It’s good to be home. Last week I had the awesome experience of watching the Lions play live in Montreal. I also had the privilege of attending the Labour Day Classic in Hamilton, the last one for old Ivor Wynne Stadium. But no matter where you travel it’s always good to come home and the Lions were probably saying the same thing after a 43-10 trouncing of the Alouettes at BC Place. Here’s how it looked to me, from the stands.
Great Start, Great Consistency
With the 1 pm start time, the Lions chose to stay at a high end downtown hotel the night before the game. Perhaps they should make that a regular practice because they played their most complete game of the season. The offence moved the ball consistently all night long. The offensive line, who had a tough night in Montreal last week stepped up to provide Travis Lulay with much better protection. I thought Jon Hameister-Ries had an outstanding game at guard.
The Lions mixed things up with their backs a little as well, using more of Tim Brown, who had some nice carries. That unit also did a much better of picking up their blocks. Andrew Harris didn’t have a dominating game, but he did grind out valuable yards when called on.
On defence the Lions started a little slow, allowing the Als to move the ball on their first few possessions, but they settled in and completely shut Montreal down from the second quarter. The Lions got better pressure on Anthony Calvillo then they did a week ago, therefore the secondary was able to cover much better this week.
This was the best game Lulay has played in a while. He was really spreading the ball around, had good zip on his passes and chose wisely when choosing to keep the ball. He just seemed very confident in a four TD pass performance. It was nice to see Mike Reilly and others get some work later in the game as well.
With Geroy Simon scratched from the lineup, the Lions looked to replace him by committee and those that were enlisted did a fantastic job. In particular, Nick Moore and Ernest Jackson had great games. Many thought Moore was running out of chances with the Lions but his performance against the Als showed you why the Lions have kept him around. His third quarter touchdown was all about awareness and second effort.
Jackson continues to get better and his deep touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was a beauty. Marco Iannuzzi, Arland Bruce and Shawn Gore all had strong performances as well. If you’re a real student of the game watch Bruce run his pass routes; they’re simply clinical.
It was a much different Als performance than I saw last week in Montreal. They weren’t in sync at all and were completely dominated after the first quarter. They took a ton of penalties as well, but even if they hadn’t there was no way they were winning this game. So much for the time change theory, they’re winless streak at BC Place goes on. I feel sorry for the Riders next week…no wait.
Just fewer than 30,000 fans took in the game. That’s a pretty good number for a 1 pm start when parents are out and about with their kids’ sports tournaments and such.
I do wish our crowd was louder though. The crowd can play a factor in a football game and while Lions fans generally do a decent job, it’s not anywhere near the participation I’ve seen in other cities. I hate harping on things like this, especially after such a great performance by the team. I just wish some fans were more passionate about the home field advantage aspect of the game.
I’d love to see your comments on the game below!