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Not Nearly As Good As The Banjo Bowl – Bombers vs Tiger-Cats Preview & Predictions

Well the reality is that after two weeks of big ticket games, namely the Labour Day Classic and the Banjo Bowl bashing! nothing is going to seem quite as exciting. This is especially true as the Bombers put up 7 touchdowns in the Banjo Bowl and only punted the ball once!

It is kind of like going away for a big, exotic, expensive vacation, and the next “vacation” is to Tinker Town. It just is not the same.

And that is the reality that Bomber fans face right now. On Saturday September 17 the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will go and play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Hamilton. While it is still a Bomber game, and that is something to always get hyped about it just is not the same as the Labour Day Classic or the Banjo Bowl.

In their previous meeting on June 24 the Bombers knocked off the Tiger-Cats 26-12.

One of the big questions will be who is going to be the starting quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and which quarterback will actually finish the game?

While Hamilton’s head coach did not explicitly say that Dane Evans would start, he did say that Dane Evans would “dress.”


Team Comparison

So how exactly do the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats stack up?

Well, first and most importantly the Bombers are 12-1 on the season and the Tiger-Cats are 3-9. However, when you look at the on paper comparison they seem to be much closer in terms of talent. The reality is that Winnipeg keeps finding ways to win and Hamilton keeps finding ways to lose.

Yet when you look at rushing, and passing leaders for both teams it is not even close! That is because Hamilton does not run the ball, and Collaros is a much better quarterback that Evans.

  • At the time of publication Hamilton had not released its depth chart.

CFL Statistics

As far as the CFL statistics are concerned Winnipeg is number 3 in offence out of all the teams and Hamilton is hovering just above the basement in 8th place.

Defensively the story is not much different. The Bombers are ranked 1st defensively in the CFL and the Tiger-Cats are ranked 6th.

One thing both team do have in common is that they are both on a 3 game streak. Those streaks are just a bit different. Hamilton is on a 3 game losing streak and Winnipeg is on a 3 game winning streak!

Extra Motivation?

A case could be made that Hamilton will really want to beat the Bombers as the Bombers beat Hamilton in both of the last 2 Grey Cups. However, I really think we are at a point where that is irrelevant. Hamilton is just trying to win, no matter who the opponent is.

One thing that could be of benefit for Hamilton is that they are coming off of a bye-week. I do not think that is really going to help Hamilton by watching tape on Winnipeg. These teams have played so often that they really know each other, and coaching tendencies.  More than anything the rest might be the biggest help from the bye-week for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Is The White Towel Of Surrender In The Coach’s Hand?

I do have to wonder if Hamilton has seen the writing on the wall and is throwing in the towel on the season and in an evaluation mode for 2023.

When Head Coach for the Hamilton Tiger-cats – Orlondo Steinauer – says, “Sometimes you shuffle the lineup based on your opponent and sometimes you shuffle it to shuffle it,” that sounds like an evaluative process for next year. You can pick that comment up at the 58 second mark.

But do not even hint that to Bombers’ Head Coach Mike O’Shea. He will give you the standard Mike O’Shea answer.


*I predict a desperate Hamilton team is going to play desperate football!

Whether that is gambling on 3rd down early and often, adding a trick play or two, trying to jump receiving routes, or trying to jump out to an early lead. The question will be if they can capitalize on that or shoot themselves in the foot trying.

*I predict we are going to see some emptier stands in Hamilton!

While it will be a pleasant day in Hamilton with the temperature around 25 degrees at kickoff it is hard to get people to give up their Saturday afternoon to watch a losing football team. Trust me, I know! I have been a Bomber fan for a long time, and we had some lean years!

*I predict that that sacks have just started for Winnipeg and they will rack up 3 or more on Saturday!

While the Bombers defence have been getting to quarterbacks making them scramble and hurry, they just have not been getting the sack numbers. In the Banjo Bowl the Bombers had 4 quarterback sacks. Willie Jefferson had 2, Shayne Gauthier had 1, and Jackson Jeffcoat had 1 – close to what I called before that game.

Some will say that Saskatchewan’s offensive line had a stomach bug. But let us be honest. Most offensive lines feel sick to their stomach when they have to face Winnipeg’s defensive line!

*I predict that Zach Collaros throws for over 300 yards and all the Hamilton quarterbacks combined throw for under 200 yards!

Really? Yah! Winnipeg was dominant against Saskatchewan in the Banjo Bowl and I expect that to continue until they lock up first place.

*I predict that the Bombers leave Hamilton with the win!

Will Winnipeg win the rest of the games this year? Who knows. That is not even the goal. I think the Bombers clinch 1st place pretty soon. At that point I suspect they may go to a rotational rest when no one player is resting – what well could be – well over a month. But as for this game in Hamilton, I predict another Bomber victory!

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.

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Don Cruickshank Reporter
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