WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers of old showed up on Saturday.
The Bombers committed five turnovers in a 23-10 loss to the Ottawa RedBlacks at Investors Group Field.
“Not good.” said head coach Mike O’Shea. “Yeah, all three phases I think Ottawa took it to us.”
WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea post game media conference
In a game in which the Bombers could have taken a step closer to their first home playoff game since 2011, the club fell flat as the RedBlacks built up an early 17 point lead in the first half.
“We were flat.” said Harris. “We just weren’t ourselves tonight. I can’t really put my finger on it yet, we got to watch film, break it down. Obviously the turnovers were tough for us. We couldn’t get traction on offence and either get in field goal range or get points, but just across the board for us, we just weren’t ourselves tonight.”
Harris and his 98 yards rushing was probably the lone bright spot for the Bombers. The offence mustered just two scoring drives as Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols had what he described as his worst game of the season. Nichols was intercepted three times.
“It’s on me.” said Nichols. “Anytime you don’t score points on offence, it falls on the quarterback, so I felt like I kinda let the guys down tonight and chose a bad time to play my worst game of the season.”
WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols post game interview
Nichols seemed to struggle with his accuracy and completed just 35 of his 46 passes for 289 yards with one touchdown. After the game O’Shea said he never considered pulling him in favour of Kevin Glenn.
In his first game back from injury, Darvin Adams was the team’s leading receiver as he made nine catches for 87 yards with a touchdown. Clarence Denmark caught four passes for 58 yards. Ryan Smith had 51 yards receiving, while Weston Dressler made five catches for 34 yards.
“I felt like we were kinda fighting it, trying to get the energy level up, but it wasn’t where it needed to be.” said Dressler.
The Bombers’ defence didn’t have much success either. RedBlacks quarterback Henry Burris lit up the Bombers for 338 yards passing while Mossis Madu rushed for 125 yards along the ground.
“We made a bunch of mistakes on defence.” said linebacker Maurice Leggett. “It just crushed our momentum by all the mistakes we made.”
WATCH: Raw Maurice Leggett post game interview
In his first game back after serving a two game suspension for a positive drug test, Bruce Johnson recorded the team’s only interception. Justin Cole and Jamaal Westerman each had a sack.
“We didn’t do a good enough job of being where we’re supposed to be.” said Westerman. “We didn’t take the ball away, we didn’t protect the football, we didn’t play clean on special teams. When you have three breakdowns like that on the three different groups, you normally get an ‘L’ (Loss).”
The Bombers were playing for the first time in more than two weeks after having a bye. But nobody was making excuses for their poor performance.
“I’m not gonna put excuses on anything.” said Harris. “Some days you come out flying and some days you’re flat and today was one of those days.”
WATCH: Raw Andrew Harris post game interview
The Bombers will get another crack at the RedBlacks on Friday when they close out their regular season schedule in the nations capital.