Lions 23 - Alouettes 16, Post Game Stats and Comments

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WestCoastJoe
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:29 pm

Tough, defensive game.
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

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WestCoastJoe
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:32 pm

Receiving
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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WestCoastJoe
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:33 pm

Defence
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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WestCoastJoe
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:39 pm

JJ10 played a very smart game. 28/39 288 yards, 1 Td, no Ints, 71.8%. Take that any game.

JJ10 also had 5 carries for 27 yards.

He had a winning drive and drove for 2 TDs in the final quarter.

JJ24 was superb. Very tough, hard to tackle, elusive. Good hands. The whole package.

I thought Thorpe's defence slowed us down pretty well.

IMO Montreal is rather low on talent.

I feel a bit bad for Jacques. Too bad he does not have more talent on that team. Nik Lewis, Cunningham, Underwood. Hmmm ... But they do have Jackson, and an excellent RB in Sutton. When Durant is your quarterback and Nik Lewis is one of your top receivers ... Hmmmm ... The cupboard ain't exactly full. IMO

As always, some questionable calls. IMO Yell did nothing wrong, but got called for Int. All he did was move forward, as he should be allowed to do. The ball was going to his man, somewhat reminiscent of the Patriots defeating Seattle in the Super Bowl, with some differences, and the non call at the goal line. The receiver ran into him, but Yell was already in position. Yell got there first. Is he supposed to get out of the way? No. LOL He is allowed to hold his position. Whatever. Calls get blown.

Relatively few penalties called, methinks. And that is OK.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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Gridiron Ernie
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:18 pm

It's all sounding downright low key biblical -- ain't it? -- when, after you've chewed off all your nails in too many moments of frustration and the dust settles, our game-day heroes still standing are: wise-moves Solomon, courageous-moves Jonathan , and righteous-moves Jeremiah! Sheesh! That was hard going. Everyone plays their part of course, but IMO we couldn't have come out of this contest victorious without the work and talent of Jeremiah Johnson.

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Sir Purrcival
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:18 pm

True enough WCJ. I thought we were gifted one on that penalty review. The contact was minimal on Moore at best and I think most of us were surprised that the play was overturned by the command centre. But what a swing in the game to get a crappy call! Turned a 14 point lead into a tie game. Horrible time for a flag that had absolutely nothing to do with the play.

Bottem line though is this team needs to find a way to be more consistent. You can't be ok on Offence for 20 mins of a 60 min game and then be inept the rest.
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TheLionKing
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:25 pm

It wasn't a Rembrant but a win is a win. I'll take it.

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CardiacKid
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:46 pm

I don't know if the stats will bear this out but it does seem the defence, particularly the secondary, are being more aggressive to the ball and in coverage. If I have nothing better to do, I will compare numbers this year vs. last in terms of knockdowns and takeaways.

It will be interesting to see how Chris Williams fits in with the Leo's play calling when he slots in. Teams are appearing to scheme against the long downfield passing plays to Burnham and Manny and forcing the Leo's to largely settle on the shorter stuff. But I think Williams will feast on that; his success is based on taking the shorter stuff and simply using his speed to outrun angles and cover.

I expect the offence will improve; Jennings was not guns ablazing at the start of last year. But I am concerned by the lack of touches in the running game. JJ24 made hay with the too few touches he had IMO.

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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:41 am

I like our DBs. Very athletic. Playmakers.

Solomon is a tackling machine. One of the best ever. In Ray Nettles territory. Wayne Harris. Tom Brown.

D Line did not put much pressure on Durant.

Our offence was unable to open holes for JJ24 or generate a ground attack.

IMO Jennings played an excellent game. Controlled. Accurate. Great in the clutch. Mobile. Scrambled well. Can't ask for more.

Goal line offence good.

The Alouettes gave it their all, but IMO, their all is not that great, talent-wise.

Intense effort by both teams. Strong focus on defence. We relied on our front four to get after Durant, but they were unable to get to him.

This fan does not like the type of defence that Wally and Mark W prefer, but this fan credits ex-DB Washington for the skill and intensity of his DBs in their coverage.

Run defence against Sutton was not special, but then he is a leading RB for a reason. Very tough runner.

We played it safe. We did enough to win. Not all that exciting. But a hard-played game by both teams.

One has to like the work of Ty Long. Strong leg. Kickoffs such as I do not recall seeing. Field goals seem to be fine. Punts are booming. Of course one cannot expect the pin point accuracy on sideline punts that Paul McCallum demonstrated for years.

I wish the cameras had shown Wally and Jacques post game. They have a lot of water under the bridge. Obviously lots of good, but one suspects some mixed feelings as well. I am sure their post game greeting was fine. One thing I really like about the CFL is the atmosphere of we are in this together. It really is a fraternity. Loads and loads of good relations. Lots of greetings, handshakes and hugs.

Wally and Jacques share a no-nonsense approach to football. They are career football men. Their teams show up to play, and play hard. I think Wally held better cards in this game. No gimme. At this point it is tough to imagine the Alouettes winning any blowouts.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

Blitz
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:45 am

On the road again
Just can't wait to get back on the road again (Willie Nelson)
Our Leos won their second road game in a row to go 2-1 for the season. We beat the Argos last week, a team that was coming off an impressive season opener and last night we defeated a Montreal team that was determined to play tough at home.

Lets have a closer look at the contest.

Our Leos came into this game as the CFL's top, rushing team. But for most of the game against the Als, our Leos offence focused on the pass. Jennings threw 39 passes in the contest, completing 28 of them for an impressive 72% completion rate.

However, Jennings threw for less than 300 yards in the contest (288) and once again, for most of the game, our offence struggled to put points up on the board, as it has for long stretches of our first two contests.

Prior to playing Montreal, our offence had only scored one touchdown prior to the fourth quarter. The pattern repeated itself. Our offence started the game like gangbusters, driving the length of the field on 9 plays before hitting paydirt.

Jeremiah Johnson came into this game as the CFL's leading rusher. He also had a 7.0 run average. Not in this contest. Montreal shut down our inside zone read play and Johnson only had 34 yards rushing and a miserable 2.8 yds. per carry, his average fattened by an 11 yard run. Noel Thorpe and his defenders completely shut down our running game.

However, Johnson was a threat of the backfield, finishing the game as our leading pass receiver, with 68 yds. in receptions. Bryan Burnham added 53 yards on 4 receptions. Manny caught the most passes in this game (6) but most were of the shorter variety for 48 yds. Manny did get open deep once and forced Montreal to take a pass interference penalty

Montreal mostly took away our deep and deep intermediate passes all game, while shutting down our running game. Only Shaq Johnson and Jeremiah Johnson were able to haul in the longer receptions that have been a trademark of our offence.

A big positive of this game is that Montreal only sacked Jennings once. We had given up 9 sacks in our first two games. Jennings had been hit, sacked, pressured, and harassed on almost every passing play. Montreal only had one sack going into this game, so its difficult to assess if our offensive line played better or Montreal just was inadequate.

Outside of some fourth quarter heroics and an impressive opening drive in this contest, our Leos offence has not impressed so far this season. Khari Jones supposedly spent a long time in the off-season making some adjustments to his scheme.

The only adjustments that I am seeing so far has been the use of Jeremiah Johnson out of the backfield as a receiver. Last season Johnson was mostly used as a runner and blocker. Jones is failing to get Rainey into space, where his speed and cutting ability make him dangerous. The name of the game to defend our Leos is to shut down our running game and our deep and deep intermediate passing game. Defenses also like to play us with man coverage, with zone over the top.

Jones has not been able to counter it very well. We still do not have a well designed passing attack against man and when Jones does use horizontal passing plays, too often he doesn't use our speed receivers on those types of routes.

DEFENCE

Montreal came into this contest with less than 200 yds. passing per game. Durrant has stuggled so far as Montreal's starting quarterback. Montreal has relied on Sutton and their running game so far this season for any offensive success.

Sutton came into this contest as the CFL's second leading rusher. He also had a 6.2 run yard average. Sutton rushed for only 54 yards in this game. He had a 6.0 yd average on 9 runs. Montreal would have been wiser to let him carry the rock more. He is shifty and very hard to bring down to the turf.

Durrant played his best game of the season so far, throwing for 245 yards (67|%). But he failed to lead Montreal into the end zone or put up points. Durrant may get better as the season goes on but I believed, going into this season, that Montreal would have been better off rebuilding for the future than going with an often injured quarterback who is aging and whose best days have seemed to be behind him.

But Montreal's offensive woes just can't be blamed on Durrant. The rhetoric coming from the Als it remains unchanged from game to game, week to week, year to year. The season’s still early. The players, all of them working with quarterback Darian Durant for the first time, require time to develop chemistry.

Seventeen points and two touchdowns in Week 1.. Nineteeen points and one trip to the end zone in Week 2. In this game the Als didnt' score a touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter.

Its now three seasons into trying to discover an offence in Montreal. Our defense took advantage, as most opposing defenses do, holding Montreal to 16 offensive points.

But our Leos defence failed to sack Durrant once in this game, even though we used a lot of defensive lineman once again. We did get good pressure at times and forced Durrant to run with the football.

Sol E. was a one man tackling machine against Montreal, with 15 recorded tackles. One of my favorite two Leos defensive backs - Anthony Gaitor had an interception. Our Leos defensive backfield is playing a bit more aggressive this season and that is resulting in a higher interception rate so far this season.

Our Leos defense only gave up 3 big plays - a 34-yard pass to B.J. Cunningham, a 31-yard pass to Ernest Jackson, the free-agent addition from Ottawa and a 27 yard pass to Tiquan Underwood. Cutting down on opposition offences big plays has been important. Last season our defense gave up more big plays than any defense in the CFL.

But our pass rush needs to get better. But we are younger, faster, and more athletic on defense for 2017 and that should pay dividends if we scheme properly.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Ty Long played his third game of the season. He looks confident as a field goal kicker but his lack of experience as a punter is still obvious.

Our blocking on punt returns still needs a lot of work. Rainey only averaged 7.5 yds per punt return in this game and Iannuzzi averaged 8 yds per punt return while Stephan Logan averaged 27.5 yds per punt return.

Michael Awe and Jordan Herdman led our downfield tacklers in this game with two tackles each while Purifoy, Fenner, Clarke, Shaq Johnson, and Mike Benson made contributions. Fenner's hard hit and tackle on Stephan Johnson probably saved a touchdown.

WRAP

Khari Jones has a lot of work to do to get our offence untracked. There is just way too much talent, speed, and athletic ability on our offence to be shut off the scoreboard for such long periods during games. Scoring only two touchdowns in the first three quarters of three games now is not good enough. Offensive scheme and play call adjustments need to be made.

But the positive is that we won two games on the road and return to B.C. with a winning record. Momentum and confidence are important aspects to winning.

A hard fought road victory. Not pretty at times. But a win is a win and a win on the road is always a very good win.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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Sir Purrcival
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:58 am

A couple of points/questions. It appeared that the Als were putting a lot of emphasis on covering Rainey. Might that not account on some of his inability to get space.

Punt Coverage. Is it a case of the punts outdistancing the coverage? Getting the ball at the 5 with 10 yards before your first opponent may well be hurting the punt coverage by allowing the returner to get a chance to pick a line and get up a head of steam. One thing is for sure, our "No Yards" calls have seemed to dropped off.
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Hambone
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:18 am

Sitting in the stands I thought the PI review was a waste of the challenge. Having seen the replays later last night however I can see why they won the challenge. Hebert knocked Moore offstride from the back side probably 2 strides before he would have gotten to the ball.

Another interesting exchange was between Brooks and Durant during the TV timeout as teams switched ends at the end of the 3rd. Brroks seemed to be under the skins of several Larks all game long with more than a couple heated verbal exchanges. Olafioye, Durant and other OL seemed ticked off with him. During that break officials were close at hand as were a few other players. Quite a bit of animated gesturing and discussion airing out each other's grievances. At the end of it they shook hands and headed off to their respective huddles.
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B.C.FAN
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:45 am

Sir Purrcival wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:58 am
Punt Coverage. Is it a case of the punts outdistancing the coverage? Getting the ball at the 5 with 10 yards before your first opponent may well be hurting the punt coverage by allowing the returner to get a chance to pick a line and get up a head of steam. One thing is for sure, our "No Yards" calls have seemed to dropped off.
Perhaps, but I think Logan just made the first guys downfield miss before he was hurt. Long averaged 50.2 yards per punt, with a net of 39.6, which is better than normal. Boris Bede averaged 43.6 yards for Montreal, with a net of 37 yards.
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Rammer
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:03 pm

Why is it that I know Proulx by name? Because he is the least capable ref in the CFL. Like an OL man, the only time you pay attention is when he screws up. If he called the RP on both sides the same that would be tolerable. Sorry the CFO deserves better.

The Lion games this season aren't going to bring fans back into the stands. The Lions have the weapons to play a more exciting game, time to add a sprinkle of entertainment to the first three quarters of a game. DL is still a work in progress and I can accept that, but I don't see the curve of potential that I would like to still see as I do in the OL.

Still the positive is the play of the DB's, the play of Johnson and the receive g corps are second to nobody in the league. Plus 2 road wins leaves the room for improvement with higher expectations.
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TheLionKing
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Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:47 pm


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