Report Card vs Ottawa
McLeod looked like he was on his way to an all-time stats game but then Ottawa imploded in the second half, and he was hardly on the field. Yes, he threw a bad pick, but he also threw three fantastic touchdowns with a mix of pace and touch and a fourth that was dropped. He won four games in a row for the first time, and he looked in charge of the game from the opening kickoff.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B+
DaVaris Daniels had a huge statistical game with 100 yards and a two-point conversion. KGJ once again flashed in his hometown with a terrific touchdown catch and Markeith Ambles is a perfect example of the Argos depth at wide receiver, he could be a star with more reps. The Banks TD drop was brutal but that is the Banks roller coaster experience.
RUNNING BACKS: B+
AJ Oullette is becoming a legitimate starting running back in the CFL. I can not remember a running back who is more deserving of a nickname or a cheer for his runs. He is maximum effort on every carry, and was able to run for 90 all-purpose yards tonight despite being hurt by the lack of any real offensive time in the second half. Ideally, Toronto can get to an average of 75 yards rushing per game, but he has done a great job taking over so far.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B
The line played well tonight. Some decent time for AJ to get going on runs, as he needs a step or two to get his momentum going. The protection against a talented Ottawa D line held up for most of the game but there were a couple of free running shots on MBT that need to be cleaned up and some quarterback pressures on 2nd down. Line is still holding its own and not causing unfixable problems.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A
This is a great example of how statistics do not determine a grade as Ottawa threw for almost 4 bills, but those yards don’t mean much. The ball hawk secondary of the Argos was a force with three picks. Carnell with his predicted pair of picks has shown improved hands to go with his route-jumping confidence and DaShaun Amos also has quietly turned into a great player. With Shaq and Priester coming back, this unit is good enough to win a championship.
It was great to see Muamba back on the field and hopefully that holds as he and McManis are the heart and mind of this defense. Ottawa’s running game was kept in check and the short passing game was covered well by the backers. I’m still holding out for Edwards to take over a game, I know it is coming. McManis losing a sack to a terrible roughing the passer call was irritating but he is still the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A
This unit does not rack up sack stats, but they absolutely controlled the line of scrimmage. Arbuckle had happy feet from the get-go, as the waves of defenders came at him. Ray has an elite first step, CN Power can take over a game, Davis being back was a joy to watch, Hendrix and Acheampong and now rolling in Demontre Moore, amazing. Setting the edge and not getting too far up field is still an area to watch for but this unit with those backers behind them are looking lethal.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
This is a standard mixed bag of Argo Specials…Bede stepped up and showed he is still a great punter which is a terrific asset for the team. He missed a 50-yard FG and a point after, but this was a low-pressure game, so I won’t sweat it until I see him miss something vital. Return game is still file not found. Jack Cassar had the turning point of the game on the FG miss cover team, tearing the ball away from Dedmon and ending Ottawa’s hope for the game, the season and maybe for eternity? Only time will tell.
Even with no scoring, I really liked the offensive game plan in the first and how it got MBT into a rhythm. The defense ate all day, and the staff has done a terrific job of switching between bend-don’t-break and a blitz attack team from week to week and in game. The team came off a bye ready to roll and that in itself is a key indicator of a good coaching staff.