A 35-20 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats vaulted the Eskimos back into a playoff spot as the crossover team in the East Division.
Much of the kudos went to the performance of the offence and why not. They haven’t been very potent this season but last Friday, they were. Four offensive touchdowns, 472 yards of net offence, a quarterback with a 300-yard passing game and Fred Stamps becoming unleashed for 204 yards and a touchdown.
As the offence received most of the attention, the defence needed a bounce-back game and they rose up in a big way.
During the Eskimos’ slide in September, the defence was averaging 32 points allowed per game. At one point, the defence was tops in the Canadian Football League in both total points allowed, and average points allowed per game. Now they’re in the middle of the pack.
Against the Tiger-Cats, the Eskimos allowed 384 net yards of offence, against a team that averages 417 yards per game. A defence that gives up 308 passing yards per game held the CFL’s leading passer Henry Burris to 284 yards. The only blemish was 130 yards surrendered on the ground. Most importantly, the Eskimos ‘D’ allowed just 20 points.
Defensive back Joe Burnett says the defence redeemed themselves from their earlier poor performances.
“It feels real good to get the monkey off our back, we needed that performance, we needed that (kind of) play,” Burnett said. “You know, a lot of guys were banged up and hurt and a lot of guys stepped up for us. We wanted to have a chip on our shoulders, we got a lot riding on this game as far as our playoff berth (is concerned) and getting to where we want to be.”
Dave Campbell has been on the Eskimos beat since 2004. He’s entering his seventh season as the Eskimo colour analyst for 630 CHED broadcasts. He also hosts The Points After Show, an openline post-game show. Follow Dave on Twitter @Dave_CHED.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|