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Week 6 Game Ball & Jock: Bombers Crumble To Redblacks!

What can de described as nothing less than a total melt down, the 4-1 (now 4-2) Winnipeg Blue Bombers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory!

While I was still calling for the Bombers to win, I did have a few predictions come true.

  • Anyone who has watched the Bombers over the last number of years knows that they are not putting up the same amount of points offensively. While a win is a win, winning in relatively low scoring games does make the margin for error slimmer. You never want to let teams hang around no matter what their record is. I think that if Winnipeg lets Ottawa hang around this game is going to be decided in the last two minutes!
  • I know what the critics are saying, “Come on! Ottawa is starting another new quarterback!” Hey, I hear you, but I have been watching this league long enough to tell you that it is not unusual for a quarterback getting their first start to get a win. The rest of their season might stink, but it is that first game where I have seen new quarterbacks play above their future potential.
  • I also predict that Dustin Crum will either be the Redblacks leading rusher or second on that list for this upcoming game.

I also had a few predictions that were not correct:

  • As for Winnipeg, I expect that they will come in focused. 
  • Finally, I predict that the Bombers already had their wakeup call against BC and that they come out with a win to put everyone on notice that while they may not be the current Grey Cup winners that they have not lost a step!

The Game

A thing of beauty, or a total collapse? I guess it depends on who you were cheering for.

As I was watching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers walk all over the Ottawa Redblacks in the first half of the game I was making my game notes. I was fully ready to give the Jock to Ottawa’s #35 Coleman who took an objectionable conduct penalty in the first quarter. Ottawa had stopped Winnipeg and Winnipeg’s field goal team was already on the field when Coleman took a boneheaded penalty to give Winnipeg a new set of downs. On the second play in that new series, Winnipeg would do what we are used to seeing them do…make teams pay for their mistakes – a trend which did not continue in the second half of the game.

Winnipeg was getting tons of pressure on Ottawa’s quarterback – Crum – in the first half – rushing four or five guys. Willie Jefferson recorded another pass knockdown to become the first player in CFL history to have 60 sack and 60 knockdowns. Mike O’Shea was positioned to move up the list of Bomber’s most winning coaches. Remember, in the first quarter Winnipeg had 9 first downs to Ottawa’s 0; 138 passing yards to Ottawa’s 0; 6 rushing yards to Ottawa’s 5; 132 net yards to Ottawa’s -5; both teams with 2 quarterback sacks; and Winnipeg’s time of possession of 10:29 to Ottawa’s 4:31. The statistics did not look any better for Ottawa after the first half.

The Meltdown

In a game that Winnipeg should have decimated the Ottawa Redblacks, the game ended in overtime with the Bombers losing! At the end of the game Ottawa would have 23 first downs to Winnipeg’s 17; be 6.4% better on second down conversions (after looking at their first half stats we know that their second down conversions in the second half was off the charts!); Ottawa would have 67 offensive plays to Winnipeg’s 49; beat them in net offence and end the game with 411 yards of offence (they only had 44 yards at the half)!

So what happened? Well we will get more into that in this week’s Truth Bombs article. But essentially Ottawa was a completely different team in the second half and Winnipeg imploded! Crum ended the game throwing for 261 yards with no touchdown passes, threw one interception, had nine carries for 102 yards with 2 rushing touchdowns. Crum had three successive drives that ended in touchdowns – two of them being capped of with a successful two point conversion – and the last one being the game winner in overtime. Juxtapose that to his first half where he had only 20 passing yards and one interception and you have to wonder what was said at half time!

And what did Winnipeg do? Well they could not run the ball all game! Oliveira had less than 2 yards per carry average all game. Hey, do not put that all on Oliveira either! Running the ball is a team effort.

Yet even in the fourth quarter the score was 25-9 for the Bombers. I was thinking “Here goes Winnipeg again, holding teams to field goals…which isn’t enough to beat them!” And in that fourth quarter Ottawa, who knew time was limited, had two turnovers on downs in the red zone! Yet the Bomber’s killer instinct that we are used to seeing was not to be found! Somebody better check the lost and found for it before the next game!

Case in point, with just over a minute to go the Bombers ran the ball on second and seven from their end of the field. Many people would think that is the right play as it burns 20 more seconds off the clock, but I did not like the call! You have Zach Collaros who is the two time reigning Most Outstanding Player, you have not been able to run the ball successfully all game long…and if you get a first down the game is over as you can run out the clock! Based on the play in the game – up until that point – the best chance of Winnipeg getting a first down was going to be to throw the ball.

For anyone that wants to make a counter argument let me say this; if the Bombers coaches believe their defense can stop Ottawa after Winnipeg runs the ball and punts with a minute left in the game…they better believe that they can stop Ottawa with 1:20 remaining in the game! The right move is to pull out that killer instinct, try to get a first down by throwing the ball and say, “Good night!” But they did not do that.

Jock

Like I said above I was fully going to give the Jock to Coleman. But with Ottawa scoring 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, I have to give the Jock to the Bomber’s coaching staff that did not figure out how to stop Crum from running, throwing, and decided to run the ball themselves on second and 7.

Game Ball/Wood Cookie

For all the reasons list above that showcased how Ottawa should have lost the game, but made massive changes in the second half; for increasing your passing stats by a multiple of 10 times in the second half; for having three drives end with touchdowns and two of them with two point conversions – ultimately winning the game, Crum you get my Game Ball.

– Photo Credit: Ottawa Redblacks Facebook

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section wherever you are reading this.

Catch all my articles here.

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Don Cruickshank Reporter
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