Lions catch a big break

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

It took until the final day of the CFL regular season, but the Lions finally managed to clinch a playoff spot and will face the same team they were rooting for yesterday in the first round.

B.C. needed Hamilton to beat Winnipeg and the Tiger-Cats delivered in a 39-17 rout of the Blue Bombers, helping the Lions advance to the postseason for the 14th straight year.

The Lions had every opportunity to control their own fate, needing only more one win to guarantee a trip to the postseason, but lost their last three regular season games including Friday's embarrassing 45-13 drubbing by the Edmonton Eskimos.

Not only were they humiliated in their last ever game under the current B.C. Place dome, B.C. also lost both their quarterbacks, Casey Printers and Buck Pierce, to different injuries, leaving their pivot situation in doubt heading into next week.

The loss dropped the Lions to last place in the West with 16 points, but because they finished ahead of Winnipeg and Toronto, they will crossover to the East for their playoff run.

Despite advancing, many players are to blame for their late-season near-collapse, including the entire defensive unit which has allowed 106 points and 12 touchdowns in the last three weeks.

Those numbers will need to improve drastically if they want to make it past Hamilton, who have beaten the Lions twice already this season.

Note: Next Sunday's East semi-finals matchup in Hamilton will start at 10 a.m. PT on TSN.


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