Improved probability of BC crossing over in playoffs. BC just needs to finish ahead of Winnipeg and one of top 3 eastern teams. Odds are in BC favor because BC faces Ottawa in Vancouver, either Hamilton or Toronto must lose, Winnipeg goes to Calgary and Saskatchewan meets Montreal.
Agree with you Thirdperson though i do not see the Lions taking out both eastern teams in the playoffs should the Lions cross over. It could happen but all 3 eastern teams have moved things up a notch or two. They're playing much better now than in the first half of the season. My concern is the injuries the Lions have suffered:
And now Yell! These are all great players. Will these guys [any of them] be ready to play should the Lions limp into the playoffs? Hard to say. Without at least one of the first 4 names on the list above the Lions' running game is weak. Without a running game Glenn has to rely on passing. His passing can be suspect sometimes and he seems to get picked off at the worst of times.
I don't see the Lions going very deep into the playoffs this year but of course key players on the other teams could suffer some unfortunate injuries too. This could level the playing field somewhat.
I have never seen a season like this where we keep losing players every week it seems. The schedule may look easy but in fact the Eastern teams are starting to beat all the Western teams. That crossover is becoming a no guarentee. With how the Lions offence have been playing all season, and the fustration with injuries. They have to find something in the running game. Who would have thought you would lose not one running back but three in Harris,Logan and Brown.
My sentiments exactly!
A very appropriate post Beag.
Clearly the musical chairs on the left side of the offensive line, questionable quarterbacking the last few weeks and the loss of key playmakers (Taylor, Burnham, Harris, Logan and Brown) have made the BC offense pretty one dimensional and forced some players who aren't used to being big weapons (Ianuzzi, Gore, Haidara, Antolin) to step up into roles they perhaps aren't comfortable with. Hard to blame Keola for the massive wall of black, white and yellow humanity he was asked to run through on the right side of the Lions O line in Hamilton. Not sure why they hammered away at the same unproductive inside run play to the right in Hamilton six or seven times, when it clearly hasn't been working for them all year. It seems Kahari Jones is getting the same "too conservative" label pined on hm as Chapesdelaine had before him.
In Calgary, Kevin Glenn threw one to a guy in a red shirt that killed our final drive when we had a chance to win. On the Lions' final drive in Hamilton Glenn failed to throw it away on first down, losing two yards and burning up time on the clock. Then he throws it well behind his receiver on second down. Finally he throws it behind Haidara on third down and the young Canadian receiver couldn't haul it in. Missed opportunities two weeks in a row with most of the other western teams losing both weeks. When it comes down tom the last possession, our quarterback has to be the best player on the field, and Kevin Glenn has failed to be that guy two weeks in a row.
For a fourteen-year vet Kevin Glenn has been pretty disappointing this year. His limited mobility and less than stellar accuracy has killed drives at bad times, arguably costing us three wins. Since Lulay is done for this year and possibly forever, an upgrade in size, accuracy and mobility at QB should be a major focus of attention for the Lions in the off-season. I'm not sure the fans or I could stand another year of Glenn behind center.
While admittedly he's had limited opportunities and has had the same limitations Glenn had due to offensive injuries, I don't see John Beck as having any upside except as a third and short guy. He throws off his back foot and hasn't shown much arm strength. I'd like to see the Leos give more reps to Travis Partridge and get him in a game or two, even if its just one possession or to mop up.
Kudos to the defense, especially Elimimian, Bighill, Parks, Smith and Eric Taylor, who have played their hearts out all year. I think we can still get better at our pass rush to help our cover guys. We seem to send the house a lot and get burned by quick passes or tosses to the backs. Sometimes I think we'd do better just blitzing one guy up the A gap, keep the linebackers out of the wash long enough to read the plays and make opposition QBs hold onto the ball for too long. I haven't found Mitchell to be all that effective this year. He isn't taking on the double team near as often as Eric Taylor yet doesn't have many stats and isn't very noticable. Perhaps there's a reason Toronto cut him. I think Westerman or that new guy wearing number 90 is at least as effective at pushing the pocket and holding his ground on run plays as Khalif is. Despite those criticisms you have to hand it to them for keeping the opponents out of our end zone two weeks in a row.
With Logan and Brown out the Leos kick return teams have been largely innefective lately. Their punt coverage definitely needs improvement and somehow Paul MacCallum managed to pull two makeable fields goal attempts wide. The first guy down on punt cover has to do a better job of slowing the returner or turning him towards the pursuit. That Banks kid is about as fast a guy I've seen in the CFL since Rocket Ishmail in Toronto.
Unless the Leos develop a run game, avoid mistakes at critical times, finish games better and cover punts more effectively, I'm not sure they'll win another game in 2014. Well, maybe Ottawa. And with the eastern teams playing better in the second half of the season, a crossover berth in the Eastern semi Final seems less certain than it appeared a month ago.
Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:
Well stated dooger. Regarding the crossover? Well I'm not counting the LIons out of it yet but the way things are going it is going to take two things:
- We know Ottawa is out of it but the wheels just might fall off one of the other eastern teams.
2, Winnipeg keeps tanking.
I liked your comments regarding Glenn. I was talking to someone yesterday and he made an interesting comment: Glenn is good enough to be good. The thing is, while he's racked up some good stats over his career you summed it up quite well…
"When it comes down to the last possession, our quarterback has to be the best player on the field, and Kevin Glenn has failed to be that guy two weeks in a row."
Also your point, "Missed opportunities two weeks in a row with most of the other western teams losing both weeks." is spot on! The Lions cannot operate with the mindset, "As long as the other western teams keep losing we have a chance." It may be true but it doesn't mean a whole lot.
It is too bad the Lions Offence has been gutted this year, especially given the way the D has been playing. The reality though is what it is. A team only needs to win a game by a single point and if the opposition can't score then you don't need more than a single point. The Lions D has been playing so well and keeping the opposition from scoring the majors which can finish off any team. Problem is the opposition knows that if they have a good kicker it just needs to get to within FG range to finish the Lions off. When a team has been kept out of the end zone but wins having kicked 4 or 5 FGs the Lions are in trouble.
Not sure what's happening there. It may be that he was warned not to pull off the nonsense that he was criticized for the past few seasons. Maybe Mitchell has only two buttons: On and Off. Perhaps he can only play one way and if he's muzzled he shuts down and doesn't play his heart out.
Re: the punt returns…
I've seen both Logan and Brown break a return wide open. it is exciting but those moments are few and far between. I've also seen a wet blanket thrown over these guys where they are frozen in their tracks. At one time the Lions had the luxury of rotating these guys. If one was being shut down the other would go in. Now, they're both out.
The new guy replacing Harris may do some damage as he gains confidence but he's only as good as the O line. If they can't open the holes for him to run through then he won't go far. I think this is why Cornish looks as good as he does.
Lulay wants to play again before he has any more surgery. Before he came back the last time I predicted that he would go down again. He did! And I'm not a doctor! Kudos to Travis for his tenacity but personally I believe the writing is on the wall. This is a chronic injury and chronic injuries never go away. HIs injury required surgery and I've read that because of this there is a propensity for the shoulder to get injured again and again. Travis played about 57 minutes of football this season. I will be surprised if he steps out onto the field again. If he doesn't voluntarily retire I think he will be traded because by the time he returns I think the Lions will have found the QB they are in the market for. Travis will be relegated to 2nd string out of necessity. It is very unfortunate. He has great skills and a lot of heart. The mind is willing but the body is saying no. Not much he can do about that.