Esks needs to step up

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Maybe the Edmonton Eskimos have to set off a firecracker from the bench when the offence takes the field in the second half.

That sounds extreme but the offence is really struggling in the second half of games this season.

While there is no single reason for why Edmonton is last in the West Division at 3-5-1, the fact the offence usually becomes stone cold in the final two quarters is a big cause.

UGLY TALE

The statistics tell an ugly tale. In the first half, Edmonton's offence has scored a total of 117 points through nine regular-season games.

But in the second half, the offence has produced just 76 points this year.

That is an average of just eight points per second half per game.

"Obviously you could talk about our mindset as we come into the second half," said Edmonton offensive co-ordinator Jacques Chapdelaine after practice yesterday.

"The other thing you look at - what were the adjustments the defence made.

"In all honesty, most times there were no real significant adjustments defensively (against us) that took us away from certain things.

"I'm talking schematically.

"I do think Calgary played a little bit sharper (on Monday) but I don't think schematically they changed tremendously in the second half.

"So, you look back at yourself and say: 'What are we doing different (in the second half)?' "

In the Labour Day loss, one of the problems in the second half was holding penalties.

Edmonton took three holding penalties - and all were on first down.

That makes it first-and-20 automatically, which is a tough hole to climb out of.

LACK KILLER INSTINCT

There is also a clear lack of killer instinct in the second half. It has to be fixed, immediately.

"You come out (for) the second half with a lead - and we miss getting fuelled by that," continued Chapdelaine.

Letting games slip away in the second half is clearly upsetting head coach Danny Maciocia.

"We just have to find ways of making a play or two more than the opposition to claw out a victory," said Maciocia.

"That is what it comes down to."

No time like the present to start a new trend.


Videos

Photos