Redblacks drop fourth straight game in blowout loss to Argonauts

Photo credit: The Canadian Press

Despite a promising start, the Ottawa Redblacks were overrun by the lowly Toronto Argonauts at home Saturday afternoon. The Argos forced five turnovers and came away with a 46-17 win to hand Ottawa its fourth consecutive defeat. The Redblacks have now lost nine of their last 10 games, a horrific stretch for a franchise that has become accustomed to success in the East Division.

On the game’s opening drive, Ottawa defensive linemen George Uko threw his hands up and intercepted a McLeod Bethel-Thompson pass at the line of scrimmage. The Ottawa offence scored on a Jonathon Jennings pass to Brad Sinopoli three plays later to take an early 7-0 lead.

Most of the metrics for Jennings look good (78% completion percentage, 327 passing yards) but key mistakes made by him and other members of the Redblacks at the end of drives costed Ottawa through much of the game.

Jennings threw an interception and fumbled the ball (one of three Ottawa fumbles), Lewis Ward missed a makeable field goal and the Redblacks turned the ball over on downs.

Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson turned the ball over three times (two interceptions and a fumble) himself but made good on the offence’s other drives to run up the score on Ottawa as the game went along. 

The Toronto passing offence has been supremely impressive over the last couple of months and continued their hot streak Saturday afternoon. Bethel-Thompson sliced and diced the Redblacks defence for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.

Every notable playmaker on the Argo offence got involved. Running back James Wilder Jr. scored three combined touchdowns and receivers Derel Walker and SJ Green both topped 90 yards receiving.

While the Redblacks looked effective on offence early, they could not keep the momentum going unlike their counterparts. Ottawa was outscored 28-4 in the second half.

One of the worst units all season long, the Argos defence came to Ottawa ready to play. The defence forced and recovered three Ottawa fumbles. Defensive back Robert Woodson forced a fumble, and recovered another that he returned for a 47-yard touchdown early in the third quarter that seemingly set the tone for the rest of the game.

Dominique Rhymes was a bright spot in the passing game for the Redblacks. Rhymes caught eight of the nine passes thrown his way for 98 receiving yards.

Former all-star linebacker Bear Woods made his first start of the season and led the Argos defence in tackles.

Quick Notes:

  • Argos receiver SJ Green continues to climb the CFL’s all-time receiving ranks. He is now 20th all time in career receiving yards
  • Redblacks receiver Jerminic Smith made his CFL debut and caught all four balls thrown his way for 38 yards
  • Along with his first-career interception, defensive lineman George Uko had a fumble recovery as well
  • Argos 2019 draft pick Robert Smith had his first two-sack CFL game
  • Second-year Canadian safety Justin Howell picked up his first career sack
  • Lewis Ward missed his second field goal of the season, more than he missed all of 2018

The Redblacks are in BC next Friday night for a matchup with the last-place Lions.