OTTAWA — There is a pulse, but it is faint. Prayers are being whispered by the immediate family and a priest has also been summoned to administer the last rites.

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This article was published 2/10/2014 (2579 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — There is a pulse, but it is faint. Prayers are being whispered by the immediate family and a priest has also been summoned to administer the last rites.

Yes, there is still a month of games yet to be played but — unofficially — the 2014 Winnipeg Blue Bombers were placed on life support Friday night in the nation’s capital, falling 42-20 to an Ottawa Redblacks team which had lost nine in a row and were 1-11.

Make that 2-11 now after the Redblacks exposed every one of the Bombers weaknesses including — inhale here — an inability to stop the run, poor pass protection, an ineffective run game, sloppy tackling, a horrible turnover ratio and a penchant for brain-fart penalties.

There’s more, much more, but space is limited.

 

WHAT IT MEANS

It means the buzz that surrounded this team with a 5-1 start has all but faded now. The Bombers have lost five straight and seven of their last eight to fall to 6-8, still two points back of the 7-6 B.C. Lions, who are in Hamilton to face the Tiger-Cats Saturday night.

Keep the faith, if you wish, but the Bombers now travel to Edmonton, are home to Calgary and the Lions and then finish the regular season against the Stampeders in Cowtown, where this franchise wins as often as Sylvester Stallone mumbles the words "I’d like to thank the Academy for this award..."

"We took some steps backwards this game. It was embarrassing," said Bomber defensive tackle Bryant Turner, Jr. "We’ve got to tackle better on defence. I felt our communication was good, but we weren’t executing as good. Penalties killed us all over the board: ‘O’, ‘D’, wherever they were, they killed us again. They’re very uncalled for, especially at this point in the season.

"We just got to hit the ground running. We’ve got to come out and be a completely different team. I feel like we’ve got to hold each other more accountable on our jobs, for sure.

"We could have come into the game more focussed. I felt like we came in thinking this is a losing team and we possibly had that in our head. I have no idea. Whatever it was we need to figure it out and we need to figure it out now.

"We don’t have time to get better... we’ve got to figure out the problem now and get it settled."

 

THE OTHER GUYS GET PAID, TOO

As bad as the Bombers were pretty much from start to finish — and ‘bad’ might be too kind a word — the Redblacks looked like the 1976 Ottawa Rough Riders at TD Place Friday night, setting a franchise record with 42 points scored. It helped take some sting out of their recent late-game fumbling that cost them wins in Regina in OT and against the Montreal Alouettes at home a week ago.

Ottawa had 134 yards rushing at the half — setting a franchise record before the intermission — and finished with 188 along the ground. They were equally effective through the air, completing 25 of 32 passes for 289 as the Redblacks finished with 470 yards in total offence.

The Redblacks really dictated the play defensively, too, forcing five Bomber turnovers — including a pick six by Travis Brown on the third play of the game — and piling up six sacks of Drew Willy, who finished 19 of 30 for 223 yards with no TDs and three interceptions.

"I didn’t execute at a high enough level," said Willy. "I’d have to look at the film but, obviously, I wasn’t good enough. It’s by far the most frustrating (game) I’ve had this year.

"We need to start executing at a higher level. I’m sure there are plays to be made out there, but we just need to do a better job as a unit and come together and do everything we can to get ready for Edmonton."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait