'D' deserved better

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:57 PM ET

EDMONTON -- Doug Brown sat in his locker-room stall Friday night, his jaw open and his eyes wide.

If you looked up "dumbfounded" in the dictionary, the defensive tackle's face would be there.

Brown and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who were 19 1/2-point underdogs, had just dropped a 14-12 decision to the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium on Sean Fleming's 23-yard field goal with no time remaining on the clock.

Winnipeg's defence had done everything in its power to give its team a chance to win, including rookie defensive back Stanford Samuels scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 2:41 left -- the game's only major -- on one of Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray's five turnovers.

OUT OF THIS WORLD

The Blue and Gold's defensive dozen is playing out of this world right now, having not surrendered a touchdown in two straight games. Against Edmonton it forced six turnovers, including three interceptions, and sacked Ray four times.

The Bombers record, however, is 0-4, and they have the ferocious Montreal Alouettes (2-1) coming to town this Friday night.

The Eskimos (3-1) had the ball for more than 38 minutes Friday night, while the Bombers' time of possession was 21:27. To say that the Blue and Gold offence isn't pulling its weight is a mighty understatement.

Quarterback Tee Martin completed just 11 of 29 passes for 142 yards and an interception, and although it was a season high, their 218 yards of total offence won't win many CFL games.

"It is getting old, man," Brown sighed. "What are we going to do now? I don't know how much better we can play than that in terms of from where I'm sitting.

"It's getting awfully old, man, and it's Week 5 now. I thought this was the turnaround game for us, man. We came out, and it was just unbelievable the way guys were playing.

"And to let it get away, it's just not fair."

The Bombers took a 12-11 lead on Samuels' touchdown, and it appeared that the Eskimos were going to regain the lead four plays later when Ray hit Jason Tucker with a long bomb over the middle.

Tucker was headed for the end zone when Justin Coleman, who was beaten on the play, caught up to the receiver and forced him to fumble. Winnipeg safety Wes Lysack recovered, but the Bomber offence was on the field for just four plays before having to punt.

That punt, courtesy of Jon Ryan, went all of 21 yards, which was a forgetful capper on another remarkable night for the sophomore sensation.

Then Ray, facing a third-and-10 situation with 21 seconds left, hooked up with Derrell Mitchell on a 41-yard toss that set up Fleming's game-winner.

It was the only real faux pas for a Bomber defence that deserved better, even though Ray completed 28 of 48 passes for 335 yards.

"I was on the sideline, and I was like, 'We're 1-3 now, and we just won on the road in Edmonton, which is an amazing feat,' " Brown said. "I don't know how it got taken away from us, man. It's just unbelievable to lose a game like that."

Bombers head coach Jim Daley, taking his undying optimism to new heights, still praised his team.

"For us to come in here against an Edmonton team that is loaded with all sorts of talent and has built a team with all-star free agents, and for our guys to play and play their hearts out and leave it on the field the way they did, is a real tribute to these players and coaches," he said.

"And now what we have to understand is: Build on it. Don't be satisfied with the effort, and don't be broken by the result."


Videos

Photos