The BC Lions were not as dominating as they were the previous week against the Montreal Alouettes. But give full credit to the Toronto Argonauts, who came to play and used turnovers and a little trickery to amass their 23 points. Here is how we saw the Lions 28-23 win, from the stands.
Knowing How to Win
It wasn’t the start to finish effort that we saw against Montreal but as the saying goes, it doesn’t matter how you win, just win. The Lions seemed to want to go to the air early and often in the first quarter and it took them a little time to get in sync. That said, the offence was moving the ball, but it was turnovers that killed early drives. The defence was more consistent, holding the Argos offence scoreless in the first half, their only points coming from the defence following an early Andrew Harris fumble. Good teams know how to win, and at times it seems this veteran team just seems to know when to step up the intensity.
Getting it Goring
Geroy Simon returned to the lineup and ended a nine game drought of going without a 100 yard game. That said how good can Shawn Gore become? His three catches for 96 yards and his gutsy touchdown were all key plays in the game. Some feel Gore wants to take another shot down south, but how great would it be to get him signed to an extension? I think we are just starting to see how good he’s going to be and it’s exciting.
As he did last year, Travis seems to be getting more confident and consistent as the season goes on. He did throw an interception, but his leadership is undeniable. He holds himself accountable and you never see Lulay lose his cool. If a teammate drops a pass, he goes right back to him. Lulay is a keeper and I hope he’s a Lion for many years to come. He has become the face of the franchise on and off the field.
Another special player is Chad Owens. While the Lions held him in check for the most part in returns, he notched another 100 yard game on the season and made the Lions secondary look foolish on his 52 yard TD in the fourth following the fake punt. He has evolved as a multi-dimensional player and has been one of the best receivers in the league this year.
Be Awake For the Fake
For the second time in three games the Lions got caught napping on a special teams play. I’m not sure if Swayze Waters made the call himself or if it was planned but the Lions simply can’t leave that type of fake uncontested. Watching it again later, not one Lions player was spying on the kicker and when Waters noticed, he almost looked surprised at how much room he had to run. That play put the Argos back in the game, as the resulting TD on that drive – another break down in coverage – brought them within five, setting up the tense final few minutes.
Some of you may have read my article in the paper about how BC Lions fans needed to step their game up. I thought for the most part the crowd was better and on the final series of the game it was really loud and it looked like there was a communication problem between Ray and one of his receivers. Obviously it was a huge moment in the game so fans were into it, but that type of noise is what it’s like on every defensive series in Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. What a huge home field advantage the Lions would have if fans did that on every down. Kudos to the Lions as well as they did make another attempt to get the BC chant going and it did at one end of the stadium. If they get a few more people involved and space them out on either side of the field, we may have success! The fans also did a great job with not making noise when the Lions had the ball.
Next week the Lions take on the Eskimos and start a huge string of games against the West. We’ll be back with our thoughts from the couch.