The BC Lions need a win against the Calgary Stampeders in order to stay in the race for first in the West. The Stampeders will make the playoffs if they win their last 2 games or if they win 1 and Saskatchewan loses their last game this weekend.
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Date/Location: Friday, October 20 /BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Kickoff Time: 10:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM PT
Channel: TSN (Canada), CFL+ (USA, International)
Spread: BC -8.5 (-410), Calgary +8.5 (+320)
Moneyline: BC -410, Calgary +320
Over/Under: 49.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
BC Lions (12-5): The BC Lions wrap up their regular season hosting the Calgary Stampeders. If the Lions win against Calgary and the Blue Bombers lose both of their last 2 games then BC will win the West and earn a bye. I do not foresee Winnipeg finishing their season with 2 losses so in all likelihood this will be a tune-up game ahead of the playoffs. It is most likely that the Lions will be hosting the West Semi-Final as they do have at least second place locked up.
Calgary Stampeders (5-11): The Stampeders need to win at least one of their last 2 games in order to make the playoffs but they do have a tough schedule with their last 2 games being against BC and then Winnpeg. If Calgary wins at least 1 of those games and Saskatchewan loses to Toronto this Saturday then Calgary will make the playoffs. If Calgary loses both games they will miss the playoffs and Saskatchewan will make it.
Lions Keys to the Game
Protect Vernon Adams Jr.
This game will most likely not affect the Lions’ final standings. They do have a bye in week 21 before the playoffs but the greatest danger this week being so close to the playoffs is the injury bug.
Pound the Rock
BC needs to get the run game going. They have the fewest rushing attempts in the league and the 2nd lowest yards per rush attempt at 4.7. With how unpredictable the weather can be in November in Winnipeg it is important to have a ground game to be able to fall back on.
Calgary is currently tied for most yards allowed per rush attempt by their opponent at 5.8. This is a great opportunity for BC to get its running game going.
BC will be again without Taquan Mizzell who remains on the 1-game injured list due to a rib injury although he was a full participant in practice this week. JaQuan Hardy will start at running back for the 2nd week in a row for the Lions. Last week he averaged 3.3 yards on 8 carries against a Hamilton defense that was outperforming BC’s run blocking on run plays up the middle.
Tight Pass Coverage
Jake Maier has the most pass attempts in the league and one of the lowest yards per attempt at 7.4. He frequently distributes a lot of quick short passes. If BC can keep their coverage tight and give the pass rush time to put pressure on Jake Maier then Calgary is going to run into a problem.
Strong Run Stopping
BC has the third-best yards per rush allowed at 5 yards per attempt. BC is going to need to beat Winnipeg to get to the Grey Cup. If things go the way many writers are predicting the East then Toronto will be the representative from the East. Both of these teams have had a lot of success on the ground game and both Winnipeg and Toronto have runningbacks in the discussion for CFL All-Star. Run Stopping is going to be essential for a Grey Cup run.
Lions to Watch
QB Vernon Adams Jr.
Adams Jr. leads the league in passing yards by over 550. He has 4,653 yards with 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Prior to last week, he had 300 yards in 8 of his last 9 games. Last week against Hamilton he was just 4 yards shy of 300 yards but left the game early due to a knee injury. Adams has been exceptional over his last 9 games and has forced himself into the MOP conversation. If VA reaches 5,000 yards he will be the 5th passer to do so in a season for BC.
RB JaQuan Hardy
Hardy is getting his 2nd career CFL start against Calgary. Last week he had 8 carries for 26 yards and 3 receptions for 40 yards, 34 of which were YAC. Hardy was often stuffed on runs up the middle thanks to strong play from Casey Sayles and company for Hamilton. Hardy demonstrated a good ability in run blocking last week.
WR Jevon Cottoy
Cottoy has had at least 40 yards receiving in each of his last 8 games. He has 743 yards on 52 receptions and 3 touchdowns over 17 games.
DE Mathieu Betts
Betts has a chance to make history if he gets a sack he will break the record for most sacks in a season by a Canadian which he is currently tied with at 17.
LB Ben Hladik
If Haldik gets 5 more tackles against Calgary he will become the first Canadian player to reach 100 for BC and only the 4th in CFL history.
K Sean Whyte
Whyte is the 2nd most accurate CFL field goal kicker at 87.8% and has made his last 17 field goals including a game-winning field goal last week from 48 yards.
Stampeders to Watch
QB Jake Maier
Maier has attempted the most passes in the CFL this season and is third in yards. He has completed 64% of his passes for 4,011 yards and 16 touchdowns with 15 interceptions.
RB Ka’Deem Carey
Carey has had a season limited due to injury this year but was a CFL All-Star last year. He has rushed 74 times for 388 yards this season averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
WR Reggie Begelton
Begelton leads the Stamps in receiving with 82 receptions for 1,053 yards and 4 touchdowns over 14 games.
WR Marken Michel
Michel has 46 receptions for 689 yards and 4 touchdowns over 12 games.
LB Micah Awe
Awe leads the league in tackles with 113 and also has 2 interceptions, a sack, and a forced fumble.
LB Cameron Judge
Judge has 80 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.
HB Kobe Williams
Williams has 42 tackles, a sack, an interception and 2 forced fumbles this season.
Last Week’s Depth Chart:
2 weeks ago I wrote an article predicting the rest of the CFL season. I am sticking to the prediction I made at that time in which I predicted BC to win 27-20.
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