Monday Morning Long Snapper

Western Division Weekend

The weekend shaped up almost perfectly for the Esks. Montreal took care of Saskatchewan in a very entertaining football game while Calgary kept BC as basement mates of the hometown team. Almost perfect except for that tiny little glitch of not winning against the Toronto Argos in a game that once again teased fans with what might have been. The division is now a one of the haves and have-nots. Saskatchewan and Calgary are pulling away from Edmonton and BC and it looks like the road to the Grey Cup, at least in the West, will have to travel through both McMahon and Mosaic Stadiums.

Stats Count for Nothing

Ricky Ray is fourth in the league in passing yards. Arkee Whitlock is second in the league in rushing yards. Fred Stamps, although now injured, and Kelly Campbell are second and fifth respectively in receiving yards. Maurice Lloyd has been flying around the field and is tied for second in defensive tackles and is also tied for third in quarterback sacks. Great. It counts for nothing at the moment. The way that the Esks are playing is obviously good for racking up stats, but not for winning games.

Conversely if you look at the Toronto Argos, a team that recently beat the above strong group of stats leaders. Cleo Lemon is sixth in passing yards. Cory Boyd is leading the league in rushing. Their leading receiver, Brandon Rideau, sits nineteenth  in the league in receiving yards. Every other team has at least two receivers who are better in that category. Kevin Eiben has just as many tackles as Maurice Lloyd, yet hasn’t recorded a sack. Aside from Boyd, no one is really ripping up the league.

Stats count for nothing if you can’t win football games. If you win, no one pays that much attention to the other numbers.

Running Wild

Whitlock has been one Eskimo that has been sensational this season, rushing for 577 yards on 90 carries. His four touchdowns puts him behind only Wes Cates and Jamal Robertson. Whitlock has also protected the ball and has not fumbled once in the first six games. Only Joffrey Reynolds has protected the ball as well among the league’s top running backs. The offensive line as looked impressive opening holes for the fleet footed back and it’s hard to imagine where the Esks would be without the stellar efforts of number 36.

Quarter by Quarter Scoring

What does the table above say about the Esks. This is something been touched on in the past couple of posts here at EsksNation.ca and it’s stunning to see how things played out for the Esks on Friday night. Stats may not count for anything if you can’t win a football game, but they certainly paint an interesting picture.

When you look at the first quarter, the Argos start reasonably well while the have been letting opponents get ahead of them on the score sheet to open football games. Check number one. In the second quarter, the Esks keep things fairly tight, essentially coming out even with their opposition. An 7-8 score in the second fifteen minutes of Friday’s game certainly qualifies. Check number two. The third quarter is where the Esks typically shine and tempt fans into thinking that the team is going to pull out the win. On the other side of the ball, the Argos have been brutal in the third quarter this season. Check number three. Alas, the Esks have failed to seal the deal in the fourth quarter this year and of course, Friday’s game was no exception. They managed a few points, but couldn’t keep the other team from cashing in.

Now if only this week’s lotto numbers were as predictable.

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