Week 2: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-0) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-0)

Who’s your pick to win?

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers

0 voters

CFL.ca Power Rankings

1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-0)

Last week: 1

Last game: 42-31 win over Hamilton
Next game: At Saskatchewan, Fri. June 16

Worth noting: The Bombers stepped onto IG Field and announced to the league that they plan on being just as dominant as they’ve been the last two full seasons, even if this one didn’t start with a banner raising/ring ceremony. Zach Collaros (three touchdowns and 189 passing yards in the first quarter!) provided an incredible performance out of the gate.

4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-0)

Last week: 6

Last game: 17-13 win over Edmonton
Next game: Vs. Winnipeg, Fri. June 16

Worth noting: Sacks allowed? Just two. Crucial, character-building goal line stands to help preserve a win? One very big one. The win is ultimately all that matters, but a win like that? That’s the kind of win that this Riders team (and maybe their fans) needed.

3DN Power Rankings

1) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1)

The Bombers unanimously remained in our pole position after dispatching the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 1. The club coughed up a ton of points of turnovers in the second half but a 25-point halftime lead was enough to secure the win and remain atop the rankings for at least another week. Winnipeg’s veteran-laden squad looks potent as ever, showing why they’ve been to three-straight Grey Cups.

5) Saskatchewan Roughriders (6)

Trevor Harris didn’t exactly light it up in his Saskatchewan debut, throwing for 179 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The good news is that the Riders looked great defensively as they held Edmonton to 13 first downs and 12 first downs. The highlight of the night was an impressive late-game goal line stand, without which Saskatchewan likely would have lost at Commonwealth Stadium.

Watch on CFL+


I fully know the Bombers are gonna win.
I hope that is not the case, at this point just a good showing and a close game is all that we hope to happen


Without dumb mistakes and a miraculous long late game field goal by Liegghio, the Riders would’ve beaten the Bombers last year in Saskatchewan. Thats was with a much worse Rider team.

You never know how a game is gonna shake out unless you’re watching the Elks playing at home.


Wrong thread I know, but I finally got home and watched the Riders Elks game on PVR. My take on what I saw from the Riders leads me to think this should be a win for the Bombers this weekend.

Off the field:

The Riders showed a vast improvement by dumping Maas… the new rookie OC still has some learning to do of course, but he’s already better than last year’s human volcano screaming on the sidelines.

I have generally liked Dickenson over many years, but soured on him last year because it looked like he lost the room. Players showed him no respect and he was unable to enforce discipline or accountability, and locker room leaders didn’t seem to want to lend support. Then there was the way he threw Fajardo under the bus to the press near season’s end. And that’s just the stuff we saw. If I was a player, I would not trust him again.

But this year brings a lot of new blood to the room. Hopefully Dicks learned from last year, and can be more Lombardi, less Machievelli this year, and inspire his team a bit better. The flag count will tell the tale.

ODay, on the other hand, remains a lost cause in my mind. 2 years ago, the offensive line was a problem. Last year it was a disaster. And game 1 of this year has the nurses in Pasqua Hospital prepping the traction cage for incoming Riders qbs. Harris’ ability to make quick reads and get the ball out prevented a lot of sacks, but he still spent more time on his back than a groupie at a rock star party.

ODay does not seem to have the scouting or connections to find young talent, especially (ironically) with the big men up front. As established names age out on both sides of the ball, young bulls are in short supply, and this will only get worse with time.

On field:

As mentioned above, Harris has a quick release and makes good hot reads. This makes him a better fit than Fajardo.

I like Cody, and in the right system, he has shown he can shine. But scrambling quarterbacks are more exposed to hits and more frequent and severe injury risk. I love watching a good scrambler, but they tend to have shorter careers, and coaches/gms like to protect their largest investment by keeping them in the pocket. Fajardo was particularly ill-suited to that style of play, especially with a playbook as complex and read-heavy as he was given last year.

In this sense, Harris is an upgrade, and he showed it by dodging a lot of bullets against the Elk. His mechanics and footwork are way more solid, and he will make the o-line look better than it actually is, but he will get rocked a few times this year. Dicks will likely need all 4 of the qbs that ODay gave him this season.

Micah returning really helps the interior D-line this year. But again, I’m not confident looking to the future. Pressure up the middle in the short term will help the corners on the back end. But game 1 saw a few guys beat where the pass just missed. Collaros will burn those guys this weekend.

Overall, I was surprised to see the Riders win in Edmonton, but I don’t expect to see it again until week 7 or 8, when the Riders start facing a wave of East teams. They got better, I just don’t think they got better enough what with a division-heavy schedule again this year.

My pick: Bombers by 17


Will Harris be out for this game?


Listed as questionable.
That sure took a long time.

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Compound any cfl team’s woes looking for any talent with the XFL and that other league with a combined 900 player roster… Slim pickings indeed.


And Jake Dolegala is on the 1 game injury list… that leaves Fine, Mason and Patterson, Shea behind centre if Trevor Harris can’t go.

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I thought Dolegala was a healthy scratch, which I think is odd. Played well enough to be a solid #2 last year and in this year’s camp. Better than Fine, in any case

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Riders pass rush was pretty good - was it by their own work, or poor Edm Oline?
A bit of both I think.
Still, I have to hope that Zach can continue to evade the rush like he has shown to do, and that almost always results in success.

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From PFF:


The Blue Bombers are the overwhelming Grey Cup favorite this year, and they showed why in Week 1 with a dominating offensive performance.

The Roughriders won, too, but they didn’t look entirely convincing in doing so. Quarterback Trevor Harris struggled at times, but his trademark accuracy remains. However, the Blue Bombers’ defense is a different beast than the Elks’.

This Blue Bombers offense looked to be in midseason form last week, with quarterback Zach Collaros picking apart the Tiger-Cats, essentially having the game locked up after one quarter.

The Roughriders have their work cut out for them if they want to slow down this electric Bombers offense.


Lanier was incredible to watch last week. The edge rusher won 52.9% of his pass-rush attempts, which is a ridiculous percentage. He finished with a sack and seven total pressures as he consistently got past both Edmonton Elks tackles.

Getting past Bryant will be a whole different game. One of the best offensive linemen in CFL history, Bryant started the season by getting beaten exactly zero times across 34 pass-blocking snaps. If Lanier and the Roughriders can’t get pressure on Collaros, it will be a long game for their defense.


Houston could have a huge impact on this game. The young corner looked good last year before getting injured and looked even better last week. He allowed just one catch on five targets and picked off two passes.

Look for Houston to take some chances in coverage, knowing that Harris isn’t likely to threaten deep very often.

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Deploying Jackson in the FB role a few more times may be an option considering the Bomber receivers will be going against some young and inexperienced DBs and I think Sask will bring the heat frequently to minimize the pain by rushing more than 5 to get to Collaros and slow the passing game down a bit. Also, just don’t need Collaros taking big hits.

He, Jackson, would be beneficial in the running game as well, although they are dressing 7 hoggies again, so could line up 6 for running plays.


Maas in Montreal as HC was a surprise. He certainly had a great deal of critics in Edmonton

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Bombers win easy,
Riders last play was cheesy

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Forgive me for saying this (because I want every team in this league to succeed) but NO, Dickenson does NOT learn from his mistakes. Instead he shifts the blame for his mistakes to someone else. The following account comes from the Canadian Press:

“Harris was hurt with Saskatchewan holding its four-point lead over Edmonton and the ball at the Elks’ 24-yard line with 10 seconds to play. Harris lined up in shotgun formation and rolled out to his right before throwing a pass downfield.
He was hit hard after delivering the pass and was writhing in pain on the field. After initially struggling to get up, Harris managed to get to his feet before hobbling to the sidelines.
Harris finished 20-of-33 passing for 179 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in his Riders’ debut. While rolling Harris out of the pocket exposed the quarterback to the hard hit, Dickenson felt it was the right call.

Dickenson’s blame-game response was chillingly similar to his ‘throw Fajardo under the bus’ tactic that he employed last season:

“I try to win games and put guys in good situations, and we just didn’t execute very well,” Dickenson said Tuesday. "In hindsight, I wish (Harris) had thrown it sooner because we weren’t going to kill the clock."

And there it is folks. This totally unnecessary injury was all Harris’ fault for not throwing ‘it’ sooner. It had nothing to do with a bone-headed coaching decision made by a head coach who makes mistakes and ‘wishes’ that his players had done better to overcome his bad decisions.

With 10 seconds to burn off the clock deep in enemy territory EVERY competent head coach in every league will either take a knee or send in a second or third stringer to run around in the backfield to eat more time off the clock. There’s no way O’Shea would’ve exposed Zack Collaros to that kind of punishment. There’s also no way that O’Shea would deflect blame for his own stupid mistake to one of his players.

I wanna see the Riders return to greatness to satisfy my rabid cravings for Banjo Bowl and Labour Day Classics which featured games that were always nail biters. This ‘meh’ crap forced upon us by O’Day and Dickenson has got to stop.


Sorry for my rant.

I’m gonna plunk myself down in my chair in front of the TV with my beer and chips and hope for a good game.

Go Bombers!