Toronto Argonauts get wake-up call from Lions, but what comes next?

Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie of the Toronto Argonauts during a game. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images)
Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie of the Toronto Argonauts during a game. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Argonauts were on the wrong side of a historic performance from Nathan Rourke in a disappointing 44-3 loss against the B.C. Lions.

There was no sugarcoating from head coach Ryan Dinwiddie following an effort against the B.C. Lions that the Toronto Argonauts were making no excuses for.

Sometimes a team won’t have its best effort but this was a game where Toronto was beat on many levels from coaching to quaterback play, the lack of physicality in the trenches, and executing details.

“Totally embarrassed,’’ said Dinwiddie after the game. “It was a horrible display of football and the coaches had their hand in it as well.
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“We all have to find a way to look in the mirror and find a way to get better. That was a tough loss, it sucks, I hate it, but we can’t let it ruin our season.”

After a game like that, many will try to point the finger at one thing in particular but it’s not that simple in the Argos’ case. There is enough blame to go around but playing that game won’t solve the issues.

Defence had no response for Nathan Rourke

It was a historic night for the Canadian quarterback which was a nice storyline for the CFL but for the Double Blue, it was concerning to see that they couldn’t make the proper adjustments.

Give credit where it’s due, the Lions had a great game plan and disguised their routes forcing mismatches in coverage which led to miscommunication and receivers getting open.

Rourke’s mobility gave the Argos problems as he found ways to extend the play and not letting the pass rush get to him. He completed 39 of 45 passes for 436 yards and four touchdowns setting a new record for yards thrown in a single game by a Canadian QB.

There were only two punts in the game by B.C. which showed just how tough of a time the Argos defence had getting off the field. It won’t get any easier for this group as they have to prepare to face the defending Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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Offence struggle to execute leading to lacklustre production

As tough a night the defence had, the offence didn’t fare any better.

Despite driving down the field on their first series of the game, the Argos would come away empty-handed as the Lions stuffed three attempts to punch the ball in on the one-yard line.

Toronto finished with 11 first downs in the game while B.C. had 35, the Boatmen were 4-for-14 on second down while the Lions were 21-for-29. Simply put, the Argos offence struggled once again to sustain drives as the time of possession was very much in the Lions’ favour as they had the ball for 40:08 while Toronto just had it for 19:52.

A lopsided performance like this makes you wonder what the Argos can do to get back on track? This isn’t the only time the team’s offence has struggled to put up points and couldn’t rely on the defence to get them the ball back.

Maybe a game like this forces the coaching staff to go back to the drawing board and rethink their approach.

It also comes down to players executing on plays whether it’s the offensive line getting the job done on those short-yard situations or quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson getting the ball out quicker.

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The job doesn’t get any easier for Toronto as they get set for a stretch of games against West Division opponents.