The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are set to face the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday August 11th at IG Field. Kickoff is at 7:30 pm. Here are all the reasons you should be at the game!
While the Bombers sit 9-0 the Alouettes sit at 2-6. However, do not expect this game to be a cakewalk. It took until the fourth quarter of last week’s game – between these two teams – for the Bombers to break it open. Leading into the third quarter the score was tied 14-14.
Keep Him Clean
The Bombers will be looking to clean up their effort this time around. Uncharacteristically, Zach Collaros threw three interceptions and was sacked three times! What Bomber fans did like about Zach’s performance was his willingness to go downfield! Do not call this offence vanilla.
The Run Around
The Bombers will look to continue the success they had running the ball a week ago against the Alouettes. Oliveira had 17 carries for 92 yards and Janarion Grant carried the ball three times for 43 yards. Additionally, Bailey had 1 carry for 13 yards and short yardage quarterback Dakota Prukop had 2 rushes for 4 yards and a touchdown.
On the other side of the of the field, Jeshrun Antwi had 10 carries for 45 yards, and feaster did not feast on the run game with only 5 carries for 23 yards. Their backup and short yardage quarterback Dominique Davis had 2 carries for 8 yards. It is likely an understatement to say that Montreal is missing William Stanback who is still on the 6-Game Injured List.
Winnipeg was able to keep Montreal mostly in check allowing only 203 yards passing. However, Eugene Lewis did catch 9 passes for 123 yards. Yes, his stats got a bump from a 37 yard pass he caught with 1:32 left on the game. Some say that was a garbage time completion so it should not factor in. Even if you take that catch away from his totals, Lewis has 86 receiving yards which is not a bad day at the office.
The rest of the receiving core for Montreal was substandard.
Winnipeg has shown that they give up big plays at times, and will need to limit Montreal’s big down field plays. The best way to do that will be to hammer down from the beginning on Montreal’s quarterback – whichever one happens to be in the game.
Welcome back! Not only to the Winnipeg fans who have not seen their team at home since July 15 when Winnipeg beat Calgary, but also to Greg Ellingson.
While Dalton Schoen and Drew Wolitarsky have been reliable targets for Zach Collaros, Ellingson is still eighth in the league for receiving yards – even though he missed three games!
The Montreal Allouettes will again be without returner Chandler Worthy. While he also plays running back, he has made his biggest impact in the return game. Having played in six games he is in third place amongst returners.
In terms of punt returns, Worthy has returned 22 for 291 yards. Where he makes his biggest impact in the return game is on kickoff returns having taken 20 kickoff returns for 535 yards. He is certainly a field flipper that Montreal will be without.
In the last game, Tyson Philpot filled in for Worthy on kickoff returns, returning 4 for 112 yards. Maybe it was just myself, but there sure seemed to be at least one hold/illegal tackle that Montreal got away with on Philpot’s 60 yard return.
On the other side of the field the Bombers have slot back and returner Janarion Grant. In 9 games Grant has returned 36 punts for 436 yards and even returned a punt for a touchdown. When it comes to kickoff returns, Grant has returned 13 for 372 yards, and another touchdown.
In terms of field flippers I have to give the advantage to Winnipeg.
*I would be watching for Jake Wieneke to be targeted more by Montreal’s quarterback, and will be Montreal’s leading receiver this game.
*Winnipeg’s ground game rolls on for another week, and Oliveira runs for 115 yards.
*The score is not 14-14 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. In fact, the Bombers have a large lead at that point, by at least 14 points.
*With over 28,000 tickets already sold, IG Field is going to be rocking and Montreal will take a number of penalties due to the noise including: procedure, and time count violations! I’m predicting 4 of these types of penalties.
*The Bombers will clip the wings of the Alouettes and go into the bye week with a win!
*Zach has a much better game in terms of fewer interceptions and more yards in passing than his last outing. I say he throws for 326 yards.
*Janarion Grant finally returns two touchdowns – with no penalties – and some lucky person wins $1,000,000!
Bonus Prediction: The Bombers Will Not Clinch 1st Place Any Time Soon
Sitting at 9-0 the Bombers have 18 points (2 points per win), and the second best team is BC with 12 points with a 6-1 record.
Calgary has 10 points with a 5-2 record while Saskatchewan has 8 points with a 4-4 record.
Edmonton has 4 points with a 2-6 record, and they will be excluded from the rest of this conversation.
Winnipeg has 9 games left to play and Calgary has 11 games left to play. Since Winnipeg has the season series over Calgary, Calgary would need to win 5 more games than Winnipeg the rest of the season to leap frog them. So even if Winnipeg would go 5-4 the rest of the way, Calgary would need to win out to pass them.
BC also has 11 games remaining on their schedule. Yes, Winnipeg did win the first contest between the two teams, but they only meet up again in the third last, and last week of the regular season – Winnipeg has a bye in the second last week of the season.
If you do not think that BC is going to tail-off as the season goes on then the chances are that they could be in the hunt for first place near the end of the season. It potentially could even come down to the final game of the season if the two teams are tied in points to see who takes the season series.
Winnipeg gets to play Saskatchewan three times in their remaining 9 games – twice at home. I see Winnipeg taking two of those three games. While the Bombers have done fantastic in Mosaic Stadium in 2019 & 2021, the Labour Day Classic is always a tough one to win in Regina.
I want bounce back to BC. It is possible that Saskatchewan and Calgary exit very early from the 1st place conversation. Some people say Saskatchewan has already been shown the door.
Here is BC’s remaining schedule: At Calgary, At Saskatchewan, Vs Saskatchewan, At Montreal, At Calgary, Vs Calgary, Vs Ottawa, At Toronto, Vs Winnipeg, At Edmonton, At Winnipeg.
If BC hands Calgary and Saskatchewan a couple of losses and Winnipeg beats Saskatchewan a couple of times, you have race to the finish with BC and Winnipeg.
Despite their fantastic season, the Bombers are not clinching first anytime soon!
If that makes you sad, the other potential result is that Winnipeg wins all 18 games. Since I believe it will be a race to the finish, I do not see Winnipeg resting its starters any time soon. However, if that all occurs then their late season bye weeks will really be a gift.
Fan’s 3 Keys To The Game
Notice that there is not one?
This week I did not have a fan step up and do one. You could do one for the next game! This is your invitation right here. Video, 2 minutes or less – hey it could be 30 seconds. Put it up on YouTube. Mention me, and I will grab it and put it in the article for the game it pertains to.
If you do not have Twitter and you are reading this on Facebook. Send the video to me in Messenger.
I am sure all of you have 3 things the Bombers could do each game to win.
What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.
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Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.
Follow me on Twitter @DonCruickshank1
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