September 9, 2018 12:14 pm

Winnipeg Blue Bombers reeling heading into bye week

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols (15) walks off the field after throwing an interception during first half CFL action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 15th annual Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg Saturday, September 8, 2018.

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers self destructed in the Banjo Bowl.

The Bombers’ shocking downward spiral continued as five turnovers spelled their undoing with the Saskatchewan Roughriders scoring 23 of their 32 points off turnovers.

“We defintely got to self evaluate,” defensive back Chris Randle said. “I think that’s something everyone in here needs to do. I think we’re all ready and willing to come back and ready to work and turn this ship around.”

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“And if we take this bye week lightly and go in the tank that’s disrespecting your teammates.”

Quarterback Matt Nichols was pulled from the game at the half after he threw three interceptions and it would have been five if not for a pair of penalty flags that called them back.

“That’s not typical Matt Nichols,” head coach Mike O’Shea said. “Matt Nichols has won a pile of games for us. I don’t know that he’s had a half like that since I’ve been around him. I don’t even know if he’s had a half like that in his career.”

“It sucks to let your team down,” Nichols said.

“I deserved to not be in the second half of that game. I mean I honestly felt like I was playing really well, but obviously when you make a couple mistakes, you can cost your team big time.”

WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Post Game Interview

RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers handed 4th straight loss by Roughriders in Banjo Bowl

Those mistakes included a pair of Riders’ interceptions for touchdowns while the Bombers were in the red zone. But his replacement Chris Streveler wasn’t a whole lot better. He completed 10 of his 20 passes and threw two interceptions of his own.

“We moved the ball a little bit but I think there was some plays that I wish I had back,” Streveler said. “We moved the ball at times but then at other times we were a little stagnant.”

The Bombers running game wasn’t exaclty working either. Just a week after he rumbled for 158 yards in the Labour Day Classic, Andrew Harris was held to just 21 yards on 10 carries.

“They did a good job of responding and taking down that middle, the inside,” Harris said.

“They were good in tackling tonight so it was tough sledding for me.”

While the defence has had it’s share of the blame this season, you certainly can’t fault them for this defeat.

Anthony Gaitor provided a pick six of his own and the Bombers defence made a couple key stops in the fourth quarter to allow the Bombers to temporarily retake the lead.

“They played extremely well,” O’Shea said. “Yeah, loved it. They were flying around out there making plays.”

WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Post Game Media Conference

“Definitely I think we do have to do more,” Randle said. “Not necessarily outside of what we already do. Just making the plays that come to us, executing at just a little bit higher level.”

RELATED: Bombers, Riders fans celebrate rivalry with tailgate party ahead of Banjo Bowl

The Bombers now have nearly two weeks to stew it over as they enter the bye week clinging to fourth place in the West Division with a record of just 5-7. Their next game is Friday, September 21 at home to the Montreal Alouettes.

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