A little Esk-tra effort

Edmonton Eskimos offensive lineman Dan Comiskey (right) juggles two footballs at practice Thursday...

Edmonton Eskimos offensive lineman Dan Comiskey (right) juggles two footballs at practice Thursday afternoon. (Edmonton Sun/Ryan Jackson)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos are hoping history repeats itself. On two separate occasions last year, the Green and Gold came off humiliating losses to post a key victory.

Exhibit A: Following a 40-14 thrashing by the hapless Hamilton Ticats last September, the Esks beat the Toronto Argos the following week to start a three-game winning streak.

Exhibit B: After choking home-field advantage for the playoffs in a 43-23 shellacking by the Stampeders in the final regular-season game, the Eskimos returned to Cowtown the next weekend to win the West semifinal, starting another three-game winning streak that led to the Grey Cup.

Seven months later, Edmonton is coming off their worse defeat in seven years - a 46-10 pounding in Winnipeg - and play the B.C. Lions tonight.

And while nothing is more desperate than a sudden-death playoff game, this is a huge game for the basement-dwelling Esks.

"We have got to win," said offensive guard Dan Comiskey. "This club has a tradition of winning and what's going on is unacceptable."

Edmonton is off to a 1-2 record because almost every facet of their game has broken down at some point in this young season.

And to make matters more urgent for the defending Grey Cup champions is the fact they are playing a West Division foe before sitting on the sidelines next week with a bye.

"It's a no-brainer - you can't fall to 1-3 in a tough West Division," said lineman Joe McGrath.

To avoid that situation, there has been an attitude change with this veteran-laden team.

"From Day 1 of practice (this week) we came out there with the attitude of hitting instead of just going through the motions ... and being a little lazy and complacent," continued McGrath.

And in the locker-room, laughter has been replaced with a sense of determination.

"When you get embarrassed like (in Winnipeg), it's tough to go home, it's tough to eat, it's tough to look at your fans," said receiver Ed Hervey.

"The beauty is we get a chance to redeem ourselves (tonight)."

To be successful, the Esks have to follow a simple three-step game plan:

1. Capitalize in the red zone on offence.

2. Become a frequent visitor to Dave Dickenson's pocket.

3. Avoid the costly turnovers that have plagued this team this season.


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