It was another complete defensive performance for the BC Lions in their 37-9 win against the Calgary Stampeders. Vernon Adams Jr. looked very good after missing a couple of games due to a knee injury. Keon Hatcher led the Lions with 170 receiving yards.
CFL First Period All-Star Team (Weeks 1-7)
Previous BC Lions Takeaways:
The Passing Game Was Excellent
Vernon Adams Jr. looked great in his first game back after the injury throwing 23 for 32 passes (72%) for 322 yards and 4 TDs. He looked very mobile despite the recent knee injury. One of his nicest plays was a 25-yard touchdown to Lucky Whitehead while rolling to his left. His first pass was a 21-yard completion to Jevon Cottoy when rolling to his right. He avoided a sack in the 2nd quarter side stepping pressure before making a short pass to Keon Hatcher.
The receivers continued to be great for BC led by Keon Hatcher in this game who caught 9 of his 10 targets for 170 yards and a TD with 45 YAC. Alexander Hollins and Lucky Whitehead also had touchdowns among the receivers.
Taquan Mizzell Looked Get Despite the Limited Stat Line
Mizzell did look good carrying the football despite only averaging 3.5 yards per carry on his 12 rushes. In the 2nd quarter, he created some separation on a defender with a spin move on a 7-yard rush. He made a good cut near halftime making a tackler miss on another 7 yard run. Mizzell also caught 2 of his 3 targets for 4 yards and a touchdown.
A Complete Defensive Performance
BC has amazingly their 5th game in which they did not allow an offensive touchdown. Against Calgary they kept Jake Maier limited to just 16 of 31 completions (55%) for 131 yards. Calgary has 2 high-quality running backs that were utilized in this game. Dedrick Mills had 10 rushes for 34 yards (3.4 yards per carry) and Ka’Deem Carey had 7 rushes for 44 yards (6.3 average).
BC put a lot of pressure on the quarterback through the game with both Mathieu Betts and Woody Baron having many quality pressures each and many other players put pressure on as well. In my review, I tallied an astounding 8 plays that Betts put pressure on the passer and 5 plays Baron put pressure on.
Jake Maier had quite a few passes that looked to be incompletions as a result of the pressure put on him. BC had a lot of contributors on the defensive line at various parts of the game. Josh Banks had a couple of quality pressures, and Tibo Debaillie had a good run stop on Ka’Deem Carey. Amir Siddiqi had a sack and pressure in the 4th quarter, and David Menard had a 2nd quarter pressure and a 3rd quarter run stop.
Bo Lokombo had another really good game with a handful of tackles on run plays with a couple standing out as very good run stops. He also had some tackles on short passes. Ben Hladik had a play or 2 where the running back got past him but his teammates quickly closed in to help and Hladik made some other good plays. Emmanuel Rugamba had some very good tackles on short passes and also put pressure on the quarterback in the 4th quarter and knocked him down. Ryder Varga had a good tackle for a loss.
Mike Jones played well at cornerback getting the start in place of Jalon Edwards-Cooper who was injured. Jones had a couple of good tackles on short passes keeping Calgary limited as well as a pass breakup on a 2nd down in the first quarter. He also had a good run stop early in the game. Gary Peters had a typical day for him with a knockdown, an interception, and a great tackle on a short pass. He also contributed a few times as a secondary tackler on other short passes.
The halfbacks T.J. Lee and Marcus Sayles both had a good tackle on a short pass. Quincy Mauger did not and the rest of the defensive backs did not stand out as blowing their coverage through the game. Jake Maier’s longest pass was a 15-yard completion and Calgary had 3 other pass plays for 10 yards. Everything else was less than 10 yards.
This Defensive Scheme Could be Improved
It was a very very good defensive game for BC. There was one play in which a mistake was made pre-play in the defensive scheme. Last week on Winnipeg’s first play Gary Peters was essentially alone with 2 receivers on BC’s left side of the field on what ended up being a pretty long play by Kenny Lawler. In the image below you see three receivers lined up with Gary Peters the only defender near them. The halfback is the next nearest Lion but in my opinion, the halfback and the safety should have been positioned closer toward the sideline preplay. This was exploited a couple of times in the loss to Winnipeg and in the image below it ended up being a first down reception for Calgary.
To keep it short and sweet, the BC Lions are really good and it’s a great time to be a BC Lions fan. They play next Sunday, August 20 in Saskatchewan.
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