With the win on Thursday night the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were the first team to win 400 games at home! Calgary had first crack at that mark in Week 8, but Winnipeg beat them in Calgary 35-28. Then Winnipeg had a chance in Week 10 to be the first team to win 400 at home, but dropped that game to Montreal. However, on Thursday August 25, Winnipeg would be vindicated and be the first team to win 400 games at home when they beat the Calgary Stampeders 31-29.
The Calgary Stampeders came into Winnipeg looking to hand Winnipeg its second straight loss – an event that has not happened much in the last number of seasons. The Calgary Stampeders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers traded early shots as they both ended their first drive with a touchdown. However, after a game that would resemble a wild west shoot out, Calgary would saddle up and be driven out of town with their own loss. Maybe that was because they did not have their lead outlaw Bo Levi Mitchell playing as he seemed to be off target with his shots for much of the season – Jake Maier was pulling the trigger instead. Or maybe it was because the Bombers are the new sheriffs in the CFL.
The barn burner would end 31-29 for the Bombers, but it likely should not have been that close. Winnipeg had a chance for both a touchdown at the end of the half and late in the 3rd quarter, yet Collaros would throw interceptions in the end zone on both plays.
If you want you can find the statistics and play-by-play on the CFL Game Tracker.
If you wanted to hand the game-ball to a Stampeder there would be a couple of choices.
*Jake Maier went 23/28 for 294 yards throwing for 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. Do you think Bo Levi Mitchell is going to be starting anytime soon? I do not think so. I believe the Stampeders will ride Maier until he dies off in production – which is not guaranteed to happen.
*Sticking with Calgary you could give a game-ball to Peyton Logan who came in for relief of Ka’Deem Carrey. Logan was shredding the Bombers every time he touched the ball. He had 6 carries for 51 yards! Man he looked fast!
*How about Malik Henry who had 3 touchdowns?!
However, as this segment usually goes a game-ball will be handed out to Winnipeg.
Who do you like from Winnipeg?
*The attendance was great! There were over 30,000 in attendance for the game! You could give the game-ball to the fans for showing up after a stinker of a loss to Montreal in Week 10, but then each fan would receive 1/30,062 of a game-ball. While I maybe did not hit on all my predictions for the game I was right when I wrote than fans will come back to see the Bombers even after the botched Montreal game.
*You could choose Buck Pierce for his non-vanilla play calling that saw many creative ways of getting the ball into the hands of receivers and running backs.
*How about Johnny Augustine who came in for relief of Oliveira? He had 7 carries for 38 yards.
*You could give the game-ball to Ritchie Hall, no that was not a typo. I get it. Fans who are reading this and thinking, “That defence was too soft!” did not catch what happened. Winnipeg is playing with some second stringers on defence, and in that game some of them got injured. Winnipeg had to play some second and third stringers and needed to make sure they did not get burned over the top. So what do you do? You play zone and you play off the line.
Sure, it does not look pretty when the Stampeders are galloping the ball down the field, but it worked. Winnipeg did not get beat on any explosion plays – except the first touchdown for Malik Henry where Houston pulled up lame. So no, it did not look pretty, but it worked, and it would not have looked so bad if Winnipeg would not have thrown 2 interceptions in the end zone.
*You could give the game-ball to the official that got absolutely trucked, lost his hat, and sat up to call a touchdown.
*Maybe you like Donald Rutledge. He was all over the field with 10 tackles!
*However, without reservation, the game-ball has to go to Nic Demski! Demski had a career game! Catching 8/9 for 117 yards, and a receiving touchdown, as well as rushing for an additional 36 yards, Demski amassed 153 yards! The most total yards per game in his career so far! Watch the highlights! Demski was not just racking up the yards, he looked great!
For stepping up big time, when a depleted receiving group needed it the most, for having a career game, for helping Winnipeg beat Calgary for the third time this year, for helping Winnipeg to be the first CFL team to win 400 games at home, Nic Demski you get the game-ball!
Again there would be a couple of options here.
*One option would be to Winnipeg’s kick coverage team. I have not loved it much this year. Whether the punts and kickoffs are just lower, or the Bombers are slower at getting downfield coverage than every other team, it seem that kick coverage is an area that the Bombers struggle with. Simply giving it the eyeball test, it looks like the returners for the opponents have way more time and space when they catch the ball than the Winnipeg returners do.
*However, the jock has to go to a whole lot of Calgary players, and maybe some coaches.
With just over twelve minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, after the play developed a challenge was thrown by Dave Dickenson, and we were all standing wondering what was going on. Here is the breakdown on that play.
Zach Collaros seemingly throws a pass intended for Oliveira but it is not caught. In fact it was not an incomplete pass but a fumble! However, nobody for the Stampeders immediately jumped on the ball and the play was whistled dead, and called an incomplete pass. Dave Dickenson either thinks to himself or gets word from a spotter that the ball was actually fumbled and that it was not an incomplete pass. So he throws the challenge flag.
While Dave was correct that it was a fumble by the fact that nobody recovered the fumble and the play being whistled dead, there is no way that Calgary can be awarded the ball. Why did neither he nor a spotter know that? Essentially, Dickenson challenges for Winnipeg to be pushed back from the 17 yard line to the 25 yard line. That is only a loss of 8 yards. Do you really want to risk a timeout and a challenge for that, in what is a must win game for Calgary?
Had Calgary won that game they would be 7-4 and Winnipeg would be 9-2. The race for first place would certainly be on! However, after dropping that game Calgary moved to 6-4 and Winnipeg moved to 10-1. Since Winnipeg has the season series on Calgary, Calgary needs to win 5 more games than Winnipeg in the rest of the season, and Calgary only has 8 games left to do that.
For not understanding what is at stake in the game. For not understanding the value of the challenge. For not understanding the value of a time out. For not understanding that the best you will get is moving Winnipeg back 8 yards, Dave Dickenson you get the jock.
What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.
Find all my articles here.
Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.
Stay with CFL News Hub for the 2022 season.
Follow me on Twitter @DonCruickshank1