The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive line is proving to be quite the force and in tip-top this early in the season. Can they hold out and stay on top? Or, are the holes we saw in their defense in their two games against the Toronto Argonauts in danger of getting only bigger?
Yes, overall, the league has suffered some incidents as far as game postponements and a few injuries along the way overall, but let’s be honest folks, the CFL is giving us some epic memories up until now in the season, and we do have the Bombers to thank for some pretty spectacular games thus far…complete with ups and downs of course.
After the first six weeks of the season, the Blue Bombers defense is quite the force. They’ve held on to a series of games that are proving quite dominant after 6 weeks of play. They only suffered one loss to the Argonauts on the 21st of August.
The Bombers are 1st in the West Division and for good reason, folks: Their first game, they beat the Tiger Cats 19-6; their second game, they beat the Argonauts 20-7, they beat the Calgary Stampeders 18-16 and they beat the Roughriders twice in a row…on the 5th of September, 23-8, and of course on the 11th 33-9.
A look at the defensive line
Willie Jefferson, defensive end, said of their last game:
“Tough, physical, defensive game at first that turned into a Winnipeg football game…It’s what we’re used to. We’re at home. We knew it was going to be chippy. They lost the first game and they wanted to make a statement. The thing with us is we’re going to give them what they want, but we’re going to be poised, we’re going to be smart and we’re going to play Winnipeg football. We’re not going to do any of that dumb stuff and get penalties. We just want to play tough, Winnipeg football…Hard-nosed grind football. Grind. Period. We’re going to come to work every day, we’re going to give you what you want offence, defense and special teams and we’re going to make you play your ‘A’ game. If you don’t come with your ‘A’ game you’re going to be in for a long day….”via: bluebombers.com
Jefferson’s and Jake Thomas’ sack to quarterback, Cody Fajardo is by now big news and has been reported excessively…the sack resulting in a concussion to Fajardo, and he was obviously taken out of the game because of it.
And yes, the Argonauts gave them some trouble overall so far this season, the Bombers suffering their only loss to them, but overall one thing can certainly be said of the Bombers so far this year, and that’s that their defensive line is doing quite the job, as they really didn’t have all that many points against when all was said and done by each game’s end.
Recent place-kicking concerns for the Bombers
According to the Winnipeg Sun, Rookie Marc Liegghio may be getting replaced seeing that he missed a 48-yard field goal attempt and two converts in the game on the 11th against the Riders. But who will the new place-kicker be?
Head coach, Mike O’Shea said:
“It’s tough…On a personal level you don’t like to see a guy struggle, but I thought he bounced back. He hit some at the end, which is good. That shows great growth, in my mind. He had a tough couple of plays out there and then he manages to get it together and make some kicks. That is part of the process for any young kicker. He’ll be very good, I know that…”via: Winnipeg Sun
As it stands right now, it looks like Ali Mourtada will be taking the place-kicker duties for the next game against the Elks which is on Saturday, September 18th.
But things seem good so far, quite obviously, and if the defensive end keeps up the apparent and obvious good work and Ali Mourtada works out, the status quo for the Bombers should remain intact for sure. Of their recent win though, head coach, Mike O’Shea says:
“It’s very pleasing, obviously…We like the outcome, for sure. There’s still more to be added in terms of making sure we’re getting better every week…We had a lead in the first half, but I don’t know that we played a really good first half. I hate to be able to flip the switch and give more in the second half — you’d like to be able to give a pretty constant effort throughout the game at a very high level, maybe that’s unrealistic, but we’ve done it before. This group understands what they expect of themselves and from each other…”via: bluebombers.com
It’s always impressive when a team can dominate as they have and prove to be quite solid, especially on the defensive, and sorry to go all cliché here, friends, but to quote Denis Rodman from one of his few movie appearances in Double Team with international action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme: “Offense gets the glory but defense wins the game.”
Looks like the Bombers are proving just that, dear readers.