What's buzzing:

55 Yard Line

Eskimos come up with a big win, but don’t assume their problems are all solved

Andrew Bucholtz
55 Yard Line

View photo

.

The Bombers couldn't catch Hugh Charles and the Eskimos, but Edmonton's not back yet.

The Edmonton Eskimos' 42-10 win over Winnipeg Friday will undoubtedly change much of the conversation around the team, and that's understandable. The Eskimos were very impressive on several fronts, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and it's easy to see a dominant win that moved them to 2-1 on the year suggesting to many that their problems are over. However, at this point, that still seems to be going too far, especially considering that they played the struggling Blue Bombers and still had major offensive issues. A win like this is a good sign for the Eskimos, certainly, but it doesn't necessarily mean they've answered all the questions that arose from last week's 17-1 loss, and it should be regarded as one data point rather than a clear indication this team's ready to contend for the Grey Cup.

That may seem like an awfully negative take on a 32-point win, but even the greatest regular-season performance imaginable would still be just one contest out of 18, and this was far from the best the Eskimos could have done. Yes, Edmonton went on a ridiculous to start the game and led 35-0 at the half, but 18 of those points came off Winnipeg turnovers, and several of those were more about the Bombers' ineptitude than any particular brilliance from the Eskimos. Winnipeg also went through three quarterbacks on the night, with Buck Pierce and Alex Brink both getting hurt. Even more troublesome, the central Edmonton issue of quarterbacking was far from solved; sure, Steven Jyles threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, but he only completed 15 of 27 passes (55.6 per cent) on the night and threw two interceptions, and although Kerry Joseph was a perfect three-for-three for 102 yards and two touchdowns in limited action, 76 of those yards came on a short pass that Hugh Charles turned into a long touchdown. It was better quarterback play than the Eskimos received in last week's horror show, but that's not saying much, and they'll need more than this against tougher teams.

Of course, there's a lot to be optimistic about for the Eskimos as well. The defence was phenomenal for the second-straight week, recording one interception off of each of Winnipeg's quarterbacks and picking up plenty of points off of turnovers. The only quarterback who had any success against them whatsoever was Bombers' third-stringer Joey Elliott, who finished with 11 completions on 18 attempts (61 per cent) for 192 yards and a touchdown with one interception, and most of his snaps came long after the game was already decided. The Edmonton defence simply humiliated the Winnipeg offence, and although the special teams gave up plenty of return yards to Deon Washington, they also forced him to fumble twice (the first one of which was picked up by former Bomber linebacker Clint Kent and taken for a touchdown that gave the Eskimos a 7-0 lead).

Edmonton's players, coaches, management and fans can be quite happy with the performance here overall, and perhaps even more with how it will change the tenor of the conversation from last week's debacle. They'll need more passing offence to win consistently, though, and they can't assume this game shows everything's all right. Friday's win is an important step for the Eskimos, but there's still a great deal of work to do before they get back to contender status.

View Comments (2)
  • NHL Three Stars: Lightning clinch playoff spot; Sabres don’t lose

    NHL Three Stars: Lightning clinch playoff spot; Sabres don’t lose

    The winger scored two goals and added on assist in the Bolts’ 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens, despite the absence of his linemate Tyler Johnson. He played 13:57 and was a plus-3. The Bolts are now 5-0-0 vs. Montreal this season and clinched a … More »

    Puck Daddy - 7 minutes ago
  • Australia seeking momentum for Ashes on Caribbean tour

    By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia will resist the temptation to tinker with their team on tour against West Indies and plan to field their best 11 in a bid to sweep the two-test series and build momentum for the Ashes, selector Rod … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Djokovic, Nishikori and Raonic reach last 16 in Miami

    Djokovic, Nishikori and Raonic reach last 16 in Miami

    By Simon Evans MIAMI (Reuters) - Defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-0 7-5 on Monday to power into the last 16 of the Miami Open along with Japan's Kei Nishikori and Canada's Milos Raonic. The Serbian world number … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago
  • Tsarnaev's lawyers try to show brother in charge of bombing

    Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzkhokar Tsarnaev started their case by trying to show that his older brother was the driving force behind the 2013 terror attack. A cell site analyst testified that Tsarnaev's cell phone was being used in … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 2 minutes ago
  • Blazers clinch spot, near division title

    Blazers clinch spot, near division title

    A playoff spot secured, next up for the Portland Trail Blazers is the Northwest Division title. The Trail Blazers haven't won the division since 2008-09, when they shared it with the Denver Nuggets. Portland's last outright title came in the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 10 minutes ago