Stamps Stomp Lions in Week Eighteen

What an embarrassment.

One team didn't show up in McMahon Stadium last Friday and one did. One team was highly motivated, ready to play and the other didn't show signs of life or competitiveness until the game was all but lost. Whether it was the cold, or the mean-nothing game, or whatever, the BC Lions were brutal against their likely opponent in then western final next month in BC Place Stadium. Everything bad that could have happened did (the Reilly fumble on second pass attempt, a porous offensive line that gave up eight sacks, poor tackling, poor punting and lack of effort by the secondary) and some players coasted through the first 15 minutes like they didn't give a crap.

The only good things to report from this game were the two TD drives Reilly put together late in the first half and Tim Brown's TD punt return. I thought Adm Bighill looked very strong, a bright light in an under-achieving defence. For a team who showed good ball security for most of this season the Lions' fumbles by Taylor on a long pass and Phillips after an interception made a bad situation worse. Maybe next time we play the Stamps the team will focus on all three quarterbacks, since each one scored a TD on us. The Stamps are a better team when they use both Kevin Glenn and Drew Tate.

I think a lot of Lion players wee embarrassed last Friday, so I think we'll see a more highly motivated effort this week against the green Riders. I here Lulay will start if he's able to do so. Bruce is talking like he'll be there too. Don't know whether Marco Ianuzzi will play again this year. And does anybody know how healthy Eric Taylor is? I hope Angus Reid is available against Regina. And the Lions need an answer up front to slow down former Alouette Anwar Stewart, who was dominant for the Stamps at rush end.

My advice to coach Benevides: Show the first twenty minutes of the game tape to the guys on the first day back this week. That is what they look play when they show up for a game without any intensity, focus or desire to win. Then burn it!

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

"advice to coach Benevides: Show the first twenty minutes of the game tape to the guys on the first day back this week. That is what they look play when they show up for a game without any intensity, focus or desire to win. Then burn it!"

I'm all for that. On Friday Nov 02 we'll know with what kind of intensity SSK will be bringing onto the field on Saturday. An Edmonton win on Friday against Calgary and SSK will at least have to tie the Lions to hold onto 3rd spot in the west. Edmonton of course will be playing for their playoff lives on Friday against Calgary so rest assured they will throw everything they've got against Calgary. If they lose against Calgary then Edmonton is out and this could change how hard SSK plays. It may be more like an exhibition game. It might depend on whether SSK cares whether they cross-over. Edmonton has won the series against SSK which is why I say that.

BC has a habit of rebounding after losses and Saskatchewan hasn’t won in Vancouver in years. With a bye week upcoming, BC can afford to go all out while Saskatchewan needs to keep key players healthy to prepare for playoffs. Besides, losing to cross over to a weaker division looks attractive. In the second half of the season, BC and Calgary are the hottest teams.

Actually thirdperson if you see 2010 you'll see that SSK did beat the Lions on July 10. If anything, the Lions have something to prove after their pathetic opening quarter against the Stamps last week. For the life of me I cannot understand even today why they came out so flat.

I hate these mean-nothing games, because it's hard for the team with nothing to play for to manufacture their opponent's level of desire, or match the other team's intensity. Players naturally see such a game as something to get through without getting injured, you know, drop it down a gear and stay healthy for the playoff games next month. This makes getting them ready emotionally very difficult for the coaches. Once again this demonstrates the importance of getting off to a fast start, especially on offence, especially on the road.

After Reilly's solid game in BC place there was the possibility of a let down the next week. After all this was his first start on the road, where he had to deal with loud crowd noise, cold hands (he wore no gloves), slippery footballs, a new center, a different right guard and a new player on Calgary's defensive line to avoid: former Alouette Anwar Stewart. He looks lie a really good pickup by the Stamps. Stewart showed the Als he still has plenty left in the tank. If BC ends up playing Calgary in the western final they'll need an answer for his strong pass rush. It also seemed like the Lions didn't prepare well enough for the possibility that Drew Tate would play. And nobody thought Bo Levi Mitchell would score a TD on them. Drew Tate caused some problems for the BC defence with his mobility. Getting off to such a good start made it easier for their defence, who didn't have to worry so much about stopping Harris on the ground when they were up by 34 points.

But it wasn't just Reilly and the offence who underachieved. A routine Calgary play after a poor McCallum punt turned into a 55 yard TD when Parker couldn't make a better play at the point of attack. Marsh had a chance to stop Nik Lewis on his tip-toe down the sideline that ended up scoring the Stamps next TD. McCallum drops the ball while attempting a punt. The offensive line lacked the cohesiveness to protect Reilly with Angus Reid out for a "maintenance day". When Harris was stuffed a few times on running plays early on, Chapedelaine didn't go back to him on swing passes or screens or draws or counters, as if he were protecting him from getting hurt. And Cauchy Muamba got injured, putting J.R. Larose in at safety. BTW, does anybody know the status of his in jury?

On the other hand, Tim Brown was great on kick returns and Adam Bighill did a good job against Cornish all night. Geroy caught a nice TD in the second quarter, as did Courtnay Taylor. So there are positives to take from it.

So what did we learn last Friday? Football is a game that has to be played at full speed with maximum intensity on every snap, every series, every game. Take even a bit of the edge off that intensity and you get steam-rollered by a team that is operating at full speed. I expect the Lions to ramp up their intensity at home against the Riders this week. Like Beaglehound said, the Riders are a desperate team looking to lock up third place in the east, so don't expect them to hand it to us at home.

We'll see how much desire the Lions can muster against them. I think it's important that the Lions come out of week 19 with a win, to keep the momentum going into the western final. If they lose that game, who knows which Lions team will show up for the western final.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

Your last paragraph nailed it Dooger. :thup: If SSK goes all out and crushes the Lions, then the Lions may start playing nervous in the Western Final. They may start second guessing themselves. And should SSK meet them in the Western Final, the Roughriders will not easily forget November 03. We already know that the Stamps will come waltzing in with swagger should they meet the Lions in the Final. The Lions must win for two reasons:

  1. SSK seems to have their number this year
  2. A defeat on Nov. 03 by the Roughriders will not be something easily forgotten should they have to come back on November 18.

I just want to make a last comment regarding Reilly's play last week. I thought he played quite well other than the couple of blunders. 7 of the 24 points in the first 9 minutes were attributed to him for sure but 17 were due to a D that just didn't seem to be there. Had Reilly not fumbled we might have been looking at a score of 27-21 going into the 4th quarter. I'm also wonder if there was a timing issue with Valli in at centre in replacement of Reid. The fact is the best D in the league allowed 34 points against. The team was clearly not in the game for that first quarter of football for some inexplicable reason.

They had better play all out this Saturday to erase exorcise the demon they allowed within.

BC fans should worry least since BC is the healthiest team heading into playoffs. For Saskatchewan to crossover to the east, Saskatchewan must lose and Edmonton win. Beating BC gains little except for satisfaction from ending a losing streak. Saskatchewan 2 wins over BC were in Regina. But Saskatchewan is a bad road team in a slump and is 1-6 at Vancouver in previous trips. If BC defeats Saskatchewan, BC might repeat 2011 success by winning all tie-breaking series against western opponents.

Did Dooger say that? I'm wondering if he meant West cause if they want to play in the East then they will try to hand it to us provided Edmonton wins on Friday.

You're right Beaglehound. I meant to say Edmonton. Gotta check those standings more carefully next time.

If we beat Saskatchewan and Edmonton beats Calgary then the Riders and Eskimos will both have eight wins. In that scenario Edmonton would finish in third place in the west, because they've beaten Saskatchewan twice this year: 28-20 on August 10th and 37-20 on October 13th. The Eskimos hope the Argos can beat Hamilton at home on November second, leaving them with seven wins and a berth in the eastern semifinal. I envy Hamilton, Edmonton and Saskatchewan, for having meaningful games to play this week while the Lions play another mean-nothing game on Saturday. I worry about the guys being able to match Saskatchewan's intensity and getting important starters hurt.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

Desperate Hamilton and Edmonton probably envy all teams that already qualified for playoffs and wish they can relax too. After Calgary clinched 2nd place and Saskatchewan qualified for playoffs, they lacked meaningful games too. Saskatchewan's losing streak suggests a lack of intensity.