The Calgary Stampeders are looking for a bit of revenge in week four as they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
This is the first time the two teams meet since their playoff matchup in 2019 where Winnipeg knocked Calgary out of the playoffs with a 35-14 beating leading to their Grey Cup title. The game saw Bo Levi Mitchell play one of his worst games of his career throwing three interceptions.
It’s been an oddity of sorts for the Stampeders as they have gotten off to a slow 1-2 start to the 2021 season. Injuries have prevented the team from hitting its stride. That includes their starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell who will miss his second straight game to injury. Rookie quarterback Jake Maier will make his second career start after winning his first start last week against Montreal.
As for Winnipeg, the defending Grey Cup champions got off to a fast start with two straight wins before losing to Toronto last week. The Blue Bombers got some good news as their starting running back Andrew Harris will be starting for the first time since 2019 after fighting through some injuries. His return will make a significant impact on an already impressive offense in Winnipeg.
Keys for a Calgary Stampeders’ Victory
The Stampeders started the season at home for three straight games and unfortunately for the squad, they could only muster one win. Calgary has to feel pressure to try to pull off a win against one of the top teams in the CFL in Winnipeg.
Jake Maier is set to make his second start of the season after leading Calgary to a win last week. Maier got off to a slow start throwing two interceptions in the first half but started to get into rhythm starting in the second quarter. The rookie quarterback must get off to a fast start and rely on his running back Ka’Deem Carey to pick up big yards on the ground.
The defense played well for three quarters against Montreal, but a late fourth quarter comeback saw the Alouettes come one yard away from a potential win. With the defense facing off against one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Zach Collaros, the secondary must be able to play physically against their receivers. Calgary has a strong defensive line that has put plenty of pressure on the quarterback through three games and will need similar success on Sunday.
Keys for a Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Victory
Winnipeg must be cautious, but utilize Andrew Harris as he returns to the backfield for the offense. Feeding Harris the ball will help take some of the pressure off of Collaros to carry the offense. The offense will need plenty of big plays to keep up with Calgary’s big-play potential offense.
The Stampeders led the CFL in passing plays of 30 yards or more with seven. This means that the secondary for Winnipeg must be ready for the deep pass from the Stampeders. So far in 2021, the Blue Bombers have three interceptions in three games. When facing a rookie quarterback like Maier, the defense must blitz often on him and create multiple turnovers to win this game.
This game comes down to how fast of a start can Calgary get off to. They are starting a rookie quarterback who threw two picks last week. The difference for Calgary against Montreal last week was the Alouettes had more plays of hurting themselves than Calgary did. Turnovers will make or break this game for Calgary.
Winnipeg won the Grey Cup in 2019 for a reason. They protect the ball well and have a strong balance between passing the ball and running it on the ground. The Blue Bombers’ offense is among one of the best and adding Harris back to the lineup only makes them more dangerous.
It’s a must-win situation for Calgary if they want to keep up in the west division that includes Winnipeg and undefeated Saskatchewan Roughriders.