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CFL Week 5 Preview: Blue Bombers at Roughriders

Saskatchewan 3-0 vs Winnipeg 3-1

Sunday, September 4, 2021 6pm EST @ Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field

Showdown in Saskatchewan

The annual rivalry game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers takes place at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday at 6 p.m.

The Riders enter on an historic run. Saskatchewan sits at 15-2 in non-playoff games since 2019, rivaling the greatest regular season runs of all-time.

Most recently, the Blue Bombers outlasted the Calgary Stampeders 18-16 in a sloppy battle that concluded week 4. With that win the 3-1 Bombers will battle for first place in the conference on Sunday. Blue Bombers fans will hope the team can turn it around their Labour Day misfortunes this year.

To put it in a nutshell, the Bombers have absolutely stunk it up during the Labour Day classic for much of the past generation. Winnipeg have won just one match-up in the past fifteen years. A concerning run of futility to say the least.

Incredibly, the average margin of defeat has been a colossal 16.1 points. Only four of the 15 games were decided by a touchdown or less, while eight were decided by two touchdowns or more, including a 52-0 defeat in 2012. Additionally, the Bombers are just 19-37 in the last 56 Labor Day meetings between these two clubs, dating back to 1949!

Meeting with an old friend postponed for now

Former Riders wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt will miss Sunday’s clash.

Roosevelt played five seasons for the Roughriders before signing as a free agent with the Montreal Alouettes in 2020, only to have the season cancelled due to COVID-19. The Buffalo product was released by the Alouettes after training camp this year, and signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Monday.

A Classic rematch

When these teams last met, a Division Championship, and berth in the Grey Cup was at stake. That last game ended climatically, as Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo dinged a pass off the crossbar while attempting to tie the contest.

Meanwhile, the Blue Bombers won 20-13 in a precursor to their 33-12 triumph over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 107th Grey Cup.

In any season, the battle between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg on Labour Day weekend is a spectacle, but the stakes are raised when the two teams are of comparable class. Both squads will feel they have every opportunity to use this game as a springboard for further success.

Winnipeg’s number one rated defense will have it hands full with Cody Fajardo and Saskatchewan’s top ranked offense. The battle of historical rivals, top-tier quarterbacks, and stellar teams promises to produce fireworks on Sunday night.

When you add in the severe withdrawal caused by the COVID-influenced cancellation of the 2020 season, the hunger for Sunday’s show becomes even more ravenous.

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Nick Holz
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