Back at home
B.C. Lions host Winnipeg Blue Bombers following road success
There are two different twists this week for the B.C. Lions.
The Lions (3-1) are home Friday to Winnipeg (2-1) following three straight road wins over East Division rivals, and they’ll likely have a different starting quarterback under centre when they face the Blue Bombers.
Veteran backup Travis Lulay came off the bench to throw for a record 436 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-26 decision against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday. Lulay entered the game on B.C.’s opening possession after starter Jonathon Jennings suffered a reported shoulder injury.
Lulay, the 2011 CFL and Grey Cup MVP, is expected to start against Winnipeg. The 33-yearold has completed 63.4 per cent of his passes during nine CFL seasons with almost twice as many TD strikes (107) as interceptions (59).
Lulay also boasts a gaudy 6.9yard rushing average during his career. But B.C.’s defence is also playing well, allowing just 21.3 points per game, tied with Montreal for fewest in the CFL.
By comparison, Winnipeg’s unit is allowing 27.3 offensive points per contest. Lulay will lead a Lions offence that’s second in offensive points (29 per game) and third in time of possession (32 minutes, seven seconds).
That could put the onus on Winnipeg’s offence – ranked seventh in time of possession at 28:39 – to not only score but take its time doing so to keep the Lions’ unit off the field as much as possible.
A solid ground game would certainly help. Former Lion Andrew Harris ran for 81 yards on 17 carries and scored two TDs in last week’s 33-25 home win
over Toronto. The good news for Winnipeg is B.C.’s defence is allowing 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.
Conversely, Winnipeg’s defence is ranked first against the run (41.7 yards per game) and defensive back T.J. Heath has a league-leading four interceptions. Prediction – B.C.
Montreal Alouettes versus Ottawa Redblacks (tonight)
It’s been a rough start for Ottawa (0-3-1), which has lost its games by a combined six points. What’s more, the club is in the midst of playing three games within 11 days, which gives it precious time to heal and practise. The Redblacks held Mike Reilly to 265 passing yards in last week’s 23-21 road loss to Edmonton but Tavon Van ran for 103 yards on 18 carries against his former team. Montreal (2-2) is coming off a 30-23 home win over Calgary, its fourth straight victory at Molson Stadium against the defending West Division champion. Darian Durant threw for 296 yards and a TD against the Stampeders but also had two interceptions.
Prediction – Ottawa.
Edmonton Eskimos versus Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Thursday) Prediction – Edmonton. Saskatchewan Roughriders versus Calgary Stampeders (Saturday) Prediction – Calgary. Ottawa Redblacks versus Toronto Argonauts (Monday) Prediction – Toronto.