Eskies living in the East after blowing another lead

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Welcome to Edmonton, Ontario.

If you are an Eskimos fan, that's where you now live. In the East.

After blowing a lead for the third straight game and losing for the fifth time in the last six, the Eskimos, for the rest of this CFL season, should be listed in the East Division standings.

After blowing a 22-10 lead in Regina, a 18-7 lead in Calgary and a 13-0 lead here last night, that's where the rest of their season remains.

From now on the Eskimos are in a playoff race for third place in the East with either the Toronto Argos or the Montreal Alouettes. They're stuck in last place in the West for a second straight season. And with one win in seven games against the Lions, Roughriders and Stampeders, that's definitely where they deserve to be.

It's not that this team isn't good enough. It's that they're not good enough long enough. And certainly not smart enough.

"This one we lost because we were just dumb," said coach Danny Maciocia. "We did some dumb things. We did some dumb things in the second half."

Two of the more obvious dumb things were bonehead major penalties by Rahim Abdullah and Adam Braidwood.

"Lack of discipline," said A.J. Gass, who was the guilty party in being ejected for throwing a helmet the last time the Eskimos lost at home to the Stampeders.

"Mainly a lack of focus. We got caught up in individual things and forgot about the team aspect.

"Penalties like that are selfish. Those are the ones that break your back. Those two penalties kept drives alive, man."

Give up only 20 points with a patchwork defence and you should win. But when the Stampeders come out in the second half and run you ragged with draw plays "They just realized our pass drops were fairly deep," said Gass of the way the Eskimos set themselves up defensively.

But this one was more a story of the points the Eskimos left on the table.

"Finish, man," said Gass. "We just don't finish."

Quarterback Ricky Ray took the blame.

"There were a lot of missed opportunities out there," he said of failing to get the Eskimos in the end zone twice early and settling for field goals and then watching Sean Fleming miss from 45 and 41 late.

"We should have been up 21-0 instead of 13-0.

"That's the third straight game we didn't come out and play in the second half," he said of scoring 10 points in the second half in Saskatchewan, three points in the final 30 minutes in Calgary and four in this one.

"It's tough to have a lead and watch it melt away. It's frustrating to get leads like we have and then go back out there and not be able to get anything done.

At least the Eskimos have a winning record against Eastern teams. They are 2-0-1.

Going into today's Hamilton-Toronto tilt, Edmonton is one point ahead of the third place Argos.

Edmonton, Ontario.


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