It’s a straightforward promote this week.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-0) tackle the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2) Friday evening at IG Field in a rematch of the 2021 and 2019 Grey Cup championship video games.
The Bombers, as you already know, gained each of these and clearly have Hamilton?s quantity. But the Blue and Gold have made it clear all week: That’s up to now and does not imply something now.
“We’re a different football team than we were in 2021 or 2019. Same goes for Hamilton and I’m sure they’re approaching it the same way,” mentioned Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros after Thursday’s walkthrough.
“We go into every week thinking we’re going to get everybody’s best shot. It’s professional football.”
The Bombers are coming off back-to-back wins over the Ottawa Redblacks. A win’s a win, however neither efficiency had the oldsters in Bomberland beaming with pleasure. But issues might be worse, because the Tabbies are and not using a victory in 2022 and blew a 24-point result in the Calgary Stampeders final week. Despite Hamilton’s early struggles, Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea doesn’t envision the Ticats taking part in like a group that’s determined for a win.
“The ball is kicked off and you’re playing your play. You’re not worried about what your record is, what it should be, or how you played the last game… I don’t know that I’ve ever known a pro athlete that’s approached a game in desperation,” mentioned O’Shea.
Here are 5 storylines to be careful for on this Week 3 tilt:
MORE POINTS NEEDED
The Bombers have but to attain 20 factors in a recreation this season. That’s not going to chop it transferring ahead and the numbers again it up. Between 2015-21, the Bombers went 3-21 once they didn’t put 20 or extra factors on the scoreboard.
The unit as a complete must be higher and that begins with Collaros. The Bombers averaged 233.5 passing yards in opposition to the Redblacks which places him in final place within the nine-team loop after two video games.
Yes, the chemistry with veteran passcatcher Greg Ellingson has been on full show and rookie Dalton Schoen has impressed, however Nic Demski must be extra concerned.
With Kenny Lawler signing in Edmonton within the offseason for big coin, the belief was Demski was going to get an even bigger slice of the pie.
It’s nonetheless early, however Demski has solely had a sliver as far as he had one catch for no achieve in final week’s 19-12 win at Ottawa. Demski did have a pair of carries for 21 whole yards, however that’s not sufficient motion for arguably probably the most electrical participant on offence.
OLIVEIRA IS DUE
Speaking of offence, I wrote a narrative after Week 1 saying how working again Brady Oliveira must be higher. He improved a bit in Week 2, taking 14 handoffs for 48 yards and catching three passes for 27 yards, nevertheless it wasn’t an eye-popping efficiency. If you look again at his final three video games in 2021 and the primary two of this season, Oliveira is averaging 3.4 yards per keep on 57 carries 194 yards.
Oliveira taking the baton from Andrew Harris, a fellow Winnipegger and Oak Park High School product, is an unimaginable story, however let’s be sincere: These usually are not beginning working again numbers.
It’s not all on the 24-year-old Oliveira, as the inside line play hasn’t been as dominant because it has been in earlier years, and it would drop off extra with centre Michael Couture added to the six-game injured checklist, but when issues don’t flip round quickly, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Johnny Augustine deal with nearly all of the carries.
But there’s hope for Oliveira. He shredded the Ticats in Week 1 final season for a career-high 126 dashing yards on 22 makes an attempt. Perhaps a date with the yellow and black is what he must get rolling once more.
EVANS COSTING TABBIES WITH TURNOVERS
Football isn’t rocket science. If you flip the ball over, you’re most likely not going to win. There’s solely been one occasion this 12 months the place a group pulled off a victory regardless of shedding the turnover battle (Toronto Argonauts in final week’s 20-19 outcome over the Montreal Alouettes).
And that has been the downfall of the Tabbies up to now. With Jeremiah Masoli now in Ottawa, the reins have been formally handed to Dane Evans at pivot. But Evans, who left final 12 months’s Grey Cup within the second quarter with a neck harm, leads the league in turnovers with 4 interceptions and three misplaced fumbles.
Say what you’ll in regards to the Bombers, however they’re plus-three within the turnover column up to now.
But that’s not the one problem with Hamilton’s offence. Oliveira seems to be just like the second coming of Barry Sanders in comparison with what’s happening in Steeltown. Evans at the moment leads the group with 23 yards on the bottom.
Their run recreation should get going with out No. 1 tailback Don Jackson as he’s been taken out of the lineup for ratio causes. The Tabbies will look to a pair of Canadians at working again in Sean Thomas-Erlington and Maleek Irons.
NO ROSE FOR BOMBERS
Cornerback Winston Rose has been many issues this season, however good is just not certainly one of them. Rose was in a strolling boot briefly after the preseason however hasn’t missed any common season time till now.
It’s doable his foot performed a component in him taking part in so poorly within the Ottawa sequence, and if that’s the case, giving him the time to totally heal is the suitable name. In the meantime, the Bombers will flip to second-year participant Demerio Houston in Rose’s spot.
The Bombers have solely surrendered one landing so far, however coughing up 711 yards within the air in two video games is a trigger for concern. Is Houston the reply to the issue? Probably not. But it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how the secondary fares with Rose sidelined.
Earlier within the week I requested Willie Jefferson if it’s bugging him he doesn’t have a sack but.
“I’m not losing sleep, but I’m having more nightmares,” he admitted.
“When my time comes, it’s going to be big and it’s gonna be felt. Bomber nation, just get ready.”
Fellow Texan and star defensive finish Jackson Jeffcoat, who missed Week 1, didn’t register a sack final week both.
Hamilton’s O-line received torn aside of their opener because the Saskatchewan Roughriders had eight sacks. The unit rebounded in a big approach final week with Calgary solely taking the quarterback down as soon as.
If the Ticats block like they did in opposition to Saskatchewan, Jefferson and Jeffcoat may in for a big evening.
Eighteen years old and nonetheless in highschool, Taylor received his begin with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, form of…