Hard to rip the boys too much for losing to the best team in the east by just five points. But I will anyway. Mistakes, some by veterans, definitely cost us the game and will keep dogging us until the they find the discipline they played with in the second half of the 2012 season and for much of the four-game winning streak.
It started with a poor decision by Tim Brown to run a kick out of our end zone, instead getting tackled on the five yard line. Don't know it that was a decision by the coaches, but I doubt it. No matte how many times the American guys get told not to, they still do it anyway. Dumb. Brown's been here long enough to know when to give up the single. That topic has been discussed in every special teams meeting since he got here, so no excuse. Sometimes I think some of these guys just aren't very bright, despite being so-called "college grads". Paul McCallum pulled a makeable field goal attempt from just outside the fourty, something he seldom does. That cost us three points. We roughed their returner out of bounds and took another one later in the game.. So you'd have to say they regressed a bit from the previous week against Winterpeg.They get a D, for dumb penalties.
Our defence and special teams took a pair avoidable roughing penalties, two of which extended drives after we had stopped the Montreal offense. One was a roughing the kicker penalty in the second quarter that looked to me like an acting job by Sean Whyte. What part of going to the block point, not the kicker, do these guys not understand? Another was Khalif Mitchell, just back from suspension and apparently it didn't teach him anything. The Lions took 9 penalties for 100 yards, compared to the Als measly 3 for 25.You can't do that kind of stuff and expect to win against a very good football team, in their own building. It doesn't get any easier next week, with a healthy Jamel Richardson returning to the active roster. I give them a C, for couldn't contain Cavillo.
The good news was that the BC defence forced at least five or six two-and-outs and at least one turnover. But for a defence that must have studied and practiced against Whitaker all week, and keyed on him during the game, they didn't do much of a job of containing him. Adam Bighill, who has played so well up to last Friday, seemed to be anywhere but the middle on runs and those dump plays to the back. In a more conventional 4-3 system the Mike linebacker would have bee waiting on Whitaker all day. I thought only Banks stood out in the secondary and the front seven were unable to generate any kind of sustained pressure on Cavillo, a huge key to limiting the fourty year-old iconic QB. Kudos to the Als O line for keeping AC vertical.
On successive plays in the middle of the fourth quarter on the Montreal 35, Dean Valli and Jon Hameister Reis came out of their stances early, which ultimately took us out of field goal range. That probably happened because of the crowd noise, but for whatever reason those mistakes cost us at least another three points. If its that loud, go to silent count for cryin' out loud! And the Lions pass protection was deficient for most of the game, which left last year's MOP running for his life for much of the evening.The hoggies failed us on the last play, when we had a chance to win the thing, despite all the mistakes. Better protection and Lulay leads that ball ahead of Bruce rather than short and behind him. Had we made those two field goals earlier in the game we would have been able to approach that final drive differently, running the ball more and staying in bounds to chew the clock rather than pass on almost every down. It didn't help that Geroy went down late in the first half and Ernest Jackson, who's looked so good for three weeks now, was invisible with only one catch for five yards. Paris Jackson came in for Simon and was equally absent with just one catch. I give the offence a C+ minus and the offensive line a D, for dreadful.
It took 58 minutes for Chapedelaine to call a draw play, or a screen, despite all the pressure his QB was under. His play calling is sometimes way too conservative for my liking. He only went to Harris 14 times and only 8 rushes. Why? This is the guy with the best rushing average in the league! The Lions went to seven man front in the second quarter and ripped off play after play, eating up about seven minutes and scoring the major on a Lulay pass to Bruce in the back of the endzone.. And then Chappy went away from it for virtually the rest of the game. Why? If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I give Chapesdelaine a D for failing to protect Lulay with scheme.
The good news is that we get another crack at them this Saturday under the dome. I'd like to have a chat with whoever thought playing Montreal at 1:00 PM was a good idea. Why can't we schedule eastern teams in here at 7:00 PM, which has historically been a huge advantage for us?
If the Lion want to get to 7 and 3 they'd better play a much cleaner game in all three phases. They can thank the Stamps for winning a closed one and preserving their one game lead in the west.
Dooger in Surrey :cowboy: