No light at end of Argos' tunnel

Alouettes linebacker Billy Parker tackles Argonauts quarterback Steven Jyles in Montreal, Que.,...

Alouettes linebacker Billy Parker tackles Argonauts quarterback Steven Jyles in Montreal, Que., Oct. 10, 2011. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:56 PM ET

TORONTO - Four games and four final chances for someone on offence to step up and show any signs of being able to make plays.

For some, it would appear to be foregone conclusion with the overwhelming evidence suggesting no one on this Argos unit is capable of assuming that go-to mantle.

For the second game in a row, Cory Boyd’s body language inside the locker room spoke of someone has grown frustrated to the point of annoyed after being anointed last year as the workhorse tailback.

But with no passing game to speak of and an offensive line that no longer has the experience of Rob Murphy and Taylor Robertson, gains along the ground have been as often as Argos wins.

With no dominant receiver who demands double coverage, opponents are crowding football’s box.

When run plays are called, quarterback Steven Jyles has to pull the pigskin and try to make yards on his own.

In Montreal on Monday, that’s exactly what unfolded with the host Als adjusting as the game went away, a strategy that led to Boyd getting three rushing attempts in the second half.

A guy of Boyd’s ability should be getting a minimum of 20 per game, but these are not the best of times for the Argos offence and gains by any means must be explored.

If Boyd continues to pout and lament his lot, it looks bad on him because he’s not the only player who has grown angered at how things have unravelled.

He isn’t the only player who needs to look hard in the mirror and realize it’s a team game and that the Argos are threatening to become one of the worst teams in the history of a franchise steep in misery.

With four games left, the Argos might be lucky to win one of those meetings.

Calgary, which pays a visit this Friday, is in a battle for first in the wild West; Winnipeg is battling Montreal for first in the East; Edmonton, which qualified for the playoffs on Monday, is also in the hunt in the West and Hamilton, which closes out the season in Toronto, may have nothing to play for by the time the Ticats face the Argos on Nov. 3.

One looks at the Argos’ final four games and one sees future losses.

One looks at the Argos’ roster and one sees players who have been given opportunities, but they’ve failed to deliver.

Whatever happens in the off-season, changes are inevitable.

Defensively, there will be some new faces and perhaps some consideration in a philosophical change to go with a 30 front, which necessitates lining up with two speed rushers at the end spots.

As long as Chad Owens is back fielding punts and kickoffs, the Argos will be fine.

But it’s on offence where the most dramatic and meaningful changes must be initiated.

“We’re doing some good things as a football team,’’ head coach Jim Barker said. “We just need to get our offence to figure out what we are.”

But establishing an identity with four games to play is virtually impossible.

Teams would prefer Jyles pull the ball and run, like he did in accumulating 67 second-half rushing yards in Montreal, because they know what damage Boyd will inflict.

The best way to establish Boyd is by showing any semblance of a passing game, which hardly describes the Argos.

With four games to be played, the finish does not look pretty for the Argos.

And as bad as things have gone offensively — going 10 quarters without a touchdown is downright putrid — it could actually get worse.

NO MAKIN’ PLAYS

Given how little has been done to discover receivers on their own, the Argos’ trade for Maurice Mann was a necessity.


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