For the second time this season, the Toronto Argonauts enter the BYE week with a win, and with a long wait before their next game.
The Toronto Argonauts and quarterback Mcleod Bethel-Thompson continued their offensive outburst Saturday, soundly defeating the Ottawa Redblacks 46-17.
It was only the second win for the Argos, and it came on another performer-of-the-week outing from their quarterback. Bethel-Thompson threw for over four hundred yards, and his three touchdown passes easily negated the two turnovers he caused.
James Wilder Jr. finally found his way into the end-zone, and Toronto’s three-pronged receiving corps of S.J. Green, Derel Walker, and Armanti Edwards continued to torch their opponents for massive yard totals.
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All in all, six different receivers had a reception for over 20 yards, allowing Bethel-Thompson to grab ahold of this game and never relinquish it. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this game was that coach Corey Chamblin finally got the sixty-minute performance he was looking for.
At half-time, the Argonauts were up 18-13, but half-time leads have meant little to Toronto, who have squandered lead after lead with dreadful fourth-quarter play.
That did not happen Saturday.
The Argos scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, by far their best performance for a single quarter all year. Instead of sitting back and protecting a lead, they stepped on their opponent’s throat, and took a stranglehold on the final division series they can possibly win.
Coach Chamblin has preached pride and self-respect would be the fuel that kept these Argos going, despite being so far behind in the standings. Performances like this prove the coach’s faith was well-founded, but it also should bring with it a little bit of frustration.
The Argos have been “one quarter away” for many of their games, and even a single win could have possibly changed the current predicament the team finds itself in. Adding to these frustrations is the Argos lack of momentum all year, something that has hindered the team through its eleven games.
Until yesterday, every streak of successful drives was eventually ended with turnovers or dismal two-and-outs, often with no answer from the offence. Once things began to go bad, they went all the way, and each week Toronto was forced to point at one half or the other as the reason for the loss.
In a cruel way, even their wins have been momentum-killers – both wins this year took place going into the bye, effectively ensuring that the team could not build on their success.
After their first win, the Argos did not play another game for fifteen days. This time around, it will be thirteen days. With seven games to go, most of the roster is playing for its job for next year –management included.
Two games against the Redblacks still remain, and one final stream of games against western opponents remain. While this year’s title hopes may be over, the 2020 Toronto Argonauts will find a lot about themselves in these final seven weeks of 2019.
Will each L be a lesson, like James Wilder claimed at the start of the season? Or will these final games be the last time many of them hit the field?
Only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on the Argos win over the Redblacks? Do you think they can keep it up or do they still have work to do? Let us know in the comments below.