Blue Bombers defeat Eskimos 23-22

- July 26th, 2012

There you have it folks.

The final home opener at Canad Inns Stadium provided the usual twists and turns and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers found an unlikely way to win their first game of the 2012 CFL season.

How did they do it?

Well, to make a long story short, in a variety of ways.

But they did enough things well to grasp a victory from the hands of defeat.

After the Blue Bombers had pulled ahead after a 27-yard field goal by Justin Palardy with 5:51 left in the fourth quarter, the Eskimos were driving down the field with the clock winding down and got a critical third-down conversion as they tried to rally for a victory.

But moments after eluding a would-be tackler in field-goal range for Grant Shaw, Eskimos QB Steven Jyles was stripped-from-behind by Blue Bombers rookie DT Jake Thomas and the ball ended up in the hands of Jovon Johnson.

As they say, that’s the ball game.

And rather than stare at 0-5 with a date against the Montreal Alouettes pending for next Friday, the Blue Bombers will wake up in the morning with a notch in the win column and some much-needed confidence to boot.

That sound you hear is Bomber Nation breathing a big sigh of relief. You could probably hear the same thing from the offices of head coach Paul LaPolice and GM Joe Mack.

It’s still an uphill battle at 1-4, but it represents an important step in the climb back nonetheless.

Here are the answers from our pre-game questions:

1. How will the Blue Bombers defence hold up?

The Blue Bombers followed up their strong performance in Toronto with another good one, forcing a fumble with the game on the line and generally playing a bend-but-don’t-break style against the Eskimos.

Jyles completed just over half his passes (16-of-30) for 244 yards, had some big plays but turned the ball over when it mattered most.

The Blue Bombers displayed plenty of emotion throughout the contest and got some strong pressure from Alex Hall.

There were some breakdowns in the secondary again, but overall it was another step in the right direction for the Blue Bombers.

2. Alex Brink starts, but will he finish?

Indeed he did. Best effort of his career, from where we sit. After struggling to the tune of 9-for-34 with two picks, Brink bounced back in a big way with 294 yards through the air. He did have two picks, but both came as he was either rushed or hit while in the act of throwing. Most importantly, the picks didn’t bother him one bit.

After completing a 40-yard TD to Chris Matthews on final offensive play of first half, Brink was 7-for-7 during the third quarter and then got the job done in the fourth, earning his first win as a starter.

3. What will Chad Simpson do for an encore?

After an impressive 91 yards and one catch for 31 yards in his Blue Bomber debut, the former NFLer had 14 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown, adding five catches for 49 yards. He didn’t reach 100 yards, but it won’t likely be long before he does. Having Simpson in the backfield gives the Blue Bombers much better balance and that will be required as they attempt to push back toward the .500 mark.

That’s going to do it for tonight.

Kirk Penton handles things this weekend.

Take care.

Categories: Football

Subscribe to the post

Leave a comment

 characters available