MONTREAL — Too sloppy, too inept on offence, too weak on defence and yet the Argos had a chance to force overtime on 54-yard field goal attempt that turned out to be the final play of the game.
Zack Medeiros hit the upright left with his potential game-tying kick, a fitting finish as the Argos frittered away a fourth-quarter lead.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson produced zero points in the fourth quarter as the Als shocked the visitors, 25-22.
Maybe the presence of Duron Carter, whose signing should be made official Saturday, will help, on either side of the ball as Toronto hits the halfway mark at 3-6 and in third place in the East.
After back-to-back comeback wins over OTtawa and B.C., the third time was anything but a charm.
As devastating as the loss was, and there’s no sugar-coating this debacle, the injury toll was extensive with the likes of Cassius Vaughn, Anthony Coombs, Declan Cross, Eric Striker and Marcus Roberson hurt.
The Argos should not have lost to Montreal, but they did and they have no one to blame but themselves.
There are those who will blame the officials, but that’s too convenient.
The Als played with urgency and desperation, while the Argos failed to deliver that knockout blow.
Medeiros spent a few minutes following the game visualizing the missed field goal, going to the same spot on the field that would have sent the game into overtime.
A poor screen play on the play prior to the missed field goal to James Wilder Jr., who was a non-factor all night, cost the Argos six yards, while a mental mistake by Llevi Noel cost the Argos time when he went to the outside rather than going upfield and going to the turf. Little things that went awry, too many big plays were yielded by the Argos defence. They all added up.
When the Als traded for Johnny Manziel, the franchise was desperate for any kind of face to drum up interest.
The reality when it comes to Johnny Football is that it’s all media driven, a celebrity who is nowhere near ready to assume the mantle of starting quarterback.
Had Montreal known better, it should have turned to Antonio Pipkin, but even his presence was all circumstantial to the point of desperate given how depleted the Als’ QB depth chart looked.
Pipkin is a keeper and it will be interesting to follow the coming days and weeks what the Als decided to do when Manziel is cleared to play.
Pipkin was pretty good last week in his starting debut and his play carried over against the Argos, who watched as the kid tossed for more than 300 yards.
The one mistake Pipkin made wasn’t even his fault, a sure reception that his intended target failed to catch that ended up in the hands of Alden Darby Jr., who returned it for a pick six.
Argos head coach Marc Trestman praised the Als and was pleased with his team’s effort and physicality.
However, he was blunt in his overall assessment.
“We made too many mistakes,’’ he said. “We had penalties in all three phases that really stopped drives or inhibited us from moving the football at the wrong time. Great effort, but we have to be more disciplined.”
The Argos began well by moving the ball on offence, but they couldn’t finish when scrimmaging inside Montreal’s five yard line on Toronto’s first possession.
Toronto had to settle for a field goal and the tone would be set for an opening half featuring too many moments of bad offensive football.
Martese Jackson was Toronto’s best player, but the returner had several long gains negated by penalties.
An apparent touchdown he produced on a punt return was called back by video, but the field position he provided led to Toronto’s lone offensive touchdown, a Bethel-Thompson strike to Armanti Edwards.
Cross fumbled the ball on the final play of the opening quarter, a turnover the Als used to kick a field goal.
The Argos took a 22-16 lead into the fourth quarter, a one-score game that should have been two, perhaps even three.
On Toronto’s final drive, with the wind behind them, the Argos were trying to get the ball to at least the Montreal 45 yard line.
“We called a screen,’’ said Trestman. “Maybe we get five or 10 more yards to tighten up the length of the field goal. Zack made a good kick. It certainly was long enough and it just drifted left at the end.
“We didn’t get it with the five yards. It may have been the difference (on the screen to Wilder that went for a loss). They (Als) made a good play, made the tackle and it cost us four, maybe five yards.
“It may have inhibited the kick, but one play doesn’t make the difference in a game.”
Penalties, turnovers, zero fourth-quarter points, it was combination of many factors.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies