Argos stand still

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

The Argos enter their bye week in search of an identity.

With their marquee quarterback inactive and their biggest name rendered ineffective, offensively the Argos have looked disjointed. Defensively, the Argos' bend-but-break approach has shown cracks.

Neither unit could elevate to a higher level yesterday as the Argos dropped to 1-3 for the season following a 24-17 loss to an emerging Winnipeg Blue Bombers team that was well deserving of its fate at the Rogers Centre.

Head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons has now seen his embattled team lose three games in succession, all in different ways.

No matter the optics and various circumstances, Clemons has asked his players to engage in self-evaluation.

The Argos don't play for another fortnight, when it's hoped Damon Allen (broken finger) will return, but the problems facing the Argos go well beyond the quarterback position and finding a comfort zone for running back Ricky Williams.

Williams managed only six yards on nine carries yesterday and had two catches for 12 yards.

"We need this week to get better," Clemons said. "We need this week to regroup. We need this week to re-evaluate where we are as a football team going forward."

Spergon Wynn admits he didn't make enough plays and took full responsibility.

There were dropped passes, missed assignments on the line of scrimmage, defensive breakdowns and some mental miscues that all added up to one awful performance.

By halftime, the crowd of 26,304 booed as the offence managed the grand total of zero rushing yards.

Still, the Argos only trailed 13-7 and took a one-point lead into the final quarter after an R. Jay Soward touchdown.

"We have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we need to do better," Wynn said.

The Argos defence had yielded a combined 10 points in the second half of the previous three games. They surrendered 13 to Winnipeg in the game's final 15 minutes.

The Bombers (3-1) took the lead for good by engineering a time-consuming drive in the fourth quarter that led to a Troy Westwood field goal.

Later, the Bombers caught the Argos on a blitz and completed a 30-yard pass play that led to a decisive touchdown and a 23-14 advantage.

The Argos had one desperate chance with 21 seconds left and the ball on their own 35-yard line. They would get as close as Winnipeg's 31-yard line.

"We just have to play better," Argos offensive lineman Dave Costa said. "People are going to look at Spergon, but it's not his fault. We all have to take responsibility."

For the second time in three weeks, the Bombers dominated the line of scrimmage, stopping the Argos on two third-down plays, the most crucial unfolding just before the break.


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