A case for the defence

Winnipeg's Terrence Edwards has seven catches through three games for the offensively-challenged...

Winnipeg's Terrence Edwards has seven catches through three games for the offensively-challenged Blue Bombers. (FRED GREENSLADE/Reuters files)

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:01 PM ET

First to 20 points wins.

That’s usually the case when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts get together, and Saturday probably won’t be much different when the teams clash for the second time in three weeks at Rogers Centre (3 p.m., TSN).

The Bombers (2-1) dumped the Boatmen 22-16 two weeks ago at Canad Inns Stadium, and now they’ll attempt to spoil their home opener. Toronto is 1-2 after beating Calgary in Week 1.

Winnipeg and Toronto are basically mirror images of one another these days. Both are strong on defence and special teams, but they’re offensively challenged.

The Bombers are averaging 22 points per game, while the Argos are putting up just 18 per contest.

The Blue and Gold’s point- getters have been plagued by last week’s quadriceps injury to Buck Pierce, drops in the receiving corps and a running game that has been unable to get off the ground.

Slotback Terrence Edwards wasn’t exactly in the mood to talk about Winnipeg’s offensive woes, most notably the drops.

“Everybody’s making a big deal out of that, but we’re not making a big deal out of it,” said Edwards, who hasn’t been immune to the dropsies himself. “We’re 2-1. Everyone outside of the organization wants to write articles and ask about the drops, but even with the drops we had we should be 3-0.

“Of course we want to eliminate the drops, but it’s something that y’all bringing up. Not us.”

Winnipeg’s offence isn’t the only one facing tough questions. There has been plenty of talk in Toronto this week about quarterback Cleo Lemon nearing his expiration date as the starter.

And to make life tougher on the former Miami Dolphins pivot, he won’t have star running back Cory Boyd (knee) for the second straight week. Chad Kackert will get the start instead, and the Bombers will be ready.

“They still have a good offensive line with those guys in there,” defensive tackle Doug Brown said. “It changes up the dynamics of it when you have a different back in there, but I don’t think it’s any less of a threat.”

The Bombers, who are coming off a 21-20 loss to Calgary, have a chance to not only win the second of four games against the Argos this season, but they can improve to 3-1 with two home games to follow.

“We need to steal one, and now’s the time to do it, especially coming after a loss,” Brown said. “We need to respond to how we played against Calgary, and then we need to go into a difficult road environment with a difficult atmosphere and pull one out, which has been proven to be difficult as of late.”

The Bombers are 3-7 in their last 10 regular-season visits to Rogers Centre.


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