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The BC Lions Pass Rush was Insurmountable: Thoughts Following the 27-0 Win over Edmonton

Thoughts Following the BC Lions’ 27-0 victory over the Edmonton Elks as they extend Edmonton’s at-home losing streak to 21.

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BC Lions Pass Rush Was Unstoppable, a Quarterback Nightmare

The Elks were unable to stop the BC Lions’ pass rush. The very first offensive play for Edmonton saw Taylor Cornelius be pressured by Mathieu Betts as he checked it down to Kevin Brown. Betts pressured Cornelius again on the next play. Cornelius made a completion over the middle but it was negated by a hands to the face penalty by an Elks offensive lineman.

The Lions had Cornelius pressured early and often. It felt like almost every passing play was an example of Cornelius being pressured by the Lions. Such as a 2nd and 5 near the end of the first half where the Lions got to him with all of the pass rushers in 3 seconds while only rushing with 3.

There is not a quarterback who could have played a good game in the face of the pressure that Taylor Cornelius was playing under. People will look at the stats sheet with 16 completions on 30 passes (53%) for 187 yards and 2 interceptions and say he is why the Elks lost. In fact, there were times Cornelius played very well such as a 31-yard pass in the 2nd quarter to Kyran Moore before taking some contact from Quincy Mauger. There were at least 3 plays in which Cornelius intentionally threw an incompletion while getting sacked to avoid losing yards.

Cornelius did throw 2 interceptions, both of which came in the final 10 minutes in desperation time. There is room for improvement in Cornelius but the Lions’ get all the credit in this game for keeping Cornelius limited.

The secondary also played very well for BC which makes things very difficult for a QB who is under pressure. Garry Peters and Bo Lokombo both had an interception.

Another Incredible Run-Stopping Performance

Last week the Lions held Saskatchewan’s starting running back to 11 yards on 12 carries. This week they held Kevin Brown to 5 yards on 5 carries. The BC Lions have held their opponent’s starting running back to 1 yard per carry or less 2 weeks in a row.

Dane Evans Played Well in His Start at QB

Dane Evans was making good decisions quickly and opened up the game with 2 quick completions. BC put together a good first drive that led to a Sean Whyte field goal. He could have made a better read to keep the drive going on a 2nd and 10 when passed it to Jevon Cottoy who had 2 linebackers ready to prevent the first down when there was another open option in Lucky Whitehead in position to pick up the first down.

Evans made a lot of good plays such as a 55-yard pickup to Alexander Hollins to start BC’s second drive. The 2nd drive did end with Evans deciding to tuck and run down the middle essentially right into a sack when he had an open receiver near the first down marker on a 2nd and 9. 

These criticisms of Dane Evans are minor as he had a fantastic game completing 25 of his 32 passes (78%) for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Elks had a good pass rush of their own as they had 5 sacks on the day and Dane Evans looked calm under pressure.

Taquan Mizzell Looked Great in His Return

Mizzell had 117 rushing yards on 22 carries (5.3 average) and 2 receptions for 30 yards and his first career CFL touchdown. Taquan Mizzell was back to the good form he had in the first 4 weeks of the season before missing the last 2 games due to injury. BC gave him the ball often and he played very well.

The Keon Hatcher Trick Play Was Awesome

BC tried something pretty creative when they drew up Dane Evans to pass the ball to Keon Hatcher in the backfield only for Keon Hatcher to air the ball out downfield to fellow receiver Alexander Hollins. The ball was just overthrown and resulted in an incompletion but it was a great idea that could have been a big gainer.

Edmonton, What Are You Doing?

What is this scheme on a 2nd and 4? I will never understand why every receiver was allowed to be an open option for a first down on this play. This is just one example of the many free first downs in a game in which Edmonton had 13 penalties for 177 penalty yards.

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Jonathan Clink is one of CFL News Hub's newest writers and joining during the offseason prior to the CFL season. Jonathan is the primary writer for the site for the Montreal Alouettes and the BC Lions. Jonathan also contributes a weekly fantasy football article as well as discussing leaders in various offensive position groups around the CFL.

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