The Edmonton Eskimos were sitting in third place in the Western Conference heading into this weeks game against their hated provincial rivals. Having already lost the previous game to Calgary a few weeks ago, this was a game they needed to win this game to avoid losing the season series. Bo Levi Mitchell returned to the lineup for Calgary after missing the last eight weeks, while Greg Ellingson and DaVaris Daniels would be in the lineup for the Eskimos.
The Eskimos started the game on offence and right from the opening kickoff, they struggled. It is something that has been plaguing the team for most of the season. They could not move the ball on the ground or in the air in the first half. CJ Gable had 24 yards rushing while Trevor Harris could only had 99 yards passing including an interception. The Stampeder offence was much more efficient with their opportunities and had twice as many yards as the Eskimos. They also scored the only touchdown of the first half after a defensive breakdown in the Eskimo secondary. Bo Levi Mitchell finding Richie Sandini all alone behind coverage and hit him with a 51 yard pass to setup the first major score of the game with less than a minute left in the half.
The Eskimos never really recovered and never did find the end zone Monday afternoon. failed to score touchdown in this game. They are going in the wrong direction heading into the stretch run of the season and now find themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Eskimos have now lost the last eight Labour Day games and continue to underwhelm when their opponent is a stronger one. For the fourth time in seven games the Eskimos were held to less than 20 points and have not been able to solve their offensive problems.
While everyone may not agree, I believe the Eskimos are at a crossroad in their season. Win, and the team gets some well needed confidence heading into the final third of the season. Lose, and the calls for change will become louder and louder. It is very disconcerting that the Eskimo offence continues to struggle in the red zone. After 11 weeks you would think there would be some answers, but after watching Monday’s game there do not appear to be any in sight. Fans have been looking at the NFL cuts that were announced this weekend, but I am not sure the Eskimos have any money to sign anyone that might be available.
It was a complete fail by the Eskimos as they were outplayed in all three aspects of the game. In the post game show Jason Maas continued with the same mantra…we have to learn from our mistakes and move on. As noted by Blake Dermott in the post game show, he asked the question “how many times do you have get kicked in the head before you learn”? For the second week in a row, the Eskimo defence gave up over 200 yards rushing and when your defence gives up those kinds of numbers you are not going to win many games.