Last game: 45-27 win over Saskatchewan Next game: Vs. BC, Thurs. June 22
Worth noting: For the second season in a row, the schedule-making gods bless us with the Bombers and Lions meeting early with perfect records. It wasn’t that long ago that the Bombers’ defence was the thing that truly separated them from the rest of the CFL pack. Now, with Zach Collaros and the offence firing away and Janarion Grant a return TD threat every time he catches the ball, this team is terrifyingly good in all three phases.
2. BC Lions (2-0)
Last week: 2
Last game: 22-0 win over Edmonton Next game: At Winnipeg, Thurs. June 22
Worth noting: The Lions go into their heavyweight tilt with the Bombers buoyed by their first shutout since 1977. They’ll need every bit of that defensive effort against a Winnipeg team that’s averaged 43.5 points per game this season. Offensively, the Lions will need more of that Week 2 output they got; a single touchdown paired with field goals likely won’t cut it against the Bombers.
3DN Power Rankings:
1) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1)
Week 2 featured an uncharacteristically porous performance from the Bombers’ usually stalwart defence, as they surrendered 437 yards against. Fortunately for them, Zach Collaros kept the offence clicking and Janarion Grant put together one of the greatest punt return touchdowns in CFL history to ensure that they still won by 18 points.
3) B.C. Lions (2)
LL Cool J may have rocked out in front of a crowd of 33,103 fans at BC Place, but he didn’t inspire much in the way of offensive output from the home team. Vernon Adams Jr. and his crew only scored a single touchdown and settled for five Sean Whyte field goals in a drawn-out affair. Instead, it was the defence that did most of the heavy lifting, pitching the team’s first shutout since 1977.
Really hurts not to have Rhymes in the lineup. Almost forgotten in this is Keon Hatcher (I would put them as 1A and 1B on the Lions and Top 5 in the league). Keon has not played a down this season with plantar fasciitis (foot) injury.
What’s going to hurt BC more is traveling East (2-hour time difference) on just 4 days’ rest.
The Blue Bombers have won six of their last seven vs. B.C., with Vernon Adams, Jr. leading the Lions in the lone win last October in a game in which both teams rested regulars and Winnipeg starting Dru Brown at QB.
A win for the Lions would mean they would open at 3-0 for a second consecutive season, something the club hasn’t accomplished since 1994-95.
Our defense is giving up boatloads of points compared to last season. It’s a good thing that our offense is scoring more often than a horny Dachshund in a chicken coop. We could see an explosion of offense on both sides of the ball.
By the way if you wanna see football images and ONLY football images, don’t Google ‘offensive’ and ‘balls’ at the same time.
So much of this game and every other game or sport is psychological, and this game will be another classic example of the Lions needing to snatch a victory in Winnipeg because the Bombers have already won this game. We hear commentators talk often enough about confidence and I believe that can not be overstated.
I think back to a couple of seasons ago when the Tiger-Cats defeated the Bombers in a regular season game. A regular win under regular circumstances. The Bombers didn’t fall apart and give the game away. Hamilton had some success early and it seemed as though they forgot they were playing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Ti-Cats were just playing another regular football game where they came out on top at the end.
If the Lions want to win this game they are going to have to do things correctly at the beginning and see some success, and then just forget that they are playing a team that will defeat them under any and all circumstances. That, or it’s just another win for Winnipeg.
I might be more worried about BC this year than last.
For us to win the D will have to play better. VAJ always plays us good, and being down 3 DB’s they will be tested deep. Abu Swaray will have to show he belongs today. We haven’t played the run good and they got a great one. Dline has to get some great pressure and keep VAJ on the run.
Oliveira and Schoen are banged up and still no Lawler. This is still a top offence though, and will need the Oline to continue their dominance.
Would also be nice to get another big game by Grant!