looking great in Winnipeg the O-line were terrible against the Riders. BC is unable to use arguably its best offensive weapon, with Harris getting stuffed every time they try to run up the middle. Without the ability to run we’re constantly in second and long situations and asking too much from a second year QB. I don’t understand why BC doesn’t use six- or seven-man fronts more often on first down, to give Harris a fighting chance to rip off four to eight years on first down. Or put two backs i9n the backfield and lead block for Harris.
Once the Lions were two scores behind, it seemed Chapedelaine totally forgot Harris existed, other than to use him as a blocker. I think that’s a huge waste of talent. If they want a sixth blocker on passing downs, than put in Lumbala. He’s 30 pounds heavier than Harris and is a better match against blitzing defenders. If the opposition is shutting down the rundown inside, why not run off tackle, flare it out, screen it, anything but that same first down run play that has gone nowhere since the last week in August. Not only was Harris not used enough, the team didn’t use its other weapons on the ground, except for one sweep by Shawn Gore. And when is BC going to use Isi Sofele?
The defense played well but as BC’s offense stumbled series after series, it put the defence on the field for too long, too often. I thought they played their hearts out, but what the hell do they have to do to slow down Weston Dressler? That guy kills us every time we play them.
It doesn’t get any easier next week, with the Lions travelling to Calgary to play the 11-3 Stampeders. The stretch run has three really tough opponents (Riders once, Stamps twice) plus the final league game against the hapless Eskimos. If the Lions want a home playoff game, they’d better quickly shore up their blocking/protection issues and get key personnel back as soon as they’re healthy.
These last four games will prove to us us whether the 2013 Lions are contenders, or pretenders.
Dooger in Surrey :cowboy: