A good place to start

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

One win over the depleted Montreal Alouettes doesn't completely cure the Edmonton Eskimos' problems.

Although Edmonton hammered the Als 47-28 on Friday at Commonwealth Stadium, the Esks have to keep the pedal to the metal and likely win several games down the stretch to make the playoffs.

For that reason, head coach Danny Maciocia wants to keep his players very focused.

"We won a football game and I am glad we did," said Maciocia, whose club was on a three-game losing streak before Montreal arrived without Anthony Calvillo and Ben Cahoon.

"But now that is behind us.

"I want to make sure we don't get caught up in the fact we won a football game.

"I am excited we beat a quality football team.

"I think we came out and played our best game of the season.

"But that is over with now."

Edmonton is still in last place in the West Division.

At 4-6-1, the Esks are still in a dogfight to make the playoffs in the West or East Division.

But the players - one by one who filed into the dressing room yesterday - seem to understand that one win can't go to their heads and make them relax.

"We understand the sense of urgency at this point in the season - our record being what it is," said receiver Kamau Peterson.

"Every game is pretty much a must win for us.

"And we better understand - I am going to make sure we understand - that this team (Montreal) is known for bouncing back at home.

"I don't expect to see the same effort from them that we just saw."

The Eskimos travel to Montreal to play the Als one week from today.

PERFECT SHORT GAME: After being a problem in the first half of the season, the Eskimos' short-yardage game was excellent on Friday.

The Green and Gold were a perfect five-for-five on second-down short-yardage conversion opportunities.

All five plays were runs - and two of those drives eventually produced touchdowns.

"That is all the O-line," continued Peterson.

"That is something that has been lacking.

"But they set the tone there (Friday)."

DROP ONE, DROP TWO: For the first time this year, receiver Trevor Gaylor is showing signs of the inconsistency that dogged him last year.

The lanky target dropped two catchable passes on Friday after being very consistent through the first half of the season.

Gaylor's case of the dropsies last year got him benched. But his job isn't in jeopardy right now.

"If we are going to do anything here, we need Trevor Gaylor," said Maciocia yesterday.

EXTRA POINTS: Maciocia is hoping receiver Pat Woodcock is only two more weeks away from being able to return to the roster from his knee injury ... Facing a long trip to Montreal at the end of the week - coupled with other factors to be sure - the Esks are going to return to the practice field one day earlier than usual this week. The club will hit the field on Tuesday.


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