If you have been following this segment at all this year you will know that I will hand out a game-ball after each Winnipeg Blue Bomber game, but I will also hand out a jock (all figuratively of course).
The ‘jock,’ is going to go to someone who stunk it up! Maybe it was on one play, or through the course of the game. The idea of the jock, is that it will be the opposite of the game-ball. On Friday, July 22 the Winnipeg Blue Bombers walked out of Edmonton with a win, to take them to 7-0 on the season, defeating the Elks by a score of 24-10. There has been great debate on whether Winnipeg won the game or if Edmonton lost the game.
I will not get into whether Winnipeg won or Edmonton lost, but I will say Winnipeg got the “W” with their quarterback going 7/16.
Can you give a game-ball to a team that only completed 7 passes in the whole game? Can you give a game-ball to a team that lost? I do not know what you think about either of those options, but that is what I am left with having to decide between.
For my game-ball I am going to give it to the entire Winnipeg Blue Bomber defence.
While the Elks owned the time of possession in the first half, if not the whole first three quarters, the Bombers’ defence was not gassed! The Bombers had a nine minute drive in the fourth quarter and ended the game with a total time of possession of 22:46. That means in the first three quarters (45 minutes of time) the Bombers had the ball for 13:46, that is it! The Bomber defence was on the field for nearly 32 minutes out of 45 minutes. I would have expected the defence to have been gassed like Zach Schnitzer (co-host of Game Day After Dark – a fabulous Bombers post-game show) after attending spin class by instructor leftycarol for the first time.
But no! They amassed 5 quarterback sacks, 2 interceptions, and whenever the Elks offence seemed to be rolling, Bighill, Jefferson, Clements, Houston, Thompson, Rose, Taylor, Mack, Mauro, Lawson, Sayles, and the rest of the defence absolutely shut the door!
Think about this, with all that time of possession Winnipeg outscored the Elks 10-3 in the first quarter, 7-3 in the second quarter, and only got outscored 4-0 in the third quarter. Like I mentioned before, it was not because the Bombers’ offence was marching the ball down the field that Winnipeg scored points. The defence put the offence in positions to score, and then Winnipeg capitalized a couple of times. Edmonton owned the time of possession but never got into the red zone!
In the fourth quarter, Winnipeg did get it’s offence going which only allowed Edmonton to have three series – hey, that is still enough to win the game in the CFL. Yet in the three possessions Edmonton had in that fourth quarter their series ended like this: punt, turnover on downs, turnover on downs…Winnipeg runs out the clock. Here is what Adam Bighill had to say about the defensive performance of the team:
If I were to pick one guy, it would have be to Willie Jefferson who is the first player in CFL history to accumulate 50+ quarterback sacks and 50+ pass knockdowns (3 of which were in this game)!
If I had to pick one other guy it would be Dalton Schoen, as he had Schoen them again that he is for real! He was Winnipeg’s leading receiver with 4 catches for 146 yards! Some experts are already putting him in the Most Outstanding Rookie race.
However, for the game the whole defence played I cannot just single out one guy this game. Bombers’ defence, for bringing this one home, you get my game-ball.
Who do you want to give this to? Let me know in the comments.
To be fair, you could pick Zach Collaros. He went 7-16 for 188 yards throwing 2 touchdowns but also 2 interceptions. That certainly is not what we are used to from a guy that pretty much has just won since coming to Winnipeg.
However, there was one player that stunk it up the most…Makana Henry. You knew it buddy right after you did it too. Contacting the kicker? Seriously? Your team has a chance to get off the field with 8:32 left in the game. Liegghio is punting the ball away. And you contact the kicker? Like my wife said as we watched the game, “And that’s another Liegghio first down!” That gave Winnipeg a first down, and they were not going to squander it. They ate up about another six munities of clock because of that penalty.
Would Edmonton have won if the Bombers had punted it away and not had a chance to extend the drive? I do not know. What I do know is great teams make you pay for your mistakes, and that is what Winnipeg did. They continued to eat up the clock. They continued to drive the field, and they ended the possession with a touchdown.
However, for not realizing the one player you could not hit while trying to block that punt was the kicker, Henry, you get the jock.
What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.
Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.
Follow me on Twitter @DonCruickshank1
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