It was the worst thing that could have happened to the Edmonton Eskimos. They were swept by their provincial rivals and the possibility of a home playoff game is almost assured. After an embarrassing effort against Calgary on Labour Day, the team did play better in the rematch but the result was the same. To make matters worse, the Eskimos lost QB Trevor Harris to injury late in the first quarter and would end up missing the rest of the game.
Logan Kilgore had not taken a snap in a CFL game since 2017 and while he was the quarterback of record in the loss, he was a respectable 21/28 for 242 yards and one interception. Unfortunately, it will be the interception that is remembered most as the team was driving to score in the fourth quarter when a pass went off the hands of Greg Ellingson and was intercepted by Calgary defensive back DaShaun Amos who returned the ball 79 yards for a touchdown to make the score 33-10.
Statistically, Calgary was not vastly superior to Edmonton but full credit goes to the Stampeder’s for winning yet another ‘Battle of Alberta’. The one underlying theme of this years Eskimos is that when the big game comes up, they have yet to show they are a serious contender. They are 0-5 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeder’s and have yet to play the Hamilton Tiger Cats or Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Once again undisciplined play reared their ugly head as Edmonton took 10 penalties for 103 yards. Two of those penalties were called on the same play when Mike Moore was flagged for unnecessary roughness against Bo Levi Mitchell and Nick Usher was called for objectionable conduct. It allowed the Stampeder’s to retain possession instead of having to punt the ball away and it resulted in a Calgary field goal to make the score 7-3.
In the post game news conference, you could see the toll the season is starting to take on head coach Jason Maas. Some fans are calling for his head while some media are writing that the “players are not playing for him” or “the lack of team discipline starts with him”. Regardless of how accurate those statements are, Maas’ job has to be on the line heading into the final six games of the season. This is his fourth year as head coach of the Eskimos and he has yet to finish higher than third place.
The players head into the bye week on a three game losing streak and need to clear their heads as they head into the final six weeks of the season. Mathematically, the team still has a shot at first place in the Western Conference but they will have to drastically turn things around on the field if they are going to accomplish that. Jason Maas had already said the coaches will be working through the bye week and said “We’ll be focused on trying to fix this problem and work through some things and have the guys better prepared when they come back to play and win a ball game”
Next up for the Eskimos are the 9-2 Hamilton Tiger Cats who will be at Commonwealth Stadium Friday September 20th when the team will put Ricky Ray’s number up on the “Wall of Honour”. In other news announced today, the team has come to terms with 2019 first round draft pick Mathieu Betts who signed a 2+1 year deal keeping him with the Eskimos through the 2021 season.