The Bombers tried not to lose instead of trying to win. Unfortunately for them, they’ve gotten so good at losing that they have basically perfected it.
Tim Burke tried to pin the Roughriders deep in their own zone with 28 seconds to go in the game instead of attempting a 43-yard field goal with the wind. Steve Morley threw his hands in the air, thinking what everybody else was thinking, and trotted off the field.
Mike Renaud then botched the play badly, kicking it into the end zone for a single and allowing the Riders to start on their own 35. The rest, as you know, is history. Three plays later the Riders were on the Bombers 32-yard line, and Sandro DeAngelis ended it with a 40-yard field goal.
A few more post-game thoughts …
• I understand what Burke was thinking, but even he admitted afterwards he should have kicked the field goal. It was a classic case of a coach out-thinking yourself.
• Burke’s bad decision was a specific reason for the loss, but Winnipeg’s absolutely horrible offensive performance was the general reason why they didn’t win it going away. Six trips inside Saskatchewan’s 30-yard line and they didn’t score a single touchdown? Inexcusable.
• Buck Pierce should play next week in Calgary, even if he needs to use crutches.
• There was a lot of tongue biting going on in the Bomber locker-room after the game in regards to the punt call. The players I talked to all said the right thing when the recorder was rolling, however.
• Kenny Mainor’s slamming down of Drew Willy early in the fourth quarter is a prime example of the Bombers being too young and too inexperienced. Perhaps Joe Mack does bring in good athletes, but he needs to start finding football players who have more common sense.
• It sounds like the coaching staff is finally going to start taking playing time away from undisciplined players, which is something they haven’t done for a long time. It’ll be interesting to see if Burke follows through and puts Mainor on the practice roster this week. Nothing will get a player’s attention faster than a cheque for $500 instead of a regular game cheque.
• I contacted CFL statistician Steve Daniel before the game, wondering what the longest streak of failing to score a first-quarter touchdown was. Demond Washington made it moot when he returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. So, you’re welcome, Bomber fans.
• The Bombers are off to Calgary for a game on Friday. They’ve only lost nine in a row at McMahon Stadium.
• The Bombers were 2-8 in 2008, and they hosted a playoff game. That won’t happen this year because both Toronto and Hamilton aren’t terrible. Well, the Ticats are, but the Argos are not.