And so, it continues for the Edmonton Elks (0—7) as the losses just keep on piling up week after week. It appears to be a season no matter what they do, nothing appears to be working. If it’s sub-par play with whoever is at quarterback, or the dropped balls at the wrong time to extend a drive by other members of the offence; it seems to be a tend week-in-week-out for the Edmonton Elks. And then, there is the issue of being in last place in the CFL when scoring points in the redzone. Especially touchdowns.
Just like last week vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the better team won as seems to be the case in all of the seven games prior with the Edmonton Elks.
The Edmonton Elks will host the BC Lions (5-1) which already appears on record to be as lopsided of a game as any realist Edmonton fan will say regarding the Edmonton Elks’ disastrous season as of now.
And then there is the burden of the obvious. The 20-game home losing streak. Yup. The one that just won’t go away. After tying the then-called St. Louis Browns of Major League Baseball in 1953 with the same embarrassing streak in week 6 vs Hamilton, the Edmonton Elks can quite possibly will stand-alone with a loss at home vs the BC Lions. Unfortunately, it appears that the inevitable will come to fruition in week 8.
Date / Location: Saturday, July 29th, 2023 / Commonwealth Stadium / Edmonton, Alberta
Kickoff Time: 7:00pm EST
Channel: TSN / TSN+ / CBS Sports Network
Temperature: 21 Degrees Celsius. Will feel like 22 Degrees Celsius. Mainly sunny, with some clouds.
Wind Gust: 35 Kilometres per hour
Percentage of Precipitation: 20%
Spread: BC Lions -9.5 (-108), Edmonton Elks +9.5 (-115)
Moneyline: BC Lions (-333), Edmonton Elks (+265)
Over / Under: Over 43.5 (-106), Under 43.5 (-108)
Edmonton Elks Week 8 Depth Chart vs. BC Lions
Both football clubs announced the following list of players that are either listed as out or indicated at the moment for their game status.
Players to Watch
Mathieu Betts: Only positives can be said when talking about Mathieu Betts. He is one of the most feared defensive linemen in the CFL. His initial jump off the ball at the line of scrimmage is impeccable. And it does not stop there. His football IQ coincides with his instinct to approach a play that is truly remarkable to see. If you are just putting on your football fan hat, he is a player that anybody would want on their team. He will create a lot of trouble for the Edmonton offensive line, as he is a player that is extremely difficult to contain. As the league leader at the moment with 10 sacks, Mathieu Betts is a cornerstone player that is a game-changer. He can simply shut down an offence at key moments, especially late in the game if it comes down to the wire.
Alexander Hollins: When you have a lot of depth on both sides of the ball as the BC Lions do, it is always a good problem to have. Alexander Hollins is currently 9th in the CFL with 365 receiving yards in 6 games played, with a 13.5 average yards per reception. He has the speed, footwork, and great route running where he can create a lot of separation against the Edmonton defence.
Nyles Morgan: Since there has been not that much of a bright spot on the offensive side of the ball when discussing the Edmonton Elks in 2023, we will be looking at the defence. And yes you can say that the Edmonton defence is nothing special. And you are right. However, when your defence gets very little rest on a lot of two-and-out drives from the offence, you have to feel for the players on the defensive side of the ball. With that said Nyles Morgan has been stellar all things considered. He has been the heart and soul of the Edmoton defence in which he is very effective in stopping the run at his linebacker spot or dropping back into coverage and creating a lot of confusion for an offense. He has a great vision in anticipating a play and has the athleticism of a versatile linebacker.
Marloshawn Franklin Jr: Why would Marloshawn Franklin Jr be talked about when only played his first CFL game last week vs Winnipeg? Well, he was very impressive when he had the difficult assignment of covering Kenny Lawler. In doing so, Marloshawn Franklin Jr came up with a lot of plays in timing his hit to make a pass incomplete, or that of batting the ball down to stall drives. He made it difficult for Zach Collaros last week for parts of the game in which Winnipeg was halted and forced to punt.
The fact that the offence for the Edmonton Elks has been stagnant on multiple occasions during the 2023 CFL season thus far, appears to display its ugly head again in week 8 vs the BC Lions.
The one thing that the BC Lions have over the Edmonton Elks is that they have two proven quarterbacks at the helm in orchestrating their respected offence. It would be very difficult in keeping Vernon Adams Jr in check if he was staring behind the centre this week. With that said, let’s just say that having Dane Evans is a pretty good problem to have as a second option. There is a reason why the BC Lions signed Dane Evans for moments like this. Just like in pro sports, bodies will go down as it is inevitable. And football is no different.
With Dave Evans, you have a quarterback that has played in big games as he displayed this in 2019 coming into relief with then Hamilton Tiger-Cats starter Jeremiah Masoli. When Masoli went down due to injury, Dane Evans would go on to complete the season with a record of 9 – 2 as a starter. He would lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Grey Cup vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Even with the Hamilton loss, Dane Evans appeared to be a good mainstay in the CFL. His skill set would flow during the 2021 season (the 2020 season was cancelled) in which he would contribute to Hamilton’s success in appearing in a second straight Grey Cup appearance in another losing cause vs Winnipeg.
Fast Forward to the 2023 season, and Dane Evans has gained experience in big moments in both the postseason and Grey Cup games.
BC Lions: 33
Edmonton Elks: 19
Until the Edmonton offence constructs a lot of consistency moving forward for the duration of the 2023 CFL Season, there will be no improvement displayed by the football club. Flashes here or there by either Jarret Doege or Taylor Cornelius are not good enough as it seems to be a counterintuitive approach week-in-and-and week out.
And let’s not forget how stingy the BC Lions’ defence is. Take your pick for the top three teams in the league with either BC, Toronto, or Winnipeg, the BC Lions can flat-out create a lot of destruction to their opposition. Trying to contain Mathieu Betts will be a tall order as he currently has a whopping 10 sacks so far, and was not even at the halfway point of the CFL Season. The duo of Mathieu Betts and David Menard has been one for the ages on how a dual pairing of defensive linemen is exciting to watch as is with Winnipeg with Jackson Jeffcoat and Willie Jefferson respectively.
Add this all in, and the BC Lions will flex their muscles against the Edmonton Elks and be victorious. The question amongst Edmonton Elks fans is not so much when are they going to win any games during the 2023 Season, but are they ever going to win any games this season at all? And with the overall outcome as of now, it is a scary thing to think about.
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