Eskimos 26, Bombers 3

- July 18th, 2014

A few thoughts after Edmonton hammered Winnipeg in the battle of the unbeatens:

• I re-watched every Winnipeg offensive play when I got home, and the offensive line didn’t play as bad as it originally appeared. Here are a few notes:
- On a lot of the plays quarterback Drew Willy clearly didn’t have anywhere to throw, as he dumped it off to running back Nic Grigsby six times.
- Three of Edmonton’s five sacks occurred late in the fourth quarter after the game had been decided.
- On the five sacks, the players responsible were: fullback Carl Fitzgerald, Cordaro Howard, Glenn January, Dan Knapp and Paris Cotton.
- Right guard Paddy Neufeld got destroyed by Almondo Sewell in the first half, leading to an incomplete pass.
- Knapp had the worst night of any of the O-linemen, which is not a good sign considering he’s an import. Your worst O-lineman should never be an import.
- There was one play in the second half where pretty much every member of the O-line got beat.
- As for run blocking, Grigsby managed just 50 yards on 11 carries, so the Bomber hogs could have been better in that department.

• The last time the Bombers scored so few points at home was during the Jeff Reinebold days. Yes, it was that bad. The Bombers lost 20-2 to the Eskimos on Oct. 12, 1997.

• Willy is known for his quiet and cool demeanour, but he should have hurried up at the end of the first half. He was going way too slow considering they were down 13-3. Too much time went off the clock before the ball was snapped.

• It was interesting to see that Derek Jones replaced Matt Bucknor at strong-side corner instead of Donovan Alexander.

• Mike Reilly’s legs make him such a dangerous quarterback. Willy can move, but not like Reilly.

• Craig Dickenson’s fake punt call early in the fourth quarter was the turning point of the game for me. After that, the Bombers appeared to be beaten. That’s when John White started running all over the Blue and Gold, and that drive led to the touchdown that gave Edmonton a commanding 20-3 advantage.

• Paris Cotton had a heck of a time trying to catch kickoffs in practice two weeks ago, so he spent 20 minutes after the last practice of the week catching as many as he could. He should have kept doing it, because he bobbled two kickoffs last night.

• The Eskimos have two wins at Investors Group Field. The Bombers have three.

• The Eskimos had 192 rushing yards and 192 passing yards. That’s what you would call a balanced attack.

• Winnipeg’s tackling was dismal, and it was dismal before they spent more than 38 minutes on the field. Chris Randle’s attempt on Calvin McCarty in the second quarter was especially weak. Ejiro Kuale had a couple cracks at bringing down Reilly, but he couldn’t do it. The topper was when Reilly went down head first after a long run and nobody touched him, allowing him to get up and run for another 10 yards. Teague Sherman got his first career sack, but there were a couple times he should have had Reilly wrapped up but failed to do so.

• Demond Washington had another game to forget. He got hurt twice, his roughing the passer penalty was awful even though it didn’t lead to an Eskimos touchdown, and he bumped into Paris Cotton when the latter was trying to haul in a kickoff. His unnecessary roughness penalty against Fred Stamps probably wasn’t a penalty.

• Stamps must hate coming to Winnipeg. He had to have testicular surgery after a game in Winnipeg a few years ago, and last night he left the field on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on. The weird part is he went back in the game between the hit and being carted off on a stretcher.

• Winnipeg’s red zone defence was tremendous. So at least there was that.

• The Bombers lost the turnover battle for the third straight game, but it was the first time they lost. They have to knock that off pretty soon.

• If I’m Mike Renaud, I’m getting healthy as soon as humanly possible so Lirim Hajrullahu doesn’t get more chances to show the brass that he can do a great job with the punting.

• Bottom line is they’re still 3-1. If you had asked the Bombers back in February what they would’ve taken after four games, 3-1 probably would’ve been their answer.

Categories: Football

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