Argos' D gettin' nasty

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

The Argos have won five games in a row, are on target to make the playoffs after a brutal start, and most of the credit has gone to a collection of offensive glamour boys.

Sure, the likes of Damon Allen, Arland Bruce, Noel Prefontaine and and Tony Miles deserve a lot of credit for the team's rejuvenation.

But it really has been the defence, and defensive coordinator Rich Stubler, who deserve as much, if not more, of the credit for Toronto's turnaround.

"We can't say enough about them," head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said of his defensive corps. "They've presented us opportunities early in games and we haven't always converted on those. We want to keep working hard defensively, but we have to get a little more exact offensively (to help out the defence)."

Consider these numbers:

The Argos have allowed just two offensive touchdowns in their past 20 quarters of football, shutting out the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in that regard in the past two games, including the 11-9 victory at the Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon. In addition, Toronto has allowed just 38 points in five games (7.7 points per game).

In 12 games this season, opposing quarterbacks have thrown only seven touchdowns against the Argos (7-5 on the season).

In the past five games, the Argos have shut out their opponents in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the Argos only have allowed 75 points scored against them in the second half in all 12 games this season.

Overall, the Double Blue is 7-1 this year when it wins the fourth quarter.

There have been some strong individual performances as of late from the likes of Antonious Bonner, Jonathan Brown, Eric England, Mike O'Shea and safety Orlando Steinauer, who forced a key Hamilton fumble in the fourth quarter on Saturday.

Clemons said the strong play of the Argos defence allows him to try things -- gamble if you will -- on offence more than he normally would.

Still, nobody on the team's defensive corps are resting on their laurels. Linebacker Chuck Winters said they still are making too many subtle mistakes.

"We don't have all our starters in there (yet)," he said. "We're playing well together. This is our fourth year playing together as a group, but we know we've got to put in a lot more work."

The Boatmen head into a bye week, with their next game coming on Sept.23 in Calgary. Clemons has decided to give his players at least five days to rest and recuperate.


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