Eskimos offence not putting enough points on the board

Eskimos wide receiver Marcus Henry is brought down by Lions defensive back Anthony Reddick at...

Eskimos wide receiver Marcus Henry is brought down by Lions defensive back Anthony Reddick at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alta., Sept. 22, 2012. (AMBER BRACKEN/QMI Agency)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

EDMONTON - Score 20 points!

Is that too much to ask?

Especially of an offence in the Canadian Football League?

Score a touchdown on the opening series!

Is that too much to ask?

Just once?

When you can't score on the opening series, doesn't that, in addition to it being obvious that this team doesn't have a quarterback, tell you the offensive co-ordinator isn't capable of putting together a good game plan?

Is it too much to ask that you have more to show, 12 games into a season, than ZERO touchdowns, ONE field goal and ONE single for opening drives?

Don't get outscored by 47 points in third quarters!

Is that too much to ask?

If you're losing third quarters that bad, doesn't that tell you there's a failure to make half time adjustments on both sides of the ball?

Head coach Kavis Reed should win the Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the defensive guys from crossing the dressing room and strangling the guys on offence.

"Are we frustrated? Yes!" said veteran T.J. Hill.

"The B.C. Lions have a high-powered offence. If you told me we could hold them to 19 points on offence, I'd have told you I'd have liked our chances of winning the football game. But we have to keep on fighting. The good thing is that it wasn't a playoff game.

"We have to keep believing if we hold teams to 20 points, we're going to win some games here in the final third of the season to set up the playoffs."

Defensive back Chris Thompson said it's not easy being green and gold on defence right now.

"We're very frustrated. We've lost three games by one or two points this month," he said of the team, which stands in danger of becoming the first in 63 years of Eskimos history to fail to win a game in September.

"But we believe the offence just has to find their game."

J.C. Sherritt, who has a remarkable 101 tackles with a third of the season to go, says the team is still together.

"We're not going to point fingers. The way I look at it is the defence was in position to to win the B.C. game. We didn't stop them on their last series. They scored a field goal.

"I think we believe if we can keep teams down to 20 points or less, we're going to be OK at the end of the day."

The Eskimos have lost games 17-1, 20-18 and 19-18.

You hold teams to 17, 20 and 19 points, you should win those games in the CFL. Do that and the Eskimos are 8-4 instead of 5-7.

Seven times this year the Eskimos have held the opposition to 20 or less points. Hell, they've given up an average of only 22.9 points a game over the entire season.

We're far enough into this CFL season for the stats to start telling the story. And it's now beyond being a sorry story with the Eskimos offence.

So far this year the Eskimos have played 12 games without scoring a touchdown on first possession.

Four points on opening drives! Total!

By contrast the Montreal Alouettes have scored six touchdowns, a field goal and a convert on opening drives.

That's 46 points!

And that's points on eight of 12 games first drives compared to two by Edmonton.

The Eskimos have been outscored 88-41 in third quarters!

Saturday they managed five first downs and scored only three points in the entire second half.

Anybody need a map?

"The first drive and third quarters are a microcosm of our season. We're awful in the third quarter. Awful. And that's a quote," said Reed.

"We have to be more effective on offence. We have to find efficiency. It's something we have to be able to do."

Reed said the Eskimos, going forward, are going to go into games with "scripted" plays for the first series of the game and the first series of the third quarter.

"The biggest thing will be to get the ball into our playmakers' hands," he said of Fred Stamps, Hugh Charles and the injured Cary Koch.

"We have to be more effective on offence. We have to find efficiency. It's something we have to be able to do."

Now might be a good time to start, or that flushing sound you hear will be a season going down the drain.

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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