Boatmen off their game

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- The Argos are, if nothing else, consistently inconsistent.

At times, they are great. At other times, they are awful.

Four games into the season, the defending Grey Cup champs have yet to string together 60 good minutes and have been forced to play catchup on too many occasions. In their final game before a bye week, the Argos trailed 22-1 at halftime and lost 30-22 against the B.C. Lions Friday at B.C. Place.

"We're going to have to go back to the drawing board and find a way to play a little more consistent football," Argos coach Pinball Clemons said.

"(The bye) probably comes at a good time for us. When you have a game like this, you want to get back on the field. (But) this will make us think about it a little bit. We'll have to come back with a different disposition."

Apart from their 22-16 road win over the Calgary Stampeders in Week 2, the Argos have fallen behind early in each game. While resiliency appears to be one of the team's trademarks -- the Argos have had chances to win each game -- playing without the lead isn't ideal.

"I think we make good adjustments at halftime, but I'm not sure what is the cause of our slow starts," Argos offensive lineman Jude St. John said.

"It's something we've got to get under control. We're getting outscored in the first half this year. You do that against a good team like B.C. and they're not going to let you win."

The Argos committed five turnovers Friday, with two fumbles coming from running back Hakim Hill, who matched fellow running back John Avery's fumble total from the previous week. Hill did notch 105 all-purpose yards and he may have been down before his critical final fumble, but both rushers have to do a better job holding on to the ball.

"That position (running back) can't work against us," Clemons said.

And then there is the penalty issue. The Argos are averaging 98.5 yards in penalties per game.

"Penalties and turnovers the last couple of weeks have hurt us," quarterback Damon Allen said. "That's how you can look at not being consistent on offence."

Defensively, the Argos haven't been great, either. Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson threw for 362 yards and three touchdowns Friday.

But, despite all this, there should not be a total sense of doom and gloom. The Argos are just a half-game behind the Montreal Alouettes (2-1) for first in the East heading into a game in Montreal on July 28. Just four days later, the Argos play host to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"Whatever is on each guy's mind, it's time to wash that out and get it out of all our systems, even the coaches," linebacker Michael Fletcher said. "There are things everybody can improve on. We just have to move forward from this point on. We're basically 0-0."


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