The Toronto Argonauts nearly came back to win their first game since August this past Saturday against the B.C. Lions. James Franklin’s late efforts almost got Toronto a win. It was good to see Franklin lead the Argonauts almost the whole way back. As a result, he’s been given his starting job back to close out the season.
James Franklin’s Benching
At the time that Franklin got benched, the Argonauts were 1-5, coming off a few uninspiring performances against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a back-to-back scenario. Bethel-Thompson took over and had some instant success with two straight wins but hasn’t won the Argonauts a game since August 18th. When Bethel-Thompson threw four interceptions on Saturday, it was only natural to let Franklin try to ignite the Argos offence.
When Franklin came into the game for Bethel-Thompson, he was 9/14 (64.3%) for 103 yards and two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was a 20-yard strike to Duron Carter. It was nice to see Franklin have success against the Lions. He was almost able to keep the season alive for the Argonauts.
Now, Franklin will need to play out the final four games and show some promise heading into 2019 as he’s the only quarterback under contract next year. Ricky Ray seems likely to retire unless he’s feeling inspired to give it one more go and Bethel-Thompson is a free agent.
The Argonauts close out their season with two home games against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes followed by two road games at Montreal and Ottawa. There’s going to need to be some serious evaluating done by Marc Trestman during the last four games to determine the direction of the team heading into 2019, and James Franklin is at the front of that.
Franklin heads into Friday completing 102 of 156 passes for 1073 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. Those aren’t terrible numbers to go along with 203 rushing yards. Since Franklin is the quarterback who is in on short yardage, he has a whopping 12 rushing touchdowns.
Franklin’s been productive in spurts for the Argonauts. He’s now attempting to show he can put a string of the final four games together. Playing well would go a long way to inspiring hope for the Argonauts in 2019. James Franklin deserved to get his job back a while ago, but now it was inevitable. It’s on him to show he can be the quarterback of the future for the Toronto Argonauts.
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