One step forward two steps back. The BC Lions were anything but super on Geroy Simon Night at BC Place Stadium, and could have used an intervention from Superman to inject life into their inept offence. Here’s how I saw the game, From the Stands.
Let’s talk about the Bombers first, because they were full value for the win. Mike O’Shea came in with a great game plan and I thought it was a brilliant move by O’Shea to go to the no-huddle offence. While it didn’t result in touchdowns, it kept the Lions defence guessing and took some of the crowd impact out of the game.
Defensively the Bombers owned the Lions offensive line and never really allowed the Lions running game to get on track. Statistically, the Lions and Bombers had similar numbers, but the three turnovers by the Bombers defence were the difference.
Yes the Bombers are for real in the West Division, and so is Drew Willy. His pocket presence was outstanding, and even when the pressure came he stood in there and delivered strikes to extend drives and get his team a position to put points on the board.
Unlike the Lions the Bombers were a disciplined club, and only took 5 penalties to the Lions 12.
After two solid outings from Glenn, Saturday’s effort was not good enough. He added another two interceptions to his total for the year, and at least one of them was all on him.
Throwing deep into double coverage is just something you don’t expect from a veteran quarterback, and on that play he had other receivers wide open. His second interception looked brutal, but we’ll assign part of the blame to Emmanuel Arceneaux who appeared to make a route mistake.
Glenn was pressured much of the night as the growing pains with a young offensive line continue. After his second interception, Mike Benevides decided to see what John Beck could do and he had zero success in relief, only lasting two series. With Lowell Ullrich reporting that Glenn left the stadium with a pronounced limp, the Lions could be faced with starting John Beck in Calgary, or bringing Lulay off the six-game early.
Whatever scenario occurs, the Lions have a lot of work to do before heading into Calgary to take on a very solid Calgary defence.
Every team in the league is dealing with the flag fest early in this CFL season, but the Lions simply have to eliminate penalties they can control. It seems like every kick return is drawing a flag and that is totally nullifying this exciting aspect of the CFL game. The way it’s going we may as well just adopt the fair-catch rule that NFL fans find so riveting.
There are too many dumb penalties; penalties after the play are simply not excusable ever and the Lions are taking at least two or three a game.
Once again the Lions defence held the Lions into the game only allowing one touchdown and holding the Bombers rushing attack with Nic Grigsby to just 19 yards. Solomon Elimimian led the way with 12 tackles.
But the Bombers were successful with the no huddle and found enough open receivers on medium routes to extend drives. Without any contributions from the offence the defence was on the field a lot, and combined with the no huddle strategy deployed by O’Shea it wouldn’t be out of line to suggest they got worn down.
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but by late in the third quarter the Lions were walking off the field, head down and defeated. I sit behind the player’s bench and there wasn’t a lot of emotion down there. Nobody seemed to be determined to turn the game around. When you get kicked around in your own house, that should make you angry, but it looked to me like the players threw in the towel.
The Lions were without Ricky Schmitt and the special teams were certainly affected by his absence. While Lirim Hajrullahu was hitting field goals from 51 yards out and driving kick-offs to the two yard line, McCallum’s shorter kicks didn’t give the cover teams the time to get downfield like Schmitt does. This was the reason Schmitt was brought in and the Lions will hope he’s not out of the lineup too long.
Tim Brown was one of the only Lions who played with fire in his belly after not dressing for the first four games, but when Schmitt returns he’ll likely find himself back on the sidelines.
The Lions did manage to do something right on Friday and that was the celebration of Simon. With messages from former and current teammates throughout the night the Lions also out on a classy half time show that included Geroy’s peewee football team. His mother and father were on hand for the coin toss, and Simon was visibly emotional following a video message from his son Gervon.
If anyone had any doubts about Simon means to the Lions, and vice-versa they were erased by this night. Simon addressed the team before the game and told the team “I may represent another colour, but I bleed orange.” Unfortunately, his talk did little to inspire the team, but you have to believe it’s only a matter of time before Simon is back with the Lions in some capacity.
Sadly just 25,000 fans came out to honour one of the best athletes to ever grace this city and that’s just another example of how summer games are a tough sell in a city where sun and outdoor activities take precedence over football. Simon deserved better.