Edmonton Eskimos’ offence slumping but not discouraged

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly attempts a pass during first half CFL action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, in Regina on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. The Edmonton Eskimos couldn't have picked a worse time to have a slump. The Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated Edmonton 19-12 on Monday, handing the Eskimos their third straight loss and sixth in eight games. And now with three regular-season games remaining, the Eskimos find themselves last in the West Division standings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

The Edmonton Eskimos returned to the practice field on Thursday in what is a short week as they get set to host the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday afternoon.

The Eskimos have lost three straight games and haven’t scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters, dating back to when they played the Redblacks three weeks ago.

READ MORE: Esks can’t hold on to lead, lose 19-12 to Riders on Thanksgiving

During that time the Eskimos have scored just 15 points, produced 650 yards of offence, committed 15 turnovers, and have allowed 10 quarterback sacks. The offence was top-three in most categories before hitting their recent slump, a fact that isn’t lost on quarterback Mike Reilly.

“I’m not going to flush down 12 or 14 games of good offensive football, and in this system the 40 games prior to that, just because of 10 bad quarters,” Reilly said.

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“At the same time, we have to fix what we’re doing wrong or we’re going to continue to have quarters like that.

“We have to get back to how we’ve been playing for 95 per cent of the time and learn from the bad five per cent but also move on from it.”

Listen below: QB Mike Reilly says the offence isn’t playing well at the moment but it doesn’t mean the system doesn’t work

With only three games left in the regular season, the Eskimos three-game losing streak is coming at the wrong time.

The team sits last in the Western Division with a 7-8 record and tied in wins with the B.C. Lions, who have a game in hand on the Eskimos.

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The team still controls their own destiny but a fourth straight loss would see them lose grip on their playoff destiny. A win would put their playoff fate more firmly in their hands.

Offensive lineman Matt O’Donnell says the pressure to win games is a weekly event.

“The pressure is always on though from week one, game one, and the first play,” O’Donnell said.

“You have a bad play, you have to wipe the slate clean and start fresh again. It’s the same thing every week. You have a bad week the week before but you can’t let it linger because that is going to cause more problems. You have to go clean slate every time and go 100 per cent.”

Listen below: Head coach Jason Maas says the struggles on the offence go beyond the performance of Mike Reilly

It looks like offensive lineman Tommie Draheim and defensive back Arjen Colquhoun will return to the lineup on Saturday against the Redblacks.

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Kick-off on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will be at 3 p.m. 630 CHED will have Countdown to Kick-off at 2:30 p.m. following live coverage of the Oilers-Rangers game.

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