Toronto Argonauts: This Team is the Real Deal


Toronto Argonauts: This Team is the Real Deal

The Toronto Argonauts completed a stunning comeback from an early 21-point deficit, to defeat the B.C. Lions in the highly anticipated “Braley Bowl”. In the process, they confirmed what has been suspected since the start of the season – this team is the real deal.

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What other conclusion can you make about the Argonauts, who have won three our of their first four games, despite playing them all on the road. (I’m sorry, but the reality is that their opening game against the Edmonton Eskimos was not a home fixture.)

When the Lions took a 21-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter, most Argonauts fans feared the worst. However, given everything this team has endured in recent seasons, you can’t dismiss their mental fortitude.

In reality, we should have known this team wouldn’t just lay down and die, especially when they had something to prove to their (current) owner, David Braley. If head coach Scott Milanovich couldn’t use that to motivate the Double Blue, then nothing was going to work.

(For the record, I fully appreciate that Braley saved the Argonauts, taking a gamble on them when nobody else was interested. However, this doesn’t change the fact that he has been a terrible owner in recent seasons.) 

Aug 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich on the sidelines against the BC Lions at Rogers Centre. BC defeated Toronto 33-17. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The player getting most of the press right now – and understandably so – is quarterback Trevor Harris. The way he’s playing, I genuinely believe Ricky Ray has a fight of his hands, if he wants to regain the starting job when he returns from injury.

Harris has been sensational so far this season, and currently has the second best QB rating in the CFL, behind Drew Willy. In fact, at his current rate, the 29-year old will throw for over 5,000 yards and beat Doug Flutie’s franchise record for touchdown passes in a season.

(I realise this may not necessarily be realistic. However, it’s a good way to illustrate just how well Harris is performing.)

As he had already proved against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Waldo, Ohio native has the ability and belief needed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. However, things still looked bleak after throwing two interceptions at BC Place.

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Fortunately for Harris, he has a supportive coach in his corner. As he told TSN after the win against the Lions: “(Milanovich) came up to me after the picks and said ‘Hey it’s a long game, brother. I believe in you and we’re going to get this’.

“It was awesome to hear that. You’ve got to keep grinding.”

Harris would finish the game with 340 passing yards and two touchdown throws. He also rushed for 19 yards and added another score on the ground.

Milanovich spoke to TSN about his quarterback’s ability to fight through the adversity: “It’s another growing game for him. You have to be able to work through that.

“To be able to be a great quarterback you’ve got to be able to bounce back and have no memory.”

Of course, Harris can’t do all of this on his own. His receiving core did an impressive job of stepping up, especially after the loss of Chad Owens.

The defence also deserves praise, for their ability to bounce back from conceding 21 points, while also fighting against several dubious calls. You can’t have a comeback if the defence doesn’t solidify, which they did, giving up just six points in the game’s final 44 minutes.

Moving forward, the Argonauts have just one more road game left, before they finally get to return home. However, if the first four weeks of the season are anything to go by, this team expects to win, no matter where they are playing.

Next: Is Ricky Ray's starting job under threat?