Saturday, 3 September 2016

Labour Day Classic...What makes the Bombers Tick.

Here`s a quick review of what lies ahead for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers tomorrow.

We`ll use our Week 11 Pick-Em analysis and the latest episode of Chalk Talk that Dan Plaster and I do on

The over-arching theme of the upcoming game seems to be,

“It’s Labour Day; The Riders don’t lose on Labour Day!!!”

f that statement is to be true, then Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and supports better hope that the Green and White are playing the Winnipeg Rifles of the CJFL, because the squad that is coming into Mosaic Stadium is one of the hottest CFL teams in the league and is clicking on all cylinders…This is absolutely not the time for ceremonial jargon. 

A victory in this game is going to require the Roughriders best TEAM effort to date.

Right now the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are playing OUTSTANDING defence.  They’re starting to get to the QB, and they’ve amassed a staggering 18 interceptions, NINE of them being in their last two games.  To put that into #ProPerspective, the next closest team has 8 picks.

I’m taking the Bombers tomorrow unfortunately, but the fact that this is the Labour Day Classic gives Saskatchewan a fighting chance.  The Riders have won the past 11 games on Labour Day (I`ve been part of a few of them) and that illustrates the point that this is one of those games where one can throw the records out of the window.

The problem with Winnipeg is that they’re playing such solid Defence.  Right now, the only phase that the Riders have been able to produce in; is OFFENCE.

In fact, many analysts would point out that last week’s game in Edmonton, against the Esks, was a bit of an anomaly for the Green and White.

Unfortunately, if Saskatchewan is not able to consistently move the ball and score TDs, with the Riders documented struggles on Defence, things don’t seem positive.  #TheBestDefenceIsaGoodOffence

What’s more is that Offensive Coordinator Paul LaPolice has found a way to consistently capitalize on the talent of Andrew Harris, while turning the rest of his cast into great complimentary pieces. 

The Bombers utilize their big play RB on the ground, but have also turned Harris into a receiver that is averaging 9.2 yards a catch.  Out of all of the offensive Free Agent talent that Kyle Walters brought in over the past off-season, Harris has paid the most dividends.

With the effort that it will take to stop number 33 being primarily put on the shoulders of the Defensive Front 6 (including LBs), one has to ask the question, has the Defensive front shown that they can consistently stop a determined running attack?  One must answer this honestly, and the HONEST answer is “no”. 

Despite it being Labour Day, one cannot base a forecast on feelings, or more importantly, history. 

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are doing just enough Offensively to cross the goal line a couple of times per game, or position themselves for Justin Medlock to kick them to victory (he was 6/6 last game). 

That may not sound like a winning Offensive formula, but when one couples that with the fact that the Blue and Gold Defence that is able to supplement their scoring and starting field position; the odds do not seem to be in the Roughriders favour.

The Labour Day classic is an unreal game to be a part of.  I’ve got so many fond memories that surround this particular time of year that I cannot wait to take the atmosphere in as an onlooker. 

Sadly, the Bombers have the formula that may take a raucous Mosaic Stadium crowd out of it early.  Offensively they can do just enough, defensively they can dominate, and the Special Teams may favour the away team too when one considers the consistency (in WINDY games) of Justin Medlock.

Our Chalk Talk episode below takes a look at the Dual-Threat that is Andrew Harris, and (in my opinion) the most underrated Bombers off-season signing.  People have to remember that Winnipeg lost a lot of close games in 2015, and didn`t get a ton of help from their kicking game.

Medlock was a huge pick-up, and gives the Blue and Gold consistency from long and short range.

Check out Chalk Talk below...SEE YOU AT THE GAME FOLKS!

Chalk Talk via w/ DP and Luc

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