B.C. Lions look to end skid heading into playoffs 0
Cord Parks of the B.C. Lions swats a pass away from Maurice Price of the Calgary Stampeders in CFL action at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alta. on Friday October 11, 2013. The Stamps won 40-26. (Lyle Aspinall/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)
The B.C. Lions can't do any actual damage until they enter the playoffs, and that's two games away.
With a shot at hosting a home playoff match out of the question now, the team can only treat their final two regular season games as momentum-builders — needing to halt a three-game skid and regain confidence amongst the squad. And then, hopefully, step into the West Division semifinals looking like more of a threat than they have been the past few weeks.
"It's critical for us to make sure that we play as well as we can and we're capable of in the last two games," head coach Mike Benevides said. "Once the playoffs come, it's a whole different season. We need to play consistent football all three phases and win a football game.
"We have to be able to overcome adversity because that comes in a game."
Prior to their 35-14 defeat at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday, the Lions had not lost three in a row since early 2011, when they dropped the first five games of the season. They went on to win the Grey Cup that year but, of course, things are different now.
One of the issues this time is inconsistency — despite having a team, on paper, capable of contending for the title, especially when quarterback Travis Lulay returns.
"It's too sporadic," veteran defensive back Dante Marsh said of his 9-7 squad. "We have to be able to play BC Lions football week in and week out. Consistency that we're a much better football team than our record shows. But you got to go out and prove it on the field."
They'll look to do that this Friday at home against the Edmonton Eskimos, a Western foe who have lost four straight and have just three wins in their abysmal season. But whatever the case, whoever the opponent, the Lions are treating it as a "should-win" game again.
"We approach it like we approach the last 16 games, just trying to get a win," defensive back Korey Banks said. "We have to change up our identity a little bit here because people, they put things on films and they're starting to get keys on us. Right now, our group is good enough but we're losing on other things.
"What we want is still in front of us … we're focused on what we can do better and how we can make the next step."