It’s amazing what happens when you get good quarterback play, huh?
You can talk about Chad Simpson’s running or the offensive line’s blocking or the play of the defence, but the only difference between Friday night and the previous eight games was the absence of Buck Pierce.
It’s no coincidence the quarterback’s return to the lineup resulted in Winnipeg ending its nearly four-game offensive touchdown drought. Pierce brought poise and leadership to an offence that looked absolutely lost over the last several weeks. Simpson said Pierce was a “general out there.” He sure was.
A few other post-game thoughts …
• Pierce is now 11-8 as Winnipeg’s quarterback of record. Joey Elliott, Alex Brink and Justin Goltz are 3-16.
• Pierce still took too many hits tonight. He should have gotten rid of the ball quicker on a few occasions. If he’s going to be their quarterback for the foreseeable future, he needs to change his style.
• Henoc Muamba had his best game in the middle of the Bomber defence. He had a pass knockdown, a sack and a forced fumble. He’s a good example of the Bombers being young but having nowhere to go but up. He showed glimpses of how good he’s going to be.
• The Ticats, despite their 51-8 over the Edmonton Eskimos last weekend, aren’t a very good football team. In fact, they are now 1-6 since the start of August, while the Bombers are 2-5. Don’t get me wrong: The Bombers played a great game, but the only team the Bombers have beaten convincingly this season are the Ticats.
• The Bombers had the ball for more than 37 minutes. Not sure when the last time was they had the ball for that long, but it sure helped the defence hold Henry Burris to fewer than 200 passing yards. Once again, Pierce had quite the impact on the game.
• The Bombers were well-disciplined on Friday night, taking only six penalties for 60 yards. The Ticats, meanwhile, had 17 infractions for 135 yards. However, Brandon Stewart’s penalty for punching Sam Giguere well after the play was terribly selfish.
• Slotback Terrence Edwards moved past Rick House and into fourth place on Winnipeg’s career receiving yards list. He had four grabs for 88 yards overall, but he still dropped a couple. I don’t remember him dropping as many balls as he has this year.
• Gary Crowton got a game ball from Pierce, but his play calling at times was still questionable. The reverse that took the Blue and Gold out of field goal range in the first half was not the best call, and there was a second-and-three deep in Hamilton territory when Winnipeg ran it up the middle but actually lost a yard.
• Then again, the Ticats left the flats open all night, and the Bombers took advantage, so credit to them.
• Can the Bombers make the playoffs? I still think it’s pretty slim. They’re four points out of a spot with six to go and still have to overtake two teams. On the bright side, Hamilton is gagging and Edmonton is in the middle of a bad rough patch. On the other hand, the Bombers still have to play the Alouettes twice and the Stampeders once. They get the Ticats only one more time and it’s on the road, where they never win. I still don’t see it happening.