Heard that term enough tonight? The Lions lived it for most of the night against the Als and if it wasn’t their inability to gain meaningful yards off first down, it was penalties backing them up.
The Alouettes just lined up across the line of scrimmage and blitzed regularly and the Lions seemed to have no solution to the constant barrage from the Als defence leaving them in a hole and in bad field position for much of the second half.
As a fan I felt a lot of frustration tonight and I sensed that with Travis Lulay maybe feeling a little as well. There were drives where Lulay was getting hit on every play or was instantly running for his life. There were time count issues with the loud crowd.
Andrew Harris wasn’t effective (with what little touches he had) and when that happens the Lions offence just grinds to a halt.
There was frustration with play calls, like a 3rd and 1 hand off to Harris two yards deep and a parallel run to the line of scrimmage. Frustration with a sweep to Arceneaux that went nowhere because the Als simply had it contained from the get go.
There was frustration with the fact for every good thing that happened to the Lions it would be followed with a breakdown resulting in a bad thing.
With the midway point coming next week, it’s a troublesome sign that the offence hasn’t made much progress since week one. Something has to change heading into the game against Hamilton, because the current schemes are not working and haven’t been for much of the season.
The defence picked up six turnovers on the night, but the Lions offence didn’t take enough advantage of them, often just returning the defence to the field after another 2 and out. The defence was on the field way to much in the 2nd half and could have sued for non-support.
Despite the four interceptions by the defence, Tanner Marsh started to find a groove against a defensive unit that had to be getting tired. He was aided by great field position and fantastic protection for most of the night, especially on the 57-yard pass that set up the winning field goal. When protection did breakdown, he ran with the ball, something his veteran counterpart couldn’t seem to do.
Nine times out of ten the Lions win that game tonight with the opponent backed up to their own 5-yard line and any support from the offence. Dante Marsh had good position on Deslauriers on the Hail Mary but looked to try to adjust to the ball at one point and lost a step to the much taller Als receiver. Tanner Marsh had all day to wait for his man to get downfield and his throw was perfect.
Bitten by Bruce
The Lions gave up 167 yards to their former teammate Arland Bruce III who had a spectacular game for the Als. The veteran was even savvy enough to get down on the final drive after a catch, a valuable second that gave the Als the win at the end. Former Lions Jerome Messam and Sean Whyte also stuck daggers into the hearts of their former team.
Despite all the bad things that happened there were some positives on the night. Shawn Gore had his best game in a while with two touchdowns.
Tim Brown’s special teams groove is back, it’s just too bad the cover teams disappeared in the meantime.
Part of being a fan is having an opinion and feeling the emotions of a big win or a loss. It’s that roller-coaster we all love to ride each week. But judging by some of the comments I saw tonight, a few people out there really need to learn how to be respectful fans. There is no need for personal insults and name calling. Passion and emotion is one thing, insulting someone, usually behind a keyboard is another thing completely and certainly doesn’t make you a good fan in my books.
Where Do They Go From Here?
I said after the game that it was a fitting end to the game. The Alouettes were the better team in the 2nd half and were full value for the win. The talent on the Lions is there and it’s going to have to be a group effort to right the ship. Whether that is a roster shakeup or a change in schemes, if the Lions offence doesn’t get things figured out we’re likely in for more frustration in the 2nd half of the season.
With big games coming up against Western opponents there is still time to fix it, but time is running out.
I would love to hear your comments on the game, and feel free to hit me up on Twitter @BCLionsDen to talk Lions football.