Friday, August 17, 2012

24 hours Later: Elliott Elevates Bombers

This is the first edition of 24 hours later. Where we take 24 hours to digest the most recent Blue Bomber game, so that the emotion is taken out of the win or loss. Fortunately for the Blue and Gold they picked up their 2nd victory of the season, thanks in part to an impressive second half performance by Joey Elliott and SIX Hamilton turnovers, which were really Bomber take a ways.

Joey Elliott was one of the keys to the victory as he was on fire in the 2nd half after playing a pedantic first half, which was a feeling out process for him but he showed he has the 'it' factor. He finished the game with 406 yards, completing 33 of 43 attempts and he commandeered the game winning drive with just under 2 minutes to play, showing poise and grace under fire. However, before we anoint him the starting quarterback, we have to take a step back and acknowledge that Hamilton has the weakest defence in the league and Elliott served up at least 3 balls that should have been picked off. He also threw several balls that had Hamilton defenders made the right read, could have gone for 'pick sixes'.

Chad Simpson and Will Ford were both huge contributors to the victory with their play as Simpson had 16 carries for 86 yards and Ford filled in for him on the game winning drive, scoring the touchdown that sent Canad Inns or is it Investors field into a frenzy. Gary Crowton is still learning the ropes regarding CFL play calling but he has to get credit for a win just as he gets criticized when they lose.

He did make some questionable calls including some odd play calls when the Bombers went 2 and out from their own one yard line but Coach Lapolice showed tremendous faith in his defence as he elected to punt rather than give up a safety. The defence caused a turnover and set the tone for the game as the Bombers were about to be down 14-0. That's when Alex Hall chased Henry Burris down on the one yard line. He knocked the ball out of his hands. Burris fumbled the ball in the end zone and the Bombers recovered.

The Bombers defense, led by Hall and some impressive plays by Henoc Muamba starting his first game at middle line backer were ferocious and flying around with speed and vigilance. They did give up a couple of big plays, most notably the fourth quarter 84 yard Henry Burris to Chris Williams td (and subsequent 2 point conversion) that tied the game but they also caused the turnovers including 5 forced fumbles and stuffing the Tiger Cats on 3rd and inches.

It was a very entertaining ball game that exposed both teams strengths and weaknesses. The Ticats are not very good on defense but they do have a potent offense that was minus all star Andy Fantuz and Chevon Walker, who left the game with an injury. Burris kept Hamilton close but the Bombers wanted and needed the win more than the Ticats. There are still many question marks surrounding the Blue, such as can Elliott keep up this pace once each team in the league has seen him play and is the defense rebounding.

Lapolice deserves credit for starting Elliott and Muamba instead of Brink and Labbe but the Bombers still have a huge hole to climb out of and their game next Friday against B.C. will be a perfect measuring stick to determine if this win was real or memorex!

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