The Edmonton Eskimos were in Winnipeg to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to start week three in the CFL. The Bombers had last week off and when coming off the bye week, they are 5-0 the last couple of years. We witnessed yet another slow start by the Edmonton Eskimos while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers took advantage of the big play as they found the end zone twice in the first quarter to lead 14-3. For the third straight game, the team was guilty of bad penalties that helped the Bombers to the lead. The Eskimo offence out played the Bombers in the first quarter but had nothing to show for it.
The Eskimos had a better second quarter as they held the Bomber offence to zero points. The bad news was the Eskimo offence could not find the end zone despite causing two turnovers and being deep in Bomber territory on more than one occasion. Sean Whyte had four field goals (10, 20, 30 and 45) but still trailed 14-12 at the half. There was one underlying theme in the first half of this game and that was field position. The Bombers started most of their drives past their own 35 yard line while the Eskimos started most of their drives inside their own 25 yard line. The half time statistics showed a clear advantage for the Eskimos but on the scoreboard where it matters most, they were behind.
At half time, the TSN panel talked about who they thought had the momentum going into the second half and the consensus was the Eskimos. When they came out to play the third quarter, someone forgot to tell the Bombers. It was similar to the first quarter as Winnipeg continued to make the big play and scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 28-12 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Another underlying theme from this week’s game is the poor production from the punt and kickoff returns. Coverage teams were not bad, but if there was one area where the Bombers were superior, it was on special teams.
Despite having to settle for field goals most of the game, the Eskimos still had a chance to win this game in the fourth quarter. Sean Whyte kicked three more field goals in the second half with the last one being the most intriguing. The Eskimos had the ball first down on the Winnipeg 26 with just over two minutes left in the game when Jason Maas sent the field goal team onto the field. Whyte was successful and it made the score 28-21. Now it was up to the defence to get the ball back for the offence and they did just that!
After a decent return, Trevor Harris and the offence got the ball on the Winnipeg 51 yard line with 1:45 remaining. Unfortunately the offence could not get the major score they needed and turned the ball over on downs back to the Bombers. Then, the Bombers reciprocated when Andrew Harris fumbled on the very next play and it was recovered by Edmonton! With a second opportunity to score a major and force overtime, the Eskimo offence turned the ball over on downs once AGAIN securing the Bomber win. Despite having over 400 yards of offence on this night, it did not result in a win! The players and coaches will have to go back to the drawing board to work on a number of things heading into the bye week. and now the players and coaches will have to will have an extra week to digest the loss as they head into the bye week.