The Turnover: Regular Season Game 2

   33,103 CFL Fans rallied to the normally-empty BC Place to help support the league and teams playing in Vancouver, BC. Unfortunately for the Edmonton Elks, they've broken the wrong streak yet again.

   In this week's edition of The Turnover, we're going to give you our fansided opinion on what went right and of course, what went wrong for the Edmonton Elks at the BC Lion's Home Opener. Let's dig in, shall we?


   We woke up in Edmonton with very little expectations. Based on last year's edition of the BC Lions, along with the changes they've made and their performance in Calgary last week, we didn't expect a win from the Elks. What we did expect, however, was at least a point. More on that shortly. For our Game Day preparations we made content, tweeted with our fellow fans and cleaned a house in order to settle in and enjoy what should have been a competitive CFL game. We tuned in to the 630 CHED Pregame Show and got ready for the game as per usual.


   The Ladies Love Cool James and apparently, so does BC. The LL Cool J Pregame Concert was a success for viewers and the Lions faithful that showed up in thousands. For an organization that has been the butt end of attendance jokes for 10 years, Amar Doman has done a great job getting BC's football fans back into the stadium known as BC Place. From that point on it would only get worse for the Edmonton Elks and their fans. Starting with kick-off and onwards, the Edmonton Elks could not string a successful drive together for the whole 60 minutes. The Elks would push close to the Lions 40 as their farthest venture towards the Lions end zone for the whole night. Taylor Cornelius, coupled with the infamous Stephen McAdoo offense, could not find or throw to his targets nearly as efficiently as expected. Compared to last week's game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Elks offense looked significantly worse. While some of this is on Cornelius as the starting quarterback, the offensive line did not give Cornelius much time or space to get the job done with some attempts being marred by BC's defensive line pushing the Elks offensive line into the quarterback. In this game Cornelius threw many over and under throws which indicates major issues with the offensive phase as a whole. The running game looked decent at times but BC had the solution for stopping the run effectively.


   As time ticked away and the Elks defense continued to fend off the Lions, the Lions offense wore down the defense and the gap started to widen. Defensive back Ed Gainey would intercept a ball thrown by Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. but would fumble the ball near the Lions red zone and would leave the game with an injury. That's the definition of the term "Adding insult to injury."
   On special teams, the Elks pulled off a mediocre performance that would see punter Jake Julien commit two penalties on balls punted out of bounds before hitting the turf. On punt and kick returns, the Elks did well to stop the returners but also didn't make any significant gains on the field returning the ball themselves.


   The Edmonton Elks would post a score of 0 versus the BC's 22. While this score is an indicator of moving backwards from last week's 13, there is indeed some positives to take from this game.


   Between social media, traditional media and conversations on the streets, fans of the EE will be going through some negative motions until the Elks play their next game. Here's what we saw as bright spots in yesterday's game:

1. Defense looked cohesive and competitive. Featuring an interception, multiple sacks and stops at critical times, the defense as a whole did their job as per expectations. The defense were fatigued by the third quarter from being on the field so much, something we predicted from our couches over 1000 kilometers away. What's worth noting here is that the Elks let in 59 points at the Lions Home Opener in 2022, and then 46 in their next game in BC. For a tired defense, letting in 22 with no help from the offense is a big indicator of improvement for the Elks.

2. Special Teams weren't bad. While there was still much left to be desired in that department, the game wasn't lost on Special Teams which has been a theme over the last two years. Progress is needed but progress is showing.

3. Change should be coming. While the quarterback and offense is in crisis mode, changes are required in that phase with a score of 0 for the first time in roughly 46 years. We've been supporters of Taylor Cornelius for years but with the offensive schemes failing and throws not hitting the targets properly, one has to assume that Cornelius is starting to lose confidence, which is the last thing you want for your starting quarterback. We truly feel for Cornelius but as they do in the hockey world with goalies, a change at that position may be required to wake up the entire offensive side of the ball.


   The Edmonton Elks will host the Toronto Argonauts for a special night at Commonwealth Stadium. The Elks will be celebrating the 1993 Grey Cup team so expect EE Almuni to be on hand for the celebration. As well, the Elks will be sending off the TSN 1260 crew that was abruptly laid off on Wednesday June 14 2023 with a proper farewell by hosting the former crew in their own $12.60 sections with one section already sold out. We're hoping to see a win for our Edmonton legends, but without critical changes this week our hopes may be quashed.


   As Edmonton Elks fans ourselves, we see most of what you see. Sometimes we see less, sometimes we see more. At the end of the day we're as passionate as the EE faithful that tune in and show up every Game Day. We don't know what Chris Jones will do. We don't know what McAdoo will change. We don't know if Taylor Cornelius is our starting quarterback for the next game. Our questions are as good as yours as fans. What we do know is that this organization has worked night and day to improve fan experience, brand exposure and the product on the field. We want to see wins as bad as anyone else reading our article but the reality is that the on-field product is the only real problem with this team. Victor Cui has done his part, it's on Chris Jones and company to complete the vision. We have faith in the long game, but for today the short game is frustrating. We're right here with you and we will never stop supporting this team but for today, it's a rainy, messy, sad day in Edmonton. The team has a passionate fanbase and for that, we applaud the organization and fans for caring about this team and city, no matter how bad the on-field product can be at times.

  Tomorrow will be preparations for the game in a week from now at Commonwealth Stadium and with that, we'll turn the page on this game. Here's to hoping we see the changes that this football team desperately requires.

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