A bizarre second quarter in Friday’s loss to the Stampeders left many Argos fans puzzled– and fuming.
The 2019 season has been rather painful for Toronto Argonauts fans.
From the opening kick-off, this season has had more negatives than positives, as the team went winless in the first third of the campaign. Through all the injuries, bad luck, and some questionable play, the fans have for the most part remained loyal – cheering the Argos on through gritted teeth as this team finds new ways to drop games.
That changed a bit this past Friday as frustrations started to boil over. The 9, 819 in attendance (a season-low) were vocal about many of the coaching decisions in the first half, leading to a rare chorus of boos that chased the Argos off the field at halftime.
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To be fair, head coach Corey Chamblin and the Argonauts did seem to lack consistency in their decision making throughout the first half– flip-flopping between going for it and playing it safe in a handful of bizarre circumstances that left all those in attendance puzzled.
It began with a 3rd and goal decision from the Calgary two-yard line, after the Argos lucked into some good field position. The fans wanted to go for it, feeling that it was a chance to get back in the game but Chamblin was playing the possession game, and he felt the play was to take the points.
"“We were down there three scores.” Chamblin said post game. “ If we get the three there, it makes it two scores.”"
Chamblin felt that the risk of ending that drive with nothing was the worst outcome, and one that needed to be avoided at all costs.
"“It’s not vegas, its football. When you’re down two scores you got a chance to win the game. When you’re down three scores, you don’t.”"
But doesn’t that show a complete lack of faith in your team? It was the second quarter, and the Argos were only two yards away from the endzone. Even a turnover on downs would mean the Stamps would have a ways to go before they could make things any worse.
Clearly, Chamblin felt the game had the potential to slip away, and wanted to play it safe.
Or so we thought.
Just before the half, the Argos found themselves in a third and five from their own 53 , when the collective thought was to punt the ball and head into the half 17-3. Chamblin instead decided to go for it, which led to a turnover on downs and a Calgary field goal.
"“If we can keep this thing going and play three down [football], maybe we make it a one-score game [before the half].” Chamblin explained when asked about that decision."
Again, another fair point. But that’s not what happened. Instead, Calgary made it a three-score game, which was exactly what the team was trying to avoid. While the negative outburst was uncharacteristic from Argos fans, the players were insisting that the reaction did not affect the play on the field.
"“It didn’t [get to us]. We’re so locked in on the game, the tendencies, how we’re going to execute.” said cornerback Trumaine Washington. “We hear it, but we don’t listen to it. ”"
With three of their six games remaining at home, that’s a good attitude to have from the second-year defensive back from Louisville.
The Argos enter their final six games with a ton of off-season roster questions looming, the least of which is a five man quarterback room all vying for a full time roster spot.
It will be interesting to see who makes the case for themselves for 2020, and who will be playing somewhere else.
Were you one of the fans in attendance at the game on Friday? Were you upset with the decisions by the Argos? Let us know in the comments below.