In the midst of the Eskimos’ biggest losing streak of the year, they can take comfort in playing on home turf, only problem is, they have to play at home against the top team in the East.
Sports Interaction oddsmakers have penciled in the Eskimos as 3.5-point favourites in this game.
These two teams met just three weeks ago, with the RedBlacks edging the Eskimos 28-15. Since that time, the Esks have not won a game, now winless in three straight and are a miserable 1-5 (straight up) in their last six games overall. Previous to that, (August 10) the Eskimos knocked off the RedBlacks by a touchdown (27-20). Last season the Eskimos swept the two game series, but in the last six games head-to-head overall, the RedBlacks are 4-2. Edmonton is 5-2 at home this season, but the last time they played at Commonwealth Stadium, the Bombers handed them a 30-3 blowout loss.
The RedBlacks deserved better than the 40-32 overtime loss to the Blue Bombers last Friday night. In the last 3:44 seconds of the game, the RedBlacks scored 15 unanswered points to send the game into overtime. Brad Sinopoli was a catching machine hauling in 10 receptions for 88 yards, while Greg Ellington hauled in eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough as they fumbled a ball in the red zone to seal their own fate. Another reason for the loss could be placed on penalties. The home side were penalized 12 times for 174 yards, including 25 yards in the overtime, and it caught up to them overall. Running back William Powell rushed for 95 yards, but now has a slim three yards advantage over Andrew Harris of the Bombers for leagues rushing title.
Defensively, former Blue Bomber Kyries Hebert had a season high 10 tackles in the loss, while Corey Tindal had nine tackles. Currently, this team is in the driver’s seat for another division title. They have a one game lead over second place Hamilton, and can’t get caught looking ahead on the schedule. After this game with the Eskimos, the RedBlacks have a home and home series with the Tiger-Cats which will decide the East division.
The Eskimos have picked the wrong time of season to go into a slide, and it’s not any type of slide, it’s a massive one. The club is coming off a 19-12 win Regina last Monday afternoon and now find themselves in a battle to play in the cross-over game with the BC Lions.
The offence, which was one of the best throughout the season, has totally dried up in the last three games, and a lot of the blame is squarely on the shoulders of reigning MOP (Most Outstanding Player) Mike Reilly. Reilly leads the CFL in passing yards with 4605. Through his first 12 games of the season, he averaged 328 passing yards a game and in his last three games, 220 yards per game. He’s had zero protection this season with a banged up offensive line that has allowed 35 sacks against, second only to Montreal in that category. Last season the team allowed only 29. In the first 12 games of the year, the offense average 29.42 points per game. In the last three games they have averaged 10 points per game. Something has to change, and change fast in E-Town.