Dominant defence and sporadic offence practically nothing new for Bombers

TORONTO — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are accurately wherever they want to be four online games into the 2022 CFL period, sitting atop the West Division with a excellent 4- file just after edging the Toronto Argonauts 23-22 at BMO Subject Monday night.

The back again-to-again Gray Cup champions haven’t usually performed up to their higher specifications. That involves their tilt towards Toronto, in which a seemingly unavoidable comeback by the Argonauts was spoiled when kicker Boris Bede botched a transform kick in the dying seconds to seal the win for Winnipeg.

Some common themes emerged, with the Bombers defence once yet again stealing the show and the offence battling to put with each other meaningful drives on a constant basis. Winnipeg has survived its deficiencies so much, but they’ve nonetheless to deal with the league’s stiffest level of competition, with every sport this season from a group from the lowly East Division (case in issue: the Argonauts, who fell to 1-2, are tied for first with Montreal).

The road forward for the Blue and Gold will get much additional complicated, which include a swift turnaround this week in opposition to the purple-very hot B.C. Lions (3-) Saturday evening. That’s the 1st of 4 straight games against West opponents, which is adopted by a pair of tilts with the Calgary Stampeders (3-), with a match against the Edmonton Elks (1-3) sandwiched in among.

Ahead of we appear also considerably in advance, let’s just take a glance back at Monday’s get in excess of the Argonauts in the most current edition of 5 Takeaways.

1) It was a great instance of the Outrageous Football League, with Bede’s broad-left — like, way huge-remaining — change just one particular of a handful of eye-popping plays in this just one. There are two other folks worthy of exploring additional, like Brandon Banking companies circus capture for a landing early in the 3rd quarter.

On Banks’ score — a 45-property bomb to the end zone from McLeod Bethel-Thompson that Banking institutions experienced to wrestle from the palms of Demerio Houston on the one-yard line — there’s a discussion as to whether Houston may have had possession of the ball ahead of hitting the turf, that means he was down by call, as a result producing it an interception. That’s what Bombers mentor Mike O’Shea was thinking when he begun to reach for the challenge flag in his back pocket, only to pull away following conversations with an official.

O’Shea claimed immediately after the sport the official explained to him the ball was even now loose when Banks grabbed at it, ensuing in a fluid movement from commence to landing. Observing it yet again, I are likely to concur with the connect with, and I comprehend why the Bombers opted to allow the enjoy stand.

The CFL guidelines are crystal clear when it comes to overturning a call. Most notably, there should be indeniable proof for it to be improved.

There wasn’t in this case, just as there wouldn’t have been experienced the officials called the participate in an interception — it was that near. It didn’t stop up burning the Bombers, on what was just the second landing allowed by the defence in 16 quarters this season.

2) The other was a fumble restoration by Malcolm Thompson in close proximity to the objective line late in the same body, a participate in that appeared like an interception and which had impressive times right before and following.

It started with Winston Rose knocking the ball loose from Banking companies, with Adam Bighill then possessing the wherewithal to volley it, when mid-air, to Thompson. Thompson then paid out it ahead by lateralling the ball to Nick Taylor, who returned it to midfield.

It was just a single of a couple of occasions on the night exactly where the defence came up large when it mattered most. The Bombers were being clinging to a 17-10 lead and the Argonauts should have scored at minimum a area goal on the engage in.

It was promptly soon after that a heated trade transpired on the Toronto sidelines, with Banks getting into it with O-linemen Trevon Tate and Phillip Blake, among the a several some others. Argonauts GM Michael Clemons had to depart his personal box to settle his men down, and while no 1 was eager to reveal what triggered the feud, head coach Ryan Dinwiddie claimed afterwards that Banks apologized to the crew.

3) The Bombers defence forced four turnovers, like a choose-6 by Rose on Toronto’s initially sequence of the recreation. They dominated the Argonauts by way of the very first 50 %, limiting the offence to three points and 137 overall yards, together with just 96 by the air.

Rookie linebacker Cameron Lawson came up massive on a third-and-short in the second quarter, stuffing Andrew Harris on Winnipeg’s 25-property line for a turnover on downs. Jake Thomas also registered a sack — one particular of a few on the night for the Bombers, along with Bighill and Malik Clements — on 2nd-and-lengthy from their personal 31, forcing a 42-property area purpose.

The wheels begun to slide off a very little in the second fifty percent, as Toronto scored 18 points — which includes 13 on the Argonauts’ final a few sequence — and concluded with 398 offensive yards. That experienced as a lot as anything at all to do with the Bombers offence becoming unable to sustain drives.

The Bombers ended up also forced to adjust to the reduction of linebacker Kyrie Wilson, who experienced an Achilles injury minutes ahead of halftime. Wilson is a single of the most underrated gamers in the CFL, and is typically overshadowed on a stellar Bombers D. He’s not anticipated to play this 7 days, and could be out for some time, producing major blow for the Blue and Gold.

4) Winnipeg’s offence located the conclusion zone early, turning an interception by Taylor into a 15-yard touchdown pass from Zach Collaros to Drew Wolitarsky to make it a 14- game. At initial glance, it looked like an inescapable drubbing by the Bombers, only for their assault to ultimately cool off.

The offence would be minimal to three subject targets the rest of the way — speaking of, kicker Marc Liegghio is a perfect 10-for-10 on the period — and merged for an underwhelming 266 yards. Collaros concluded 25-for-31 passing for 215 yards, along with 1 landing and 1 interception.

Hoping to build the operate sport, Bombers offensive co-ordinator Buck Pierce looked to Brady Oliveira and rookie Greg McCrae, who dressed for an injured Nic Demski. That combo wouldn’t complete significantly, combing for just 46 yards on 10 carries.

Collaros mentioned immediately after the video game that the team needs to be far better and lamented it currently being these kinds of a shut match despite the defence recording four turnovers. They’ll need to be a lot improved this week if they want to dangle with the Lions, who entered 7 days 4 main the CFL in internet offensive yards (519) passing yards (359), dashing yards (167), and touchdowns (13).

5) I’m not certain the sample size is even far too little at this stage to counsel the Bombers produced a significant oversight in allowing Harris wander more than the winter. Absolutely nothing against Brady Oliveira, who I consider has the likely to be a star a single working day, or Johnny Augustine, who is the fantastic complement to any run game, but Harris is in a league of his individual.

The 35-year-previous was the pulse of the Argonauts offence on Monday, racking up 111 yards on 22 carries, even though including a one reception for yet another 13 yards. He brings an indeniable power to the huddle, anything the Bombers are seriously missing.

Harris was careful with his terms primary into this one, not seeking to be the story of the 7 days, especially after finding trounced by the Lions the 7 days right before. But you could come to feel the emotion from No. 33, and I’m guaranteed it was tough to enjoy a crew he assisted create wander absent with a 4 straight victory to get started the year.

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Twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

Following a slew of injuries participating in hockey that provided breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both of those knees as nicely as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a excellent thought to choose his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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