West Semifinal: Esks @ Bombers

Winnipeg beat Edmonton in Manitoba.

Winnipeg beat Edmonton in Alberta.

Edmonton couldn't even win the preseason contest.

Can the Eskimos go on the road and win the most important game of the season series?

...andrew harris, doing the heisman pose...

Weight of evidence against the bombers - despite being unbeaten vs. Edmonton in pre-season & reg. season.

Two key absentees for Bombers - 1. Darwin Adams - only legitimate long threat for WBB w/ great hands, too & 2. LB Mo Legget, a killer of a defender despite average speed.

Schmoes have a monster QB who could wreak havoc with bombers timid defense - possibly racking up 325 to 400 yds passing plus 100 yds rushing w/ Gabe in backfield.

Bombers have 3 QBs - one with no leg (Nichols), one with no arm (LaFever) and one with no mind (Davis)

Coaching staffs about equal. Both O'Shea and Dumbo have their own specific problems.
Both defenses about equal - both give up enormous points & yardage.
Kicking - advantage in place-kicking to bombers, punting to Esks
Spec. Teams - tiny advantage to Esks based on having a bit more power on the field
Receivers - no contest, Zylstra & Bowman alone better than entire Bomber WR group.
RBs - tips to Bombers; Harris & Flanders superior to just Gable - however, Reilly tends to equalize it when he goes on romps
O-line - clear advantage to bombers if Mr. Bond is healthy; microscopic advantage to Bombers if they're forced to roster Paddy Neufeld.

Esks will be 6.5 to 7.5 pt faves by game-time.

Crowd advantage to Bombers - unless they fall behind more than 20 pts and look awful - crowd will then go turncoat against entire team and coaching staff. Wad Miller forced to hide in his bunker!

Yes they can. Who cares the Bombers are 2-0 in the season series, what have you done for me lately?

Since beating Edmonton in September the Bombers are a paltry 3-3 including only 1 win in their final 3 (against a Calgary team that dressed their B team in a meaningless game to them). Meanwhile Edmonton came within a game of hosting the semi winning their final 5.

Edmonton is playing like a playoff team and the Bombers are giving up yards to opposing offences like Christmas arrived early.

Edmonton is peaking at the right time.

https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Dq6oaPKeVeDN7WDiTrY2YAEMDo&pid=Api

Not saying Edmonton is going all the way but I can't picture Nichol's in that picture this year.

Nichols is in the picture....He's playing Sunday.

.....Good news for the Bombers.....bad news for the Esks. Dan.....I think they are pretty evenly matched clubs...Special teams could win it for the Bombers....Riley hitting his receivers left right and centre would spell trouble for the Bombers...BUT IF Riley gets pressured by the Bombers D line, who have really looked like they are in playoff form lately....spells trouble for Riley....This should be a very good game...

Agreed Papa. Even we don't match up with receivers, we have a one-two punch in RBs.... Nichols is the most accurate QB I have seen in a while, that helps. I love this time of year.

Very true Papa - but the same could be said for Nichols - who, if he does play will be confined to the pocket, may not have the power in his legs to bounce off the rush like Reilly. Reilly only needs a couple seconds - he basically hoists the ball 30 to 45 yds downfield to places where Esk WRs are & bomber DBs aren't. If there's a contest for a ball - Esk WRs are 6'1" to 6'4" and can climb the pole like there's no tomorrow. Nichols or whoever the bombers field at QB will generally be confined to swing & screen passes plus the odd intermediate deal of 6 to 15 yds.

Nichols obviously gives the BB the best chance to win - but Reilly has too many weapons for a Richie Hall defense to contain. To stop Reilly you basically have to hurt him - and that guy doesn't hurt easily!

Best time of the year coming up! Nothing better in pro sports for this guy than CFL playoffs!

It should be a great game. Both teams can be explosive. Harris [for the Bombers] if he's on his game is unstoppable. Reilly [QB for the Esks] knows how to score TDs solo when needed. This guy is not afraid to sacrifice his body to make the necessary yardage. That could be a good thing but also a bad thing if he gets injured.

What I'm wondering is which back up QB can get the job done if the starter gets injured? Which one is better? LeFevour [Bombers] or Franklin [Esks]? That may be the deciding factor if things don't quite go according to plan.

Are either of the semifinal games going to be blessed with a gigantic blizzard?

http://files.shandymedia.com/images/photos/thesavory/dairy-queen-royal-blizzard.png

Heh, that is making me hungry.

I was just thinking back to how awesome that snow game was between Edmonton and Ottawa in last year's East Final.

Hoping for either that again, or Winter-peg Mani-snow-ba.

D E F E N C E : What wins playoff football.

Yep Mr. Hall, bring your A game.

Winner of this one probably wins it all.

Are you sure about that ?

Matt Nichols at practise today in civvies....but for a good reason. He and his wife welcomed a baby girl this morning so he'll be well motivated on Sunday!

Winner of this one will prolly still be a 3.5 dog to the Stamps.

Winner of WF will be 5.5 to 6.5 faves for Grey Cup

Edmon vs. Toronto GC - Esks 4.5 pt favourites
Edmon vs. Ottawa GC - Esks 5.5 pt faves
Edmon vs. Sask GC - Esks 6.5 pt faves

Calgary vs. Toronto GC - Boys 3.5 pt faves
Calgary vs. OttawaGC - Boys 4.5 pt faves
Calgary vs. Regina GC - Boys 6.5 pt faves

Winnipeg vs. Toronto GC - Wpg 1.5 pt faves
Winnipeg vs. Ottawa GC - Wpg 2.5 pt faves
Winnipeg vs. Regina GC - Wpg 1.5 pt faves

Like the East SF, this one is to close to call.

It will be tough for the Bombers to win 3 vs Esks, but I hope it is a large and loud crowd.

GO BOMBERS GO.

Please and thank you in advance for the win.

https://bkstr.scene7.com/is/image/Bkstr/70599-CDI-Go-Bombers?PDPMain