Argos are own worst enemies

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

Must-win situations aren't supposed to rear their ugly heads in July, certainly not in the Canadian Football League, where the majority of games have yet to be played.

But after a couple of bumbling outings during which they've successfully harpooned themselves to consecutive losses, the Argonauts will find themselves with a stark reality if they lose to the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Friday night: Possession of last place in the East Division.

"Every game is a must-win, but there is no panic going on," linebacker Zeke Moreno said after practice yesterday.

"We have not shown the city of Toronto what this team is capable of. We've showed glimpses of it, but we have not played 60 minutes of sound football and that is what we expect this week."

While there have been flashes of good things -- quarterback Kerry Joseph leads the league with 881 passing yards and six touchdown tosses, while running back Jamal Robertson is averaging 8.3 yards a carry, tops among those who have at least 29 rushes -- the Argos remain prone to playing football that has fans peeking through their fingers as though they're watching the latest horror flick.

In allowing 90 points in two games after beating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the season opener, the Argos stumbled on to a scary stat -- with 11 turnovers, they have six more than they did after three games in 2008. And everyone knows what happened last year.

The offensive statistics might look all right on paper, but the Argos didn't score a major in Calgary.

"The biggest part of our focus is to correct (the turn overs)," head coach Bart Andrus said. "We need to protect the football, we need to not throw interceptions and we need to hold on to the ball when we have it.

"It's a total lack of focus and concentration."

The Argos have to find that focus in a hurry. The Montreal Alouettes, at 3-0 the only undefeated team in the CFL, probably will be off by themselves again at the top of the East when the season concludes. The Ticats, with a 2-1 record, seem to be on their way to shedding what was thought to be permanent residency in the East basement. That leaves the Bombers, who like the Argos are 1-2. The home-and-home set between the two clubs that ends Aug. 1 at the Rogers Centre is, needless to say, crucial. And a week after that, the Argos are in Montreal. Nice.

What won't help this weekend is Toronto will be without receivers Andre Talbot, who is nursing a sprained right ankle, and Matt Lambros, who was scheduled to have an MRI done on his right knee after he was hurt versus the Stamps.

"All I am concerned about is playing Winnipeg on Friday night and that's where it ends," Andrus said. "There are still 15 games to go and there are going to be a lot of people beating a lot of people."

As long as the Argos keep beating themselves, what other teams do to each other won't matter.


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