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BC Failed to Establish the Run: 4 Thoughts Following BC’s 25-45 Loss in Toronto

4 Thoughts following the loss on the road in Toronto. After holding Winnipeg to just 6 points in the previous game, Toronto scored 45 against the Lions.

Interceptions Cost BC the Game

To put it bluntly, Vernon Adams Jr. cost the Lions the game by throwing 6 interceptions.

I typically dislike the tendency of pinning the outcome on a singular play or on one player. In this instance, the interceptions really were the difference maker in the game. 6 interceptions is an astounding amount. It’s simply too many turnovers to realistically expect to win.

Vernon Adams Jr’s performance was in a way amazing to watch. Despite the fact he threw 6 interceptions, there was still a lot to like at times. Adams connected with Keon Hatcher 8 times for 104 yards and a touchdown in Hatcher’s first game of the season after missing the first 3 due to injury. Dominique Rhymes had 2 touchdowns. 4 different receivers had over 60 yards. Adams had 388 passing yards and 3 touchdowns which would be one of the most impressive stat lines by anyone this season so far without the interceptions.

It was an accomplishment I never thought I would see, and that was to throw 6 interceptions and still be an impressive quarterback at times. VA was distributing the ball very well at times and handled the pass rush well often. Two of his touchdown passes were well-placed balls as he rolled to his right.

It seemed like the success of the first 3 games may have made him slightly overconfident and this game was a reality check. Adams seemed to be trying to do too much. I am not worried about his ability to play under center for BC moving forward and this game will likely only help him be better moving forward.

BC Failed to Establish the Run

Every team that lost this week had one thing in common and that was to hand the ball off 10 times or fewer to their running backs. BC handed it off 10 times with 6 carries going to Taquan Mizzell, 3 to Kienan Lafrance, and 1 to David Mackie. On average BC picked up 4.2 yards per carry on these plays. After week 3 Mizzell was 2nd in the league in rushing yards so BC is fully capable of having successful days running the football.

I love the passing game as much as any CFL fan but establishing the run is still a very important necessity. BC had 39 pass plays compared to 10 run plays. This creates a high level of predictability where defenses do not need to scheme to defend the pass. 

Toronto on the other handed the ball to their running backs 17 times and had 29 passing plays. Kelly had an extremely efficient day which was aided by the presence of run support. In the other games around the league, Winnipeg had 24 run plays and Ottawa had 25 in their wins respectively. Teams obviously run more when they have the lead-to-kill clock but it goes beyond that and is so important in controlling a game and putting defenses in a state of uncertainty.

The Defense Played a Lot Better Than the Score Indicates

Despite the fact that BC had 45 points scored on them it was not a bad defensive performance as the score would indicate. With BC having 6 interceptions, Toronto was frequently beginning their drives in good field position. The first 2 interceptions resulted in Toronto opening drives on BC’s 22 and 21-yard line which both resulted in touchdowns for Toronto. Only 2 of the interceptions resulted in Toronto getting the ball on their own side of the field at the 26 and 24. The 4th interception saw Toronto start the drive at BC’s 22 and score a touchdown. The final interception was taken all the back for a Toronto defensive touchdown. One of the touchdowns was a special team touchdown. That’s 5 touchdowns the defense is arguably not responsible for 35 of the 45 points scored against them.

Mathieu Betts continued his strong stretch of quarterback hunting as he had 2 sacks and is the league leader in sacks with 7. Both defensive tackles, Tibo Debaillie, and Josh Banks, were named to the Pro Football Focus team of the week for this past week.

It Was Chad Kelly’s Best Game of His Young Career

Toronto’s QB, Chad Kelly, was extremely efficient as he completed 23 of his 29 passes (79%) for 249 yards and a touchdown. He also added 25 rushing yards on 3 carries. Coming into this game BC held all 3 quarterbacks who played them to under 200 yards and that includes Jake Maier, Taylor Cornelius, and Zach Collaros. He certainly was put in a good position by the turnovers but to put together the performance he had against the power that is BC Lions’ defense is very impressive.

You might also like:

Week 5 Quarterback Rankings

Week 5 Runningback Rankings

Mike Mitchell’s Week 5 Power Rankings

My Twitter: @JonathanClink

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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