STREAMING PPV: BC Lions @ Toronto Argonauts, Oct. 30, 22:00 CET (10 pm, 4 pm ET)

The Toronto Argonauts look to remain perfect at home with a win over the BC Lions on Saturday afternoon.

In the wake of a week that saw the Edmonton Elks acquire Nick Arbuckle from the Argos, Mcleod Bethel-Thompson is presented with an opportunity to secure the Double Blue’s first playoff spot since 2017.

After starting the season in what was poised to be a backup role, Bethel-Thompson’s consistent play has earned him the trust of the franchise going forward. Coming off his career-best 2019 season where he threw for 4,024 yards and 26 touchdowns, the traditional pocket passer that Bethel-Thompson is has allowed the Argos’ skill positions to thrive in this year’s offence.

» Depth Charts: TOR | BC
» Lions, Argos Injury Reports: Stay up to date
» Game Notes: A look at Week 13

Embracing his new role as one of the faces of the franchise, Bethel-Thompson’s focus has been cast broader than just a single game.

“I can’t look macro, especially at this time in the season,” said Bethel-Thompson. “I really have to focus on the micro and we have to get a win this week. We haven’t played up to our capabilities, I haven’t played up to my capabilities. Everything else is irrelevant if I don’t perform every day in practice and in the game Saturday.”

This week, Bethel-Thompson squares off against a Lions’ secondary that has amassed 11 interceptions in 10 games. Given how attainable second place may still be in the West Division with the Lions trailing the Saskatchewan Roughriders by four points, Ryan Dinwiddie knows the importance of this game for the Leos.

“They know it’s time for them, they’ve got to step it up and improve on what they’re doing, same thing for us,” said Dinwiddie. “We’ve got to play better. We haven’t played well by any means, especially on offence. It’s important for us to get back on the right track. We understand that these guys understand the importance of where they’re at in their season, their record and what this game means to them.”

Along with facing a Lions team that is hungry to be on the other side of a dominant performance, the Argos will not only have to face them but Mother Nature as well.

With rain forecasted to make an appearance at BMO Field, Dinwiddie has had to prepare his guys as much as possible when it comes to playing in “football weather.”

“We practiced in it a few different times, that’s the only thing you can do, maybe get some wet footballs and practice that way,” said Dinwiddie. “The guys have to make sure they wear the right clothing, the right cleats and focus on squeezing the football and taking care of the football so we don’t have any fumbles.”

The Argos come into Saturday’s game having lost by a season-high 21 points to the Montreal Alouettes. After holding the Als to 12 yards and a single first down on their first three drives, William Stanback exploded in the remaining frames of the ball game, recording 203 rushing yards and a touchdown. This week, the Argos face off against one of the CFL’s most prolific passers in Michael Reilly. Reilly is the league’s third-ranked passer in yards with 2,323.

“Mike just knows the game,” said Chris Edwards on Reilly. “He’s a Grey Cup Champion, so you know he’s tough as nails. He’s just ready for whatever, but we’re ready too so we’re going to bring it to him Saturday.”

For Reilly and the Lions, they look to get the bad taste of a 45-0 loss to Winnipeg Blue Bombers out of their mouths with a win.

Having strung together multiple performances that saw Reilly’s name circulate among the other league greats for a MOP nod, the Lion’s passing attack has not been what it once was.

The loss of Lucky Whitehead left a hole in the Lions’ wide receiving room. In his absences, Bryan BurnhamJevon Cottoy, and Keon Hatcher had to step up. Still, the lack of Whitehead’s ability to generate big plays in the passing game and on special teams has hindered the Lions’ ability to stretch the field. Coming off back-to-back sub-200 yard passing games, Whitehead’s re-insertion to the lineup will be welcomed by Reilly and the Lions’ offence.

Whitehead can not return at a better time for the Lions as in back-to-back games either, Reilly has been held under 200 yards and the team has been outscored 84-10.

“The last few weeks have not gone the way we’ve wanted them to,” said Rick Campbell on his team. “We control our own destiny, it’s all in our hands so we have to make sure we’re working hard at it.”

Going against the revitalized Chris Jones-manned Toronto defence, Campbell knows his players have to be that much better.

“They have good players, they’re going to mix things up,” said Campbell. “They play fast and have good players, but we’ll have answers too. We’re going to watch what they’re doing and scout them and all that stuff but it comes down to executing and making plays.”

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2021 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here. BC Lions @ Toronto Argonauts, Oct. 30, 22:00 CET (10 pm, 4 pm ET)

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