Collaros, the reigning two-time CFL Most Excellent Participant, sat in entrance of the media after the beautiful setback and tried to clarify why the closely favoured Bombers misplaced to the Argos.
“I don’t assume that we acquired into a superb rhythm at any level within the recreation offensively,” mentioned Collaros, who completed 14-of-23 passing for 183 yards and one interception.
“We had been capable of put collectively just a few good drives right here and there, however we weren’t environment friendly sufficient on first down, operating or passing the soccer, and that begins with me. I’ve to do a greater job to assist the group win.”
The Bombers, who topped the West Division with a 15-3 regular-season mark, seemed to take management of the sport on the primary play of the fourth quarter. Janarion Grant returned a punt 102 yards for a landing to place the Bombers forward 23-14. It was the longest punt return landing in Gray Cup historical past.
Simply over two minutes later, Toronto kicker Boris Bede narrowed the hole to 23-17 with a 36-yard area purpose. The Argos restored their lead with 3:24 remaining within the contest on a five-yard landing run from A.J. Ouellette.
Toronto seemed to construct on its lead with 2:09 left with a 42-yard area purpose try by Bede, nevertheless it was blocked by the Bombers. Collaros then led Winnipeg into field-goal vary with kicker Marc Liegghio to try a 47-yarder with 54 seconds remaining.
Argos defensive finish Robbie Smith blocked the kick and Toronto ran out the clock to seal the victory.
Collaros, who suffered an ankle damage within the West Division remaining towards the BC Lions on Nov. 13, didn’t seem like restricted by the damage. He did, nevertheless, have points eluding the Argos cross rush, which collected 4 sacks.
“You’ve acquired to play 4 quarters, so credit score to them. They by no means gave up. From an offensive standpoint, I simply wished we did extra to remain on the soccer area,” mentioned Collaros. “We’ll watch the tape and be disenchanted, however once more, it was a tremendous yr and I’m simply actually proud to be part of this group.”
The Bombers had been chasing their third straight Gray Cup championship, a feat final achieved by Edmonton, who received 5 straight titles from 1978 to 1982.
Nonetheless, Collaros doesn’t consider the lofty expectations put extra stress on the Bombers.
“I actually don’t assume so. I’m undecided that ever really places stress on any group and we definitely have a really mature group, a veteran-laden group,” mentioned Collaros. “We simply care lots, so we put stress on ourselves, it doesn’t matter what. The fellows labored their tails off all week lengthy making ready for this soccer recreation, as a result of it was the subsequent recreation.
“Anyone’s acquired to win.”
Though Collaros felt there have been issues the Bombers may have achieved higher to be able to win, he additionally credited the Argos for his or her efficiency — particularly, the play of Argos backup quarterback Chad Kelly, who took over from starter McLeod Bethel-Thompson within the fourth quarter after he suffered a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand.
Kelly arrange Ouellette’s landing with a 20-yard scramble on a second-and-15 play from the Winnipeg 36-yard line. He eluded two Winnipeg defenders within the backfield earlier than streaking downfield and getting the primary down.
Ouellette scored three performs later. It was his second dashing landing of the sport.
“They by no means gave up. For Chad (Kelly) to come back in and do what he did, that was spectacular,” mentioned Collaros.
“They’d a superb recreation plan. They pressured a bit bit extra on second-down conditions. They had been capable of get residence a few instances. They type of did what we had been anticipating they had been going to do for many of the soccer recreation they usually did a greater job than us.”
Rider followers enjoy Bombers’ Gray Cup defeat
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