Honour for thieves

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:53 PM ET

TORONTO -- The Bombers are stealing balls at an alarming rate, plucking a whopping seven off the Argos yesterday at Rogers Centre.

Not only that, but they are doing it at just the right time, too.

Winnipeg has caused its opponents to cough up the ball 22 times through five games, which puts it on pace for 79 this season. Last year the Bombers had 37 takeaways.

"We've talked since we came in that we had to make this club a better team when it came to the giveaway-takeaway ratio, and we've done that," head coach Mike Kelly said."Those guys are keeping us in games right now."

The best example of their excellent timing yesterday occurred with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter, when the Argos were marching and in position to at least kick a go-ahead field goal.

STONE COLD

However, backup Neil McKinlay, who was subbing for Siddeeq Shabazz on the play, hammered Argos running back Jamal Robertson, popping the pigskin loose at the Bomber 32-yard line. Barrin Simpson jumped on it, and the Bombers eventually held on for the 13-12 victory.

Considering Winnipeg's offence had gone stone cold in the second half, that turnover very well could have been the difference in the game.

"Guys battled so hard today," defensive tackle Doug Brown said. "You can't kid yourself. We had to have a lot of things go right for us, but that's what happens when you got guys flying around.

"I don't know if we're capable of doing that every week, but it was a good show today. We'll take it -- on the road, in Toronto, get back close to .500, and we're heading in the right direction again."

KING OF THE TIP: Shabazz had two interceptions yesterday, giving him a team-high four overall.

All four have either come off of tips or, like yesterday, bounces off the intended receiver.

"I've been pretty lucky that way," Shabazz said. "It feels like I've just been in the right spot at the right time. I didn't have to do much for one of my interceptions. Other guys are making plays."

Winnipeg has 13 interceptions after recording only 15 all of last season.

HOME WOES: The Argos have now lost a franchise record eight consecutive games at home.

They had lost seven in a row on only two other occasions in their 136-year history.

Their last victory was a year ago yesterday, when they beat the Bombers 19-11.

LATE HITS: Kelly thought Argos coach Bart Andrus should have received a penalty when he threw his challenge flag following Robertson's fumble with 2:28 to go. He has a point, as only the booth is supposed to call for a review in the game's final three minutes ... Joseph's four interceptions were the most he's thrown since joining the Argos last year. He completed 20 of 32 attempts for 219 yards ... Quarterback Michael Bishop had five carries for 25 yards and was almost Winnipeg's leading rusher, as Fred Reid had only 26 yards on eight runs ... Toronto had the ball for nearly 10 more minutes than Winnipeg ... Bomber punter Mike Renaud, who's been working with the legendary Bob Cameron lately, had a solid game. He had a 40-yard average, and his placement was mostly bang on ... Aaron Hargreaves replaced Craphonso Thorpe in the four-receiver set in the first half and finished with one catch for 17 yards ... Romby Bryant, Winnipeg's leading receiver last season, had one reception for three yards. He has a mere 99 receiving yards through five games.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos