After a 52-0 shellacking, the Bombers headed back to Winnipeg with their metaphorical tails between their legs. Their fans were also sent back to Winnipeg with their actual tails between their legs. It’s time for the annual Labour Day rematch we call the Banjo Bowl. Despite all the hype about how hard it is to win the rematch, since the Banjo Bowl was officially named, the series is 4-4 and we have won 3 of the past 4 (but don’t let facts get in the way of a good argument).
The big question headed into this game are the Riders really that good? And are the Bombers really that bad? To the first question: No, we really aren’t that good. If we play like we did on Sunday then we can beat any team in the CFL. But the 52 points we scored and the 0 that our opponents did are a direct result of the Bombers being that bad. Fear not Bomber fans, Joe Mack has been hard at work looking into the problem and determined that it was entirely due to LaPolice and Richard Harris’ death. (Ahh the old try and get sympathy for a death that happened over a year ago tactic, I’m sure that one will work).
While I’m sure we won’t hang 50 on them again and I’m sure they will manage to score this time around (I mean for god sake you get a point for punting it far or missing a FG). That said Winnipeg is still a really bad team. Most giveaways, least points scored, worst run game, most points allowed, worst pass D and an O-line that is so horrible they might as well just start 5 cardboard cut-outs of Chris Schultz and save the cap space.
That said let’s not get super cocky because we beat up on the retarded cousin of the CFL. Lest we forget that just a week ago our offense was so useless that even a case ruffies would not have helped us score and our defense was so useless that we couldn’t stop the run up the middle even when we stacked the box with 8 guys. Last game was definitely a step in the right direction but if you really think that because the Riders stomped the Bombers they are headed to the Grey Cup then you probably also think that if Canada were to invade Tanzania it would make us a global super power.
Keys to winning will be to do exactly what we did last week. Defensively, eliminate the run and get pressure on the QB. I’m secretly hoping for an appearance by Buck Pierce... because that’s all it would be: an appearance. Without the run game, a Winnipeg QB under duress will not be beating us. We need to keep up with blitzing in 2nd and long. Last game we attacked rather than sitting back even when we were up and I love that.
Offensively we need to continue to use roll-outs, QB runs and double TE sets to keep the pass rush at bay and give Durant time to do his thing. Neufeld is still struggling at tackle at times so if we are committed to him as our guy we need to help him out with our schemes. We also need to pound the ball with Sheets (seems like a no brainer by this point) and spread the ball around. When we are using all our receivers and giving a good mix of short vs. deep, play action vs straight passes, and continue using motion and the waggle to create separation and favourable match-ups it keeps defenses guessing and off balace. I would also be looking to use pump fakes. You can bet the Bomber DBs will be itching to get their revenge for last week and I expect them to be jumping short routes (which up until recently was all we did) so a well timed pump fake should lead to an easy TD.
Bombers will be desperate for a win in front of the band of inbred non-bathers they call their home crowd. I expect a few trick plays (almost looked like they tried to run a Terrence Edwards pass last game) on O and special teams and some risk taking on D. If we just play smart and stick to our game we should walk out of Winnipeg with a win (and possibly a few diseases if we aren’t careful).
Riders by 15