The Canadian Press
Hello, BC Lions. A Rockettes kick line touchdown celebration? Pretty good, especially considering three offensive linemen took part in it. Can I envision you doing that the rest of the season? Yes, I can-can.
Here are the Week 20 Takeaways.
GOOD NEWS! IT’S ONLY GOTTEN WORSE FOR YOU
You know that two-headed Calgary dragon you’ve been trying to slay these past few weeks, CFL defences? It’s actually a three-headed hydra.
The main head is that of Ka’Deem Carey, of course, and then Peyton Logan’s own noggin sprouted up more and more as the season has worn on. With Logan on the one-game injured list for Saturday night’s game in Regina, head number three, belonging to Dedrick Mills, snapped to attention and began breathing fire too, as the 25-year-old gained 103 yards on 17 carries, scoring a touchdown. It’s actually Mills’ second 100-yard game of the season, having had one back during the first week of August, too. But we hadn’t seen him since August 20th.
» Argos clinch division with wild win over Als
» Ticats defeat REDBLACKS with walk-off field goal
» Carey, Mills help Stamps rush past Riders
» Lions lock down second in West with win over Elks
» Matchups Set: 109th Grey Cup playoffs ready for kickoff
Carey is averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Logan is averaging 6.5 (and spitting sulphurous plumes on punt and kick returns as well) and Mills is averaging 6.3 yards per rush. If a three-headed monster like that appeared on Game of Thrones, things would have turned out differently that’s for sure. Or maybe they wouldn’t have, I don’t know. I never watched Game of Thrones, did the dragons win?
BONUS TAKEAWAY: For the second time in three weeks, a quarterback deemed it an impossible challenge to put into words just how good his team’s run game was. This time, it was Jake Maier on the Stamps’ own impressive paving company. “I can’t put it into words,” said Maier, shaking his head in incredulity. Heads up, Jake, we went through this with Dane Evans after Thanksgiving Weekend. The term is ‘blocktastically-runtacular.’ You’re welcome.
BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: I’d like a dedicated Dave Dickenson reaction cam, every time the Stampeders play. Just put a little box in the top right hand corner there so I can go on the emotional journey with him.
THAT GUY IS REAAAAADDDY
There is a lot you could declare about the BC Lions after their win in Edmonton; That they are ready for whatever might come for them in Winnipeg, should they get past Calgary in the Western Semi-Final, what with James Butler and the running game being blocktastically-runtacular. (No, I won’t be letting that one go. Do NOT tell me to stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen)
Or that quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. has apparently arrived at a happy place in his comfort with playing in that Lions’ offence and that is a very good thing for the team, whether he remains at the controls or on the sidelines, ready to take over when needed. That, by the way, is a pretty big question for head coach Rick Campbell as we spy the anticipated return of Nathan Rourke. Perhaps his answer will be more informed after this Friday’s regular season finale against the Blue Bombers.
So, those guys are ready, Adams, Butler and an offensive line that is… well, you know what it is.
Know who else is ready? T.J. Lee. The veteran defensive back had forced a turnover in each of his previous two games and against Edmonton his stats pack was thinner. But there was high quality in there if not quantity. In the first half he went halfway to Mars to knock down a perfectly-placed bomb and then in the second, he raced up to deny – with great malice – a full speed Tre Ford at the goal line, then found a nearby camera and roared like the Jurassic Park T-Rex right into it. Seems ready for the playoffs.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: If a Butler like James ever appeared on Downton Abbey things would’ve turned out differently, that’s for sure. Or maybe they wouldn’t have, I don’t know. I never watched Downton Abbey, did the butler win?
THAT GUY IS REAAAAADDDY, PART II
The latest Ron Swanson ‘Bring Me All The Bacon And Eggs You Have’ Award goes to Toronto’s Henoc Muamba, who first set and then reiterated an intolerant, insistent tone throughout the Argos’ first place-clinching win in Montreal. With nine tackles and a statement-making sack on Montreal quarterback Trevor Harris, the 33-year-old linebacker was also the torpedo that stopped Als’ running back Jeshrun Antwi short of the goal line on a third down play, during the first quarter. And Muamba also knocked down three passes.
“These guys were fighting,” Muamba said of his teammates, after the game. “None of ‘em quit.”
Probably because the middle linebacker with 17 tackles in his last two games wasn’t about to let them.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Apparently there actually is some rest for the wicked. “I’m really excited about the rest next week,” Muamba said with a wry smile.
HE SHALL, FROM TIME TO TIME
Every time the Hamilton Ticats are forced into using Sean Thomas Erlington as a feature back, he delivers.
Friday night, with number one tailback Wes Hills on the sidelines, the ‘Cats turned to Don Jackson, who’d been supplanted by Hills a few weeks ago. And Sean Thomas Erlington stayed right where he was, as the “In Case Of Emergency” running back, who would only occasionally trot out onto the field so he could rip a timely 22-yard gain around the outside, or something like that.
When Jackson went down with an injury, there was STE on Friday night, inserted as the feature back, taking hand-offs and doing his thing, lugging 13 carries for 104 yards, including a gutting, 36-yarder. Just another impressive, physical (he sure earned that ‘hammer’ monicker on the team’s alternate jersey) performance from the fifth-year Ticat, on a windy night that made ground gains that much more important.
He’s not the feature back but he will make you wonder why he ain’t, every time he’s pressed into duty. What a luxury to have.
THEY TAKE THIS COLUMN SO LITERALLY
Ottawa’s Brandin Dandridge and Hamilton’s Cedric Wilcots each pulled off a little something that is pretty unusual to see during an entire season, never mind twice in one game.
Each of them reached in and fluidly ripped the ball away from the victim who was carrying it, and opted out of the usual next step, which is to have that ball fall to the ground and bounce around unpredictably before it is then recovered by somebody, so often a bystander. Cutting out the necessity of having to go through that middle step, both Dandridge and Wilcots just grabbed the thing and transferred ownership to themselves, resembling Jerry Seinfeld in that episode where he pilfered the marble rye from an elderly woman, on a New York Street.
If these guys are going to literally take away a ball then the least I can do is include them in the figurative takeaways. That’s – what is it the cool kids call it? Meta. It’s soooo meta, right?
So, I don’t really have a thoughtful takeaway for all of this. I could fake my way though it by typing something like “ball security, yada yada yada…” but let’s not kid ourselves. This is really about how it’s a long season and after pumping out a hundred and some odd takeaways, the writer needs to find a way to take it easy. To slide into some load management. In fact, might I suggest to the content bosses at CFL.ca that someone young and hungry write the takeaways for Week 21? You know, so I can get my body right for the playoffs. Carpal tunnel is real, y’all. You say rest vs. rust? I say rest vs. wrist.
AND FINALLY… You see? THAT’S why you should throw to Jake Wieneke more often.