The Toronto Argonauts offence was unable to solve the Calgary Stampeders defence as the team suffers another frustrating loss at BMO Field.
Going into Friday’s game at BMO Field, the feeling around the Toronto Argonauts was mostly positive after putting together a complete dominant effort against the Ottawa Redblacks.
What the team found out quickly on Friday night was that they needed to bring their best effort on all three phases against the Calgary Stampeders and unfortunately, that led to another tough loss at home.
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Whether it was an inability to move the chains offensively, questionable decisions on third down, careless penalties on special teams or missed tackles in crucial situations, the Argos did more to lose that game than Calgary did to win. At the same time, there is a reason why Calgary has been able to remain as dominant as they have been for so long.
Coming into the game the Stampeders were without leading receiver Reggie Begelton and Corey Greenwood but they made the necessary adjustments. Toronto failed to capitalize and play with the urgency needed to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
The team is now 2-10 and it is tough to see them make the post-season even if they were to win out the rest of the season.
"“We’re definitely disappointed but not discouraged,” Chamblin said after the loss. “Tomorrow, we’ll make corrections on positive and negative things. So there’s also some things to build off of what we are in terms of the season.“That’s where we are right now is we got to continue to roll guys up until the end and make the plays that we need to make once time to make. That’s our job and we’ll get there.”"
Here are some other notes from the frustrating loss to Calgary.
Franklin takes over for Bethel-Thompson
For the first time since being injured in just the second game of the season, James Franklin was back under centre in the second half in place of McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
Franklin completed 75 per cent of his passes for 147 yards and a touchdown strike to Derel Walker which gave the Argos some hope with just minutes left in the game. It has certainly been a season to forget for Franklin who finally got his chance to start only to lose it because of injury.
When asked about whether he expects to be in the conversation for some starts down the road, Franklin didn’t sound too sure about the possibility.
"“I had a lot of expectations this year and none of them have come true so I’m going to stop expecting things and just go with what I get.”"
At this point, the Argos should be looking ahead to next season and see what they have to work with. It is no coincidence Bethel-Thompson was given the hook considering he was clearly struggling to make plays in crucial situations even though the stats show he was still being productive.
It is one thing to throw for 300-plus yards but not being able to get touchdowns especially early in the game, that puts a lot of pressure on the defence to keep the team in the game. When the team returns to practice on Tuesday it will be interesting to see who gets the first-team reps at quarterback.
Bear Woods continues to make presence felt
Making his season debut against the Redblacks, Woods recorded nine tackles and followed that up with seven against the Stamps. It has been a long road back for the 32-year-old after playing only four games last season but the production is still there.
He was critical of the defence being unable to keep Calgary off the board early in the game and not being able to get off the field in crucial points in the game.
Obviously, the team has gone through many changes bringing in younger players on the defensive side of the ball. He believes the team can’t let these losses linger and have to find a way to make the necessary adjustments.
Woods is definitely offering a good example to follow for the young players on the team and you get the sense that as long as he can be on the field, he will continue to play and be a contributor.
Chamblin under the gun for questionable decisions
There was some booing at BMO Field when the Argos decided to kick a field goal on third down at the two-yard line.
Toronto had grabbed some momentum following an interception that put them in a first and goal situation. A sack pushed them back but they were able to get close on a James Wilder Jr. catch in the flat to put them back in a position to score a touchdown.
Rather than go for the aggressive play, Chamblin opted to go for the field goal and part of his explanation was that the team was already down three scores. Unfortunately for the Argos faithful in the crowd, it was not received the same way and it’s understandable.
This wasn’t the only other time Chamblin made a questionable call on third down when the team decided to punt on third and one at midfield. Decisions like that are things coaches are constantly criticized for and Chamblin at least provided his thought process behind the decision.
What are your thoughts from the Argos loss? Do you think the season is over for them? Let us know in the comments below.