Esks offence anemic
By Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency
MONTREAL - The Edmonton Eskimos saw plenty of negatives in Thursday's loss.
But none stuck out as negative-one rushing yard they combined for on offence, while being held out of the end zone for the first time since last Labour Day's 52-5 loss to the Calgary Stampeders.
Ricky Ray's QB-keeper for one yard and Calvin McCarty's single yard of production on two carries weren't enough to make up for the minus-three yards Jerome Messam 'gained' on four carries, leaving the Eskimos offence completely one-dimensional.
In fact, the Eskimos haven't combined for 100 rushing yards per game in the past four weeks.
"I don't know what's happening, why we haven't been able to run the football effectively these last few games," said Ray, whose passing numbers have also gone down since the first three games of the season when the Eskimos rushed for at least 140 yards apiece. "That's something that we've got to get straightened out because you've got to have balance offensively. You can't just be one-dimensional.
"So definitely, that's an area where we've got to get better at."
At least they're trying hard to not try and think about the loss of Fred Stamps. The Eskimos top receiver will miss the next three to five weeks following abdominal surgery from an injury against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers a week earlier, while slotback Adarius Bowman missed the entire road trip with cracked ribs.
"I don't really think about it throughout the course of the game," Ray said. "Definitely, we've had the injury bug here a little bit, especially in the receiver corps. We have two pretty key players out, but still, it's no excuse to go out there and not execute.
"We still can go out there and make good reads, make good throws, catch the football, block. Do all the things you're supposed to do."