From The Couch – Lions 20 Riders 23
Ok this wasn’t exactly from the couch it was actually from the bar, fringe benefits of being a fan rather than an unbiased journalist. Some great CFL fans were in town from Montreal, and it was great to watch the game with them and a few others. It reminds you why you love this game and the fans that follow it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had to blog about a loss, so here it goes.
Mistakes were the order of the day and the Lions were their own executioners on this day. Lulay, throwing into double coverage for a key interception, the veteran McCallum missing two field goals, and of course special teams allowing big returns again. Both defences battled hard and without those Lions mistakes the score is different. The Riders offence didn’t produce a lot, but as a team they made fewer mistakes and capitalized on the ones the Lions made.
Losing this game wasn’t the worst thing in the world. The Lions last had won 14 of their last 15 heading into Regina, so a little wakeup call might do them some good. The talk of 18-0 can be thrown out the window and we can talk about 17-1. (I kid). Seriously though, sometimes a loss can refocus the troops and I expect the Lions to be hungry next week against Edmonton.
In addition to the special teams issues the Lions offence has yet to reach peak efficiency this season. One drive they look fantastic, the next few they look ordinary or sub-par. Injuries to the offensive line have likely impacted the running game to some degree, and if you listened to the pregame show you would have heard that in addition to Jesse Newman having a setback with his knee, Dean Valli may have had similar bad luck this past week.
Kierrie Johnson’s injury no doubt hurts, and you have to feel sorry for him after it looked like he may be on his way to a breakout year. The Lions do have some options to plug in with Ernest Jackson and Nick Moore each having good training camps and on the practice roster. There wasn’t much success for either Geroy Simon or Arland Bruce on the day and the Lions must find away to get those two more involved. The Lions appear to have dodged a bullet with the early reports that Simon dislocated a finger rather than breaking one.
With a good Edmonton defence in town next week, better consistency will be needed in all areas on offence.
No hoody, no win?
Just throwing this out there; Coach Benevides wasn’t wearing his trademark grey hoody…discuss.
Is it any coincidence that Paul McCallum has missed a few field goals and shanked a few punts this year with a new long snapper and a new field goal holder?
The big play of the game was of course the missed McCallum field goal that lead to the Tristan Jackson return for a touchdown. By definition of the rule the block that sprung Jackson certainly could have been called a clip, but it was close. Even so, there were still 110 yards between Jackson and the end zone. Paul McCallum summed it up best on Twitter when he retweeted and commented on this submission:
“@Glenbuchat2: @BCLions @PaulMcCallum4 it was a blatant clip that sprung Jackson free. Should never have been a TD” If so it is what it is.
Tweets of the game
@ LadyApriil: Saskatchewan rough riders have the ugliest and scariest mascot ever… I’m pretty sure Lions eat gophers! #BCLions #Win3BC
Take that Rider fans!
@CanuckClay: Holy smokes! Was that Kierrie Johnson or Ben Johnson? What a great catch and run! @bclions #win3BC
Great question, too bad we’ll have to wait another 6-8 weeks to see more.
@geroysimon: Finger is good to go! I have 9 others that work fine. Making adjustments to win next week.
Well there you go; the silver lining in every cloud makes an appearance. I feel better already.