Argos owe wins to defence

Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:56 PM ET

In the pass-happy CFL, the Argos are winning without an established aerial game.

Though happy with their 3-1 record, they know they have to be a lot better through the air.

Four games into the season and not a single Argo has produced a 100-yard receiving game, which is unheard of in a three-down league.

It wasn't until Friday's 24-20 win over B.C., that a player who doesn't line up in the backfield actually caught a touchdown reception.

In fact, Toronto had two receivers haul in majors, a first as an Argo for veteran Jeremaine Copeland and the first as a pro for Brandon Rideau.

The Argos have been winning because their defence is making plays, highlighted by Byron Parker's game-winning interception return on Friday, their special teams are playing well and their running game has been lights out.

The lack of a 100-yard receiver has been more than offset by a three-game streak of at least 100 rushing yards fashioned by Cory Boyd.

"Until everyone gets acclimated, it's just a matter of us getting better as a unit and being comfortable,'' Rideau said. "As an offence, you have to take advantage of what a defence gives you because you can't force the football in areas."

In four games, the Argos have had net passing yards of 192, 190, 187 and 222 yards.

But in back-to-back home wins over Calgary and B.C., the Argos forced nine turnovers. And on Friday, Toronto's defence yielded just three second-half points and produced the winning margin.

Jordan Younger felt Rich Stubler's familiarity with the Argos' scheme allowed B.C.'s offence to take advantage of certain plays in the opening half.

Like any sport, football is a game of adjustments and the Argos reacted accordingly at halftime by changing some of their zone coverage, their drops by linebackers and gap responsibilities along the line.

It was evident the Argos weren't going to let Geroy Simon beat them, holding one of the league's premier receivers to two catches.


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