The good and bad from our latest win.
First, the good:
• Obviously, Henry Burris. He was awesome. There's no way anyone could have expected him to be that good. He now has a career-high 31 TD passes this season and his QB rating is up to 104.6. Looking a lot like he could be the CFL's most outstanding player.
• Brett Ralph. Didn't get any respect from the Bombers and responded with eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. All Calgary receiver had their moments.
• Calgary's protection. With their five offensive linemen and Rob Cote, Godfrey Ellis and Gerald Commissiong chipping in at tight end, they held firm against one of the league's best defensive fronts. With Burris' mobility being held back, they needed to play well, and did (for the most part, see below).
• Burke Dales punted well in his return to the lineup. Apparently, Sean Manning played through a pretty big shoulder injury and was good.
• Keron Williams closed the game with an incredible series that featured two sacks, two forced fumbles and a recovery. He also had a sack earlier. He has emerged as a big-time keeper.
• You can really see a relentless attitude on defence. They fly around, don't quit and punish people. Towards the end of the game, it seemed a Winnipeg offensive player was dinged on nearly every play. It wasn't perfect, but there's a lot to build on.
• Great pick by Julian Battle was indicative of the type of athleticism they have on defence. With Trey Young and Shannon James at linebacker, they protect some of those intermediate areas that used to be wide-open. Battle is good, Brandon Browner was outstanding. Dwaine Carpenter needs to be better at safety, but the speed on defence (including the men up front) is among the best in the league.
• Charles Roberts averaged six yards a carry (13-78) for Winnipeg but apart from a 28-yarder off the left side early in the game, they did a nice job against the run. This surprised me the most. I thought they would get gouged big, but they didn't.
• Co-ordinators George Cortez, Tim Burke and the rest of the coaching staff should take a bow. They're working with some tenuous situations (injuries, changes, etc.) and really had the Bombers reeling on both sides of the ball.
• Discipline. Seriously, it's a minor miracle to beat a first-place team while taking 21 penalties. That was pathetic. The o-line and tight ends combined for five procedure penalties and three holding calls. If Burris wasn't brilliant, there's no way Calgary wins that game. The offence constantly put itself in tough situations and dodged bullets all day.
• Special teams, overall, were only adequate. Penalties were an issue, it's always shocking when Sandro DeAngelis misses, they gave too much space to Willie Foster but did force a fumble.
• Some shoddy tackling led to big gains. Defensive players said a couple of mental busts burned them, but they were pleased overall.