The BC Lions road woes continued Saturday as they fell by a 37-29 score to the Hamilton Tiger Cats at their temporary home in Guelph. It was another head scratching effort from the Leos, and here’s how I saw it, From the Couch. (Originally posted on TheProvince.com)
Shades of Montreal
Like their earlier loss to Montreal, the Lions offence was unable to deal with Hamilton pressure for much of the game which meant Travis Lulay took a beating. That probably had something to do with the fact that many of his throws were off on the night. It would seem that the Lions protection schemes need to be looked at because at this rate, Lulay probably won’t last the season.
Andrew Harris had 5 carries for 10 yards and 3 catches for 33 yards. That’s not efficient use of an asset and Harris was reportedly solemn and frustrated after the game. There has to be a way to get the ball in his hands more and these types of stats are happening too frequently for such a talented player. The Lions have had virtually no inside running game all season long.
But it all starts with giving Lulay time and whether its scheme or personnel, if a fix isn’t found soon the Lions will continue to sputter. People talk about Jacques Chapdelaine, but how about some adjustments from o-line coach Dan Dorazio?
On the other side of the ball the Lions defence got little pressure on Henry Burris, who was surgical when he had time to find the likes of Andy Fantuz and rookie of the year candidate Greg Ellingson.
CJ Gable was outstanding for Hamilton, making Lions tacklers look silly on multiple occasions despite the fact he started the Lions faint hope of a comeback with a 3rd quarter fumble. It was clear early the Ticats were going to test the middle of the Lions defence with Solomon Elimimian out.
The lack of pressure up front made life tough once again for the secondary, especially with the accurate Burris picking his targets. Two turnovers by the secondary resulted in zero points from the offence.
Cord Parks had a strong game for the Lions.
It would appear to me that the Lions offence is suffering from a lack of confidence at times, and I found myself wondering why the Lions continually feel the need to go deep so often. With a struggling offence wouldn’t it be better to go with higher percentage plays? Let the offence get in a rhythm, get touches and more importantly, keep our defence off the field?
The Lions kicked off to start the 2nd half and the Ticats drove the field for a major. That was followed by a Nick Moore fumble that the Ticats also converted for six and the damage was done. It was a disheartening start to the half when they trailed by nine. Moore did the lead the Lions with 159 yards receiving and made key catches to give the Lions a chance.
There seemed to be rumblings after the game that the Lions were pointing to a couple of points in the game that cost them the win. In reality there were several. The start to the 2nd half wasn’t good, but neither was their start to the game.
For the most part special teams were fine in the game. The Lions had good starting field position for most of the game. In fact they probably had an edge in that department, but couldn’t take advantage of it.
Paul McCallum is now 2-6 on field goals over 40 yards, another luxury the Lions don’t have over other teams. His punting is fine, but the Lions are leaving points on the field. Something they can’t afford given the struggling nature of the offence.
The Lions will return to action next weekend against the team that really exposed their protection issues two games ago, and one that is suddenly back in the hunt in the CFL east. I expect Montreal will try more of the same next week, and the Lions seven days to figure out a cure for what ails them.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the game tonight. Leave a comment below, or follow me on Twitter, @BCLionsDen