Turnover turmoil spoils Esks

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

The good news for the Edmonton Eskimos: the defence has caused six turnovers in two regular-season games.

The bad news: the Green and Gold offence has only turned those turnovers into five points - combined.

To be fair, two of those turnovers came with almost no time left on the clock, giving the offence no shot to score.

But that is still four turnovers and five points scored.

The Esks have to do a better job capitalizing on those turnovers - scoring touchdowns, not field goals and singles - if they want to climb the standings this year.

"In this league - being there is so much parity - you've got to score touchdowns to go to the playoffs, win the Grey Cup," said starting running back Damien Anderson.

MOMENTUM SWINGS

Momentum is such a huge part of a football game and scoring touchdowns off turnovers can swing momentum to one side rather drastically.

"That is what football is about. It is not always going to be perfect - you move down the field, you go 20 play drives," continued Anderson.

"It is going to be situations where they turn the ball over and you've got to capitalize. It is momentum swings and that is where you have to score points.

"That is how you beat good teams."

The Eskimos only notched nine interceptions in the entire 2007 regular season.

Of the six turnovers in two weeks this season, four of them have been interceptions.

Entering Game 3 of the 2008 regular-season tomorrow against the Toronto Argos (8 p.m., Commonwealth Stadium, CHED), the Esks are nearly halfway to their last year total.

"The main thing is the defence we have allows us to kind of disguise our coverages - a mixture of man and zone - (it) allows us to break on the ball," said outside linebacker Shannon Garrett, who has one of the four picks this season.

"And this year we have been making plays and catching the ball."

That defensive scheme is different from last year.

The offensive playbook and the group of players is also a little different, which are reasons why the club isn't capitalizing on all of its opportunities, according to receiver Kamau Peterson.

"It may not look like it after last week, but we are still working kinks out (on offence)," said Peterson.

TAKES TIME

"There is a familiarity that has to happen. We got some new speed elements that are going to take a minute to time up.

"And we have to get our running game going.

"We have shown spurts of what we can be.

"But we are still scratching the surface."

But the veteran receiver knows the score. He's aware the team has to fix the lack of scoring on turnovers.

"We are 1-1 (in the regular-season standings) in spite of it," said Peterson on the few points scored from the turnovers.


Photos