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Week 5 Preview: Calgary At Winnipeg!

CFL fans, and Bomber fans in particular, know that a Winnipeg vs. Saskatchewan game is the biggest rivalry in the CFL! However, every time Winnipeg faces Calgary it is a spirited contest. That is likely in large part due to the fact that Calgary was the class of the league for a long time, while the Bombers were trying to get there. Now that the Bombers are the class of the league – sorry Toronto I do not put you in that spot – the matchup is intense for both teams. When there is banter between Winnipeg fans and Saskatchewan fans, the temperature can be lowered by either fan base saying, ‘Well we can all agree on at least one thing…we both hate Calgary!”

Calgary comes into this game with something to prove! Being 1-2 early on in the season means that if the playoffs were right now Calgary would be the crossover team – as they are fourth in the West. Losing 25-15 in Week 1 against BC, winning in Week 2, 26-15 against Ottawa, and losing 26-29 in Week 3, Calgary is not a team to be taken lightly. Additionally, Calgary is coming off a bye week.

Yet Calgary does have some injury issues.

Calgary Depth Chart

While Begelton and Michel draw back in for Calgary, they are still missing their leading receiver in Henry, their star running back Carey, their other running back Logan, as well as wide receivers Hakunavanhu, Tucker, and Middlemost. But do not take this Calgary team lightly!

Their defensive front is going to try and make life tough for Bomber quarterback Collaros, and they have a real chance of disrupting Winnipeg’s offence, especially coming off a bye week! Judge, Awe, and Wall are going to look to get after Collaros, and open some lanes for other players to get some shots on Zach!

Winnipeg Depth Chart

The Bombers are looking their best so far this season injury wise!

Drawing into the Winnipeg lineup will be both newly-acquired defensive back Kerfalls Exume and line backer Jared Beeksma! Fans might remember that Exume was released by Montreal earlier this week and quickly picked up by Winnipeg – a player they drafted and played in 2019. He obviously impressed the Bombers in his 2019 season recording a rookie league high of 25 special teams tackles and helped Winnipeg win the Grey Cup that year.

The Bombers’ Head Coach Mike O’Shea expects that Willie Jefferson will continue to be a huge factor!

“He’s (Willie Jefferson) been excellent so far this year, we don’t expect that to change either.”

Bombers Facebook – source


As always I predict that Winnipeg will play a wildly entertaining game!

I expect Calgary to come in playing desperate football which is always dangerous. Additionally, the Bombers are going to have to get pressure on Calgary’s quarterback Jake Maier. Maier has proven that he can play! In 2021 he almost knocked off Winnipeg and would have won if Calgary’s kicker Rene Paredes would not have missed and end of game field goal. I also would not be surprised if Calgary had a few gadget plays or extra wrinkles in their play book.

The problem for Calgary has been their receivers dropping catchable balls! Fans might think that will be an issue again with a lot of Calgary’s starting offence on the shelf injured this game. However, we have learned in the CFL that any player can step up any week!

Adding to that is the fact that Winnipeg’s defense plays a “bend but don’t break” style of defense. That style can drive Bomber fans wild as it is subject to giving up yardage. It should mean that Calgary’s quarterback Jake Maier is able to find receivers. As hard as that may be to watch, Bomber fans should remember that it is that exact style of deference that Winnipeg won 2 Grey Cups with and got to a third Grey Cup in a row!

The Bombers’ Defensive Coordinator, Richie Hall, plays that defense because he is banking on two things. First, he believes it is very hard for teams to march down the field getting first down after first down without making costly mistakes at key moments. Secondly, he believes his defense can get enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks to cause those mistakes…he has proven himself correct time and time again!

So I expect Calgary will make plays, rack up over 300 yards of total offense, let leave Winnipeg disappointed to the jubilation of Bomber fans!

Catch all my articles here.

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Don Cruickshank Reporter
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