Before Lord Grey’s mug gets handed off this Sunday let’s review what in August was inconceivable, the Lions chances for winning it all.
I’m not going to delve into all the scenarios based on team records to win a Grey Cup, which was done with my previous article here. Instead let’s focus on the two teams that made it. Statistics look to be on the Lions side so far this year because everything that should be happening is happening. Case in point the two best teams in the league should be meeting at the dance and that’s exactly what we have with the Lions sporting a better record in a tougher conference. Edge Lions.
The Lions regular season winning record of 11-7 is tied with a 13-5 record for making the Grey Cup nine times; this is the most of any other records in the last 20 years. The Lions 11-7 record does not have the highest winning percentage at the Grey Cup, winning two out of the nine games for a paltry 29%. Fear not, the Bombers record is worse! A 10-8 record has made the finals six times and has just one win for a pedestrian 20% winning percentage. Edge Lions.
Interesting to note the one and only time in the last 20 years an 11-7 team played a 10-8 team in the finals was at our barn and the better record won. The 11-7 Eskimo’s beat the 10-8 Alouettes in overtime in 2005. Edge Lions.
The Lions were tied for the most offensive points in the west with 511 compared to the Bombers 432. Edge lions.
On defense you would believe with all the Swaggerville hype all season Winnipeg would support the stingiest defense in the league. You would be wrong. That impressive statistic would befall the Lions allowing a mere 385 points against to lead the league in that category. Edge Lions.
And here’s quite possibly the biggest edge. Since Wally Buono took over the Lions in 2003 the team has been a juggernaut at BC Place Stadium. They have a combined 49 wins to 18 losses record, which results in a 73% winning percentage in the regular season. Edge Lions. Although it’s important to note during Buono’s tenure in playoff home games the Lions are 2-2 for a .500 record.
In 1994 when the Vancouver Canucks made the finals and subsequently had a riot, the Lions picked B.C. sports fan spirits way high by winning the Grey Cup at home in a memorable run. They were also the last team to win a Grey Cup on home soil. So I ask you are we about to experience déjà vu all over again?
Enjoy the game everyone.