3. A spark — not a flame-out — from the special teams
The Bombers’ foot soldiers have been beaten up/featured in this space since the start of the season for some good, some bad and, of late, a whole lot of ugly. They were exposed in a one-point loss to Calgary with a punt block against, some missed kicks and poor decisionmaking by returner Troy Stoudermire in his first game back from injury.
A week later in Edmonton, the mistakes were just as glaring, with kicker Lirim Hajrullahu missing from 42 yards on the club’s first possession, to a bust on a Kendial Lawrence 53-yard punt return right after Willy’s exit that set up a five-yard major. That was a killer, essentially turning a 4-3 game into a blowout. Now, no one is suggesting the special-teams units needs to be perfect, but they have to be at least capable.
“We lost our way a little bit in the last game,” said Teague Sherman, who had a punt-block TD for the Bombers in a win over Montreal this season. “Being such a huge part of the game, coach (Mike) O’Shea always says, ‘You can’t be the reason we lose a game, but you can be the reason we win a game.’
“Just think about the Montreal and Calgary games: Against Montreal, we block a punt for a touchdown and win. And the next game, (the Esks) block a punt for a touchdown and,