LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – BC Lions @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. July 6, 7p EDT (1a July7 CEDT)

TORONTO — The BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts are both looking to jump start their 2019 campaigns when the two meet at BMO Field on Saturday evening. Neither team has had an encouraging start to their respective seasons, but are certainly eyeing the win in Toronto.

BC quarterback Mike Reilly will make a bit of history on Saturday. He is slated to become the 26th player since 1950 to start 100 CFL regular season games at quarterback. However, the veteran has struggled against Toronto historically, as he is just 3-6 in nine meetings with the Boatmen.

The situation is much different for the Argos, as their quarterback is making only his eighth career CFL start. McLeod Bethel-Thompson will get the offence Saturday night. Opening day starter James Franklin finds himself on the six-game injured list after being shaken up in the team’s Week 3 loss to Saskatchewan.

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» Depth Charts: BC | TOR

Bethel-Thompson endeared himself to Argos fans with two fourth quarter game-winning drives in his first two starts last season. He failed to truly take control of the offence though, and Franklin closed out the season as the QB1.

The 31-year-old has plenty of weapons at his disposal, as Toronto has one of the best receiver groups on paper. Free agent signing Derel Walker joins the likes of S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards as the big targets for Bethel-Thompson.

“There’s so much juice out there,” Bethel-Thompson said to Argonauts.ca of the wide receivers. “There’s depth too. It’s just excitement and putting the ball where they can make a play. Not trying to do too much, but putting them in good positions. It’s just pure excitement.”

However, Walker has only been targeted 10 times through two games, and neither of the three big guns have a game with over 75 receiving yards yet. With Bethel-Thompson at the helm, one wonders if that could change.

The task for Reilly will be tough Saturday, as the Lions will be without the services of receiver Bryan Burnham. Burnham leads BC in receiving yards on the season with his 280, ranking him fifth in the league.

The Lions receiving corps still boasts the likes of Duron Carter (who has the same number of receptions as Burnham), as well as Canadians Lemar Durant and Shaq Johnson. Durant had a nice game against Calgary, hauling in all five passes thrown his way, accumulating 83 yards and finding the end zone.

“It’s a growing process and we understand that,” Lions head coach DeVone Claybrooks told BCLions.com. “You never look at the numbers at the beginning of the year, you only look at how you finish and that’s the only thing that really matters to us.”

Defensively, the Lions have been poor, with the team allowing more than 30 points in each of their first three games. They have only sacked the quarterback four times, but one senses it may only be a matter of time before the Lions defence figures it out.

Head Coach DeVone Claybrooks is regarded as a defensive guru, while defensive coordinator Rich Stubler has seen it all in the CFL while winning five Grey Cups as a DC.

“We’ve been harping on leadership,” defensive back T.J. Lee told BCLions.com. “Making sure those leaders are holding themselves accountable and making sure everyone’s putting in the extra work they need to make this team better. When you put in the hard work, that gives you confidence.”

The Argos defence has underwhelmed throughout their first two games. Although they did tighten it up in the second half of their Week 3 loss to Saskatchewan, only conceding six points in the second half, they will have their hands full with Reilly and the Lions.

“It’s always tough when you’re defending Mike,” Argos head coach Corey Chamblin said to Argonauts.ca. “Nevertheless, everything starts up front for us. Four, five, six, seven-man pressure, whatever it takes. We have to find a way to keep him in the pocket and disrupt his rhythm and timing.”

Saturday is Family Day at BMO Field, and it will be a family affair on the field as well. Twins Jordan and Justin Herdman-Reed will be squaring off, with the latter slated to start at linebacker for the Lions and the former a backup linebacker for the Argos. The duo from Winnipeg were teammates during their college careers at Simon Fraser University and have combined for 26 defensive plays this season.

BY THE NUMBERS

0 – The number of first quarter points allowed by the BC Lions this season.

38 – Consecutive games that S.J. Green has at least one reception – that’s every game he has played in his Argos career.

98 – Career sacks for BC Lions defensive lineman Odell Willis. Only 11 players have reached the century mark in their career.

3 – The number of points the Boatmen and Leos have scored off of opponent turnovers thus far in 2019.

– With files from Argonauts.ca and BCLions.com.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM: CFL – BC Lions @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. July 6, 7p EDT (1a July7 CEDT)

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