The Edmonton Elks offence continued with their winning ways last week in Saskatchewan, where they pulled out an impressive 36-27 victory in a hostile environment in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Edmonton Elks are the hottest teams in the CFL at a 4-1 record since winning their first game of the 2023 regular season while on the road in Hamilton in week 11 with a hard-earned 24-10 victory over the Tiger-Cats.
It was all systems go again in which the Edmonton running game was the dominant display of their offence. The running game contributed with a whopping 265 yards on the ground led by both QB Tre Ford and RB Kevin Brown. The more impressive stat was that they averaged 8 yards per carry on 33 attempts. It’s safe to say that the Edmonton offensive line has finally turned a corner this season in contributing to the success of the running and passing game for the Edmonton Elks.
After starting the season with a 0-9 record, the Edmonton Elks are playing with a much more all-round display of exciting football. In return, Edmonton fans are more excited about the product on the field.
It is a challenge in regards to snagging a playoff spot this season. But, the one thing going in Edmonton’s favour, is that they have a good core that will be a far more effective team next year.
The Edmonton Elks (4-10) will host the BC Lions (9-4) in a matchup with big implications. For the BC Lions, winning the West Division is still up for grabs to try and leapfrog Winnipeg in the standings. With the Edmonton Elks, it’s about taking it one play at a time, paying attention to detail, and causing an upset over the BC Lions.
As of Tuesday, September 19th, 2023, the Over / Under was set at 50.5 (-111). This is also the highest on the week 16 calendar. Both teams have been stockpiling a lot of offence which makes this game very intriguing and exciting to see. BC also enters week 16 as a -8.5 favourite over Edmonton thus far. Last season around this time, the Lions would have easily been a -13 point favourite.
Date / Location: Friday, September 22nd, 2023 / Commonwealth Stadiums / Edmonton, Alberta
Kickoff Time: 9:30 PM EST
Channel: TSN / TSN+
Temperature: 21 Degrees Celsius, will feel like 21 Degress Celsius.
Wind Gust: 42 Kilometers per hour.
Percentage of Precipitation: 0%
Spread: BC Lions -8.5 (-111) / Edmonton Elks +8.5 (-111)
Money line: BC Lions -366 / Edmonton Elks +296
Over / Under: Over 50.5 (-111) / Under 50.5 (-111)
Edmonton Elks Week 16 Depth Chart vs BC Lions
BC Lions Week 16 Depth Chart at Edmonton Elks
Injury Report: Edmonton Elks
Injury Report: BC Lions
Note: The Edmonton Elks will be without Steven Dunbar Jr as he is still on the 6-game injury list.
Players to Watch: Edmonton Elks
Tre Ford: Even though he only tossed for a total of 183 yards last week vs. Saskatchewan, it was a better display of precision for Tre Ford in his passing game. Tre Ford will have to be on the ball against a stingy BC secondary led by both DB Gary Peters, DB T.J. Lee, and DB Marcus Sayles respectively. However, that is not to say that Tre Ford cannot win the battles when going with the deep ball against the BC defence. He has hit a stride with a lot more confidence in his passing game and has got better week-to-week. If he can shock the BC defence in the way Ottawa shell-shocked BC last week (minus the BC comeback), then Tre Ford will be building on more confidence than ever against a top-three team in the CFL.
Kevin Brown: Simply put, Kevin Brown has hit his stride in the last five games this season passing the 1,000-yard mark among running backs in the CFL last seek in Regina. He has elevated his game to a whole new level in which he is now 2nd in the CFL in rushing yards with a total of 1,004, and only behind Brady Oliveira at 1,190 rushing yards. The BC defence is tough. But, they have not been as dominant since week 11 in which they have coughed up a large amount of yardage. If the Elks have any chance in this game against BC, Kevin Brown will have to be the x-factor in trying to wear out the BC defence for long drives.
Player to Watch: BC Lions
Vernon Adams Jr: He is currently sitting third in the CFL among passing leaders with a total yard count of 3,282. Having a 7-game 300-plus yard passing streak is truly remarkable. He will test the Edmonton secondary in droves with the deep ball, as he is one of the best gunslingers in the CFL. Not only is he good with his arm, but the Edmonton defence will also have to be able to contain Vernon Adams Jr. in regards to his natural ability to run the ball effectively. It will begin and end with how well Vernon Adams Jr. will perform on Friday. If Edmonton can rattle him and get him out of his rhythm, the Elks have a legitimate chance of causing the upset.
Mathieu Betts: After going on a tear with 10 sacks in the CFL in his first seven games of the season, Mathieu Betts has cooled off with only two sacks since week 8. But don’t let that fool you. He is still effective in halting the run on the edges. He still possesses a threat with the pass rush. The collaborative effort from the Edmonton Elks offensive line will have to limit Mathieu Betts’s appearances in the backfield as much as possible. More importantly, to protect Tre Ford from Mathieu Betts hitting Tre Ford on multiple occasions.
Do not be surprised if both defences allow more than 30 points in this game. Both offences will be productive. This will be an exciting combination of gunslinging football, along with a powerful running game.
But don’t let the offensive production fool you, there are still going to be some amazing special teams plays, along with game-changing plays on the defence. It might also come down to who has the ball left.
BC Lions: 37
Edmonton Elks: 35
Vernon Adams Jr. continues his consecutive 300-yard-plus passing game over the Edmonton Elks and wins. The BC Lions close in on the gap on Winnipeg for first place in the West Division for the time being.
The Elks show a lot of character in this game which they go toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the CFL. Unfortunately for Edmonton, the BC depth and experience pays dividends in which they will come out on top.
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