Redblacks continue disheartening slide, lose sixth straight in blowout to the Lions

Photo credit: The Canadian Press

The Ottawa Redblacks’ long downward spiral continues in increasingly disheartening ways. On Saturday night, they were outclassed on offence, defence and special teams in a 40-7 loss to the 2-10 BC Lions.

It has been an abysmal stretch for the team. Their six-game losing streak includes four straight losses of at least 20 points and three losses to fellow non-playoff teams.

The Mike Reilly-led Lions offence totaled 564 yards. The former Most Outstanding Player award winner was fantastic. Reilly completed 78% of his passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns.

He wasn’t the only passer that took advantage of the Redblacks secondary. Along with catching a touchdown in the second half, Lions enigmatic receiver Duron Carter caught a lateral from Reilly on a trick play and then turned to throw downfield to fellow receiver Shaq Johnson.

Johnson had 110 yards and a touchdown on only two catches in the first half. He ended up with three catches and 160 yards, his best performance in his CFL career.

The Redblacks offence was clearly not as productive and the quarterback position for Ottawa continues to struggle. This time, it was Jonathon Jennings, who still has not won a game despite appearing in seven.

While the Lions ran up the score early, Jennings had 16 just yards passing in the first half. He ended up with 121 yards before being pulled for backup Will Ardnt as the game was out of reach.

The offence had a strong opening drive with impressive runs from Mossis Madu but could not convert on a third and short opportunity deep in BC territory. Whatever early momentum built was then lost and Ottawa never recovered.

Redblacks linebacker J.R. Tavai picked up a sack in the loss, his fourth of the season. He has been impressive all 2019 after failing to total a sack in his rookie year a season ago. Tavai sits second in sacks on the Redblacks, trailing only Avery Ellis.

Though not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, it is feeling increasingly like a lost season for Ottawa. There remains more questions than answers on the present and future of the team.

Quick Notes:

  • Though known as a superb kick returner, DeVonte Dedmon caught his longest pass as a Redblacks with a 41-yard reception
  • Lions pass rusher Odell Willis recorded his 100th career sack, becoming the 12th player in the history of the CFL to do so
  • Following the end of his historic field goal streak, kicker Lewis Ward has now missed three field goals this season, all in the last five games

The Redblacks will look to get back on track next Saturday when they host the Edmonton Eskimos at TD Place.