The BC Lions travel to Edmonton Friday night to take on the Elks who they are 2-0 against so far this season. Both the Elks and the Lions made 4th quarter comebacks to win their games last week.
BC Lions (8-4): BC is fresh off of a remarkable comeback in which they scored 20 points in the final 2:06 minutes of the game to overcome a 19-point deficit. It tied for the 5th largest comeback in CFL history and was BC’s greatest at-home comeback. A win in Edmonton will clinch a playoff spot for the Lions.
Edmonton Elks (4-10): The Edmonton Elks overcame a 10-point deficit against Saskatchewan outsourcing their opponent 16-0 in the 4th quarter. The Edmonton Elks have turned things around offensively since they last played BC and got shut out. Since that 27-0 loss from the Lions in Edmonton the Elks have averaged 29.2 points per game after scoring just 13.1 points per game in the first 8 games.
Mike Mitchell’s CFL Week 16 Power Rankings
BC Lions Week 15 Takeaways
BC Lions Week 15 Preview and Prediction
CFL 2nd Period All-Star Team (Weeks 8-14)
U Sports Canada West Football: Week 1 Team of the Week
U Sports Canada West Football: 2023 Team Previews
CFL Midseason All-Star Team, Awards
First Period CFL and Divisional All-Stars
@JonathanClink on Twitter
Date/Location: Friday, September 22 /Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, AB
Kickoff Time: 9:30 PM ET, 6:30 PM PT
Channel: TSN (Canada), CFL+ (USA, International)
Spread: BC -6.5 (-110), Edmonton +6.5 (-110)
Moneyline: BC -310, Edmonton +250
Over/Under: 49.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Keys to the Game
Protect Vernon Adams Jr.
Similar to Ottawa, Edmonton has an underrated pass rush. Lorenzo Mauldin had 6 total pressures on Vernon Adams Jr. last week in a game in which the Lions gave up 3 sacks.
For Edmonton Jake Ceresna and A.C. Leonard can be a problem for offenses. Ceresna had a big game last week in Edmonton’s win generating 2 sacks and 5 total pressures.
Contain Tre Ford
The Edmonton Elks are a similar matchup to the Lions’ game last week against Ottawa. Dustin Crum for Ottawa has the most rushing yards and touchdowns among quarterbacks. Tre Ford for Edmonton has the most rushing yards per game among quarterbacks. Tre Ford has run 29 times after dropping back to pass in his last 5 games.
Last week against Ottawa Crum picked up 46 rushing yards on 9 rushes as well as 3 touchdowns. It is going to be imperative to contain Tre Ford this week for BC.
In the last 2 meetings between Edmonton and BC the Lions’ pass rush was unstoppable as Taylor Cornelius had no time to make plays and was often lucky to escape with an incompletion. Matthiue Betts was particularly effective in those 2 games pursuing the quarterback often and generating frequent pressure.
Stop Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown is coming off of 2 very big games in which he has rushed 318 ards in the last 2 games. Last week Brown rushed 19 times for 175 yards (8.7 average) and a touchdown.
The last time an Elk had more rushing yards in a 2 games span was John Avery with 338 rushing yards in 2002.
Ahead of BC’s game against Ottawa, Devonte Williams was fresh off of a career-high in rushing yards in a game as he rushed 17 times for 146 yards (8.6 average). BC held Williams to 3.7 yards per carry last week as he rushed 18 times for 66 yards. In the 4th quarter, they held him to 13 yards on 7 rushes with all but 2 of the rushes being 4 yards or less. BC also had 3 tackles for a loss against the run in the 4th quarter.
The run-stopping played a big part in the four 2-and-outs BC’s defense generated in the 4th quarter last week.
Get the Run Game Going Again
Mizzell has rushed 47 times for 187 yards (4 yards per carry) in the last 5 games. Mizzell was averaging 69 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry in his first 6 games. Mizzell was given only 5 carries last week in the win against Ottawa during which he had 13 yards on the ground.
5 Lions to Watch
QB Vernon Adams Jr.
Vernon Adams Jr. has 300 passing yards in each of his last 6 games. The only other time a BC QB has gone more than 4 games with 300+ passing yards was in 1991 when Doug Flutie did it in 6 straight games. The CFL record is 9 games in a row with 300 plus passing yards or more.
WR/KR Terry Williams
Terry Williams’ missed field goal return in the 4th quarter last week was a big part of the Lions’ comeback win. Williams has been on PFF’s Team of the Week 3 times in the last 8 games.
LB Ben Hladik
Hladik had 9 tackles last week and is on pace for 94 this season.
DT Tibo Debaillie
Tibo was named to the PFF Team of the Week for the 2nd time last week. He had a QB hurry, 4 tackles, and a big 4th quarter run stop last week against Ottawa.
DE Mathieu Betts
Betts leads the CFL with 12 sacks. Last week against Ottawa he had the 4th highest PFF Pass Rush Grade as he generated 3 QB hurries. In week 2 against Edmonton Betts had 5 total pressures and a sack. In week 8 against Edmonton Betts generated pressure on his first 2 plays and frequently chased Cornelius out of the pocket who often threw the ball away to avoid a sack.
5 Elks to Watch
QB Tre Ford
Tre Ford is entering his 7th straight start for the Elks. He is 5-4 as a starter for Edmonton. Ford has completed 81 of his 117 passes this season (69.2%) for 1,163 yards and 7 touchdowns with 4 interceptions. On the ground, he is closing in on Dustin Crum for leading rusher among quarterbacks as he has 471 rushing yards on 47 rushes (10 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns.
RB Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown passed the 1,000-yard rushing mark last week and now has 1,004 rushing yards on 159 carries and 4 touchdowns. He has the highest rushing average among starting runningbacks with 6.3 yards per carry.
WR Geno Lewis
Geno Lewis has made some remarkable plays this season and has been a favorite target of Tre Ford. In 8 games he has 29 receptions for 554 yards and 3 touchdowns. There have been multiple times in which Tre Ford will chuck up a deep shot to Lewis in tight coverage and he will come away with the catch despite the defense’s efforts.
DL Jake Ceresna
Jake Ceresna had the highest Pro Football Focus Pass Rush Grade last week as he had 2 sacks and 5 total pressures. He has 8 sacks on the season and a forced fumble in addition to his 36 tackles.
DL A.C. Leonard
Leonard leads Edmonton with 10 sacks. He also has 37 tackles and a forced fumble.
Injuries, Depth Chart Changes From Last Week:
The personnel group is the same as last week although there are some adjustments to the pecking order. Andrew Peirson is playing in a 2nd string left guard role this week as David Knevel will be starting.
Nick Usher switches spots with Amir Sidiqqi moving from 2nd string defensive end to the third third-string on the depth chart’s order.
I predict the Lions to win this game 27-16 for the same reasons I predicted them to beat Ottawa. VA’s 300+ yards per game streak and the success of the run-stopping.
Big Announcement: CFL Unveils Free Live Streaming Platforms
Get Alerts & Stay ConnectedCFL iPhone App
CFL Android App