Too little, too late for Argos
By FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency
|Argonauts quarterback Steven Jyles under pressure by Eskimos defensive end Julius Williams at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Oct. 21, 2011. (MARK BLINCH/Reuters)
TORONTO - As if the Argos’ season couldn’t get any worse, it somehow did.
As if anyone truly cares about this outfit, they should feel cheated and completely betrayed at how little was put forward Friday night when the Argos took several steps backward.
Bring on the off-season, and the quicker the better, if the Argos’ intent is to end the year as bystanders.
Offensively, the Argos have been a joke all season, but pathetic would be a polite way to describe their performance against the Eskimos, at least for much of the night until the fourth arrived and productivity was suddenly discovered.
Except for one burst up the middle by Cory Boyd, who would use the 64-yard run en route to a 100-yard game, there was nothing to speak of, no imagination, no sense of anything when the Argos had everyone believing they would put players in a position to make plays as a means of evaluation for next season.
If Steven Jyles is the guy head coach/GM Jim Barker wants to anoint at quarterback, it’s both wrong and delusional.
With so much that needs to get changed, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Barker gets shown the door.
Ultimately, he must be held accountable and Friday night’s effort was downright inexcusable.
Defensively, Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray had so much time to look down field, it was appalling to see how little pressure was being provided and how little resistance was achieved when Edmonton ran the football.
Toronto’s secondary was atrocious and had Byron Parker not shown his professionalism by chasing down Fred Stamps, the game would have been completely out of control.
The bottom line is that heads must roll and with David Braley’s B.C.’s Lions battling Edmonton for first in the West, the owner of two teams in an eight-team league must be seething.
It’s one thing to lose, but it’s quite another thing when you lose by playing with no pride, which is what the Argos accomplished.
Lest anyone believe Friday’s 31-24 outcome was closer than it appears, guess again.
Edmonton led 31-3 after three quarters, yielded a very creative on-side kick to the Argos and got robbed of a end zone interception that would set up an Argos major.
“We made too many mistakes,’’ Barker conceded.
And now comes the hard of trying to regroup as next week’s game in Winnipeg looms against another opponent with much to gain.
If they play the way they did against Edmonton, there’s no point in the Argos even making the trip to the Peg.
In simple terms, the Argos mailed it in Friday night and they should be ashamed.
Barker would use the word “valiant’’ in describing the Argos’ fourth-quarter comeback, but it’s hollow given how little was achieved for the first three quarters.
When Jeff Johnson scored the second of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns, half of the announced crowd of 19,176 was on hand.