Toronto Argonauts fall to defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers

McLeod Bethel-Thompson #4 of the Toronto Argonauts. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images)
McLeod Bethel-Thompson #4 of the Toronto Argonauts. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Argonauts lose for the first time this season, falling to the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Toronto Argonauts struggled mightily in their second game of the season, losing 20-7 to the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

It was a frustrating evening for the Argosoffence, which struggled to get any sort of passing game going.

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Both quarterbacks saw action in the game, with coach Ryan Dinwiddie pulling starter McLeod Bethel-Thompson for Nick Arbuckle in the third quarter, after a particularly painful overthrow robbed Toronto of significant yardage, and possibly points.

Neither quarterback reached 100 passing yards, despite having 20 and 19 attempts respectively.

The offensive woes were all the more frustrating when you consider how the defence played. Toronto held the reigning champions to 10 points through 3 quarters, keeping the boatmen in the game.

“If it wasn’t for the defence, we’d have been out of it a long time ago.” Ryan Dinwiddie said post-game. “They kept us in it.”

Coach Dinwiddie admitted there was plenty of blame to go around, and was quick to mention it starts with him.

“I told those guys, they need to be better, and so do I.” Dinwiddie explained, when asked about his message to the team. “We got a little bit better as the game went on. We need to limit mistakes– and we got a shot next week.”

Henoc Muamba, one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball, echoed his coach’s thoughts. “You don’t always get the opportunity to play the team that just beat you.” He said, citing the back-to-back nature of these next few games; a rarity in the CFL for non- labour day rivalries. “We get them again next week.”

Who will lead the Argos under centre in that game, the first of the season at BMO field, remains to be seen? Coach Dinwiddie stressed the need to watch the tape before making any kind of decisions, and Nick Arbuckle made it clear post-game that there is nothing harbouring the relationship between this team’s quarterbacks.

“Obviously, I’d like to play,” he said smiling. “All that stuff’s up to coach. Whatever role he gives me, I’ll do what I can to help us win.”

He was also quick to praise his teammate Bethel-Thompson, and stressed that since the beginning of camp, they have worked well with one another.

It’s a difficult nut to crack, considering how different the two games this season have been for the Argonaut offence. It is inarguable that tonight, when the switch was made, Toronto looked its best. Arbuckle led a drive that capped off with a John White rushing touchdown, and for a brief moment momentum did look like it was beginning to shift. But just last week, Bethel-Thompson had a didn’t-miss-a-beat type game, picking up right where he left off before the lost season.

Whoever coach Dinwiddie goes with, he expects his team to learn from their bout with the defending champions.

“It was a great challenge for us. We saw where we’re at, and where we need to be.”

And, to put it simply – they need to be better.

We’ll have more analysis from the Argos loss in Week 2 and a preview for the rematch as Toronto prepares for their home opener.