Friday, July 27, 2012

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Grab Victory From Jaws of Defeat

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were on the verge of staring with an 0-5 record as Steven Jyles was marching the Eskimos into field goal range. A non-import defensive lineman Jake Thomas made what could be a season saving play by forcing a fumble as Jyles was being tackled. The Bombers scooped up the ball and sealed their first victory of the 2012 season ( the 15th for home teams verses 2 losses for home teams in the CFL this year).

Perhaps Coach Richard Harris was looking down on the Blue on the first anniversary of his tragic passing, as they had several bounces go there way, including the hail Mary TD on the last play of the first half. That gave the blue some momentum as they went into the half trailing 14-11, instead of 14-4.

Alex Brink did not look out of place in this game and amassed over 250 yards passing despite being under constant pressure. He looked poised and confident. He spread he ball around using all receivers and made use of Chad Simpson, who caught several passes out of the backfield.

The return of Cory Watson was also a key to this victory as he had 6 receptions and made numerous blocks downfield adding another weapon to the receiving crew. The defense did their part despite a couple breakdowns that led to long TD catches for the Eskimos; Cary Koch(25 yards) and Fred Stamps (47 yards).

The defense held the Eskimos to 333 yards of total offense. The Eskimos will look at this as one that got away from them and think they deserved a better fate. Their defense looks to be in mid season form as they had constant pressure on Brink and company, forcing him into 2 bad throws that resulted in interceptions.

If the Eskimos offense can catch up, this will be a team to be reckoned with. At 3-2, despite the Ricky Ray trade, they could just as easily be 4-1. Steven Jyles will have to pick up his game as he allowed the Bombers to stay in this one, missing several glorious opportunities and fumbling the ball while in field goal range will have the fans grumbling and questioning if he should be the starter. 

The Bombers face another tough task next Friday as they face Montreal but it should be an easier week of practice with the proverbial 'monkey off their back'. There is lots of room for improvement. If Alex Brink can continue to develop and get in sync with his receivers and Chad Simpson can stay healthy, there will be much for the fans to cheer about. Joe Mack will have proven there was a method to his madness.

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