Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–3–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

This week in the CFL -- Week 3

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Quarterback Darian Durant (4) and running back Kory Sheets have helped lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a 2-0 record to start the 2013 CFL season.

LIAM RICHARDS / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Quarterback Darian Durant (4) and running back Kory Sheets have helped lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a 2-0 record to start the 2013 CFL season.

ROUGHRIDERS (2-0) AT ARGOS (1-1)
Tonight, 6:30 p.m. TV: TSN

Saskatchewan line: The Riders are the CFL's only unbeaten squad and have shown few flaws. They've been stifling defensively, efficient offensively and -- get this, Bomber fans -- have yet to turn the ball over a single time through two weeks. RB Kory Sheets already has 43 carries for 264 yards while both Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf have reached double digits in receptions.

Toronto line: The Grey Cup champs are bemoaning their offensive effort in last week's loss to B.C. in which Ricky Ray & Co. were unable to consistently move the football against the Lions D. Defensively, the Argos surrendered over 100 yards along the ground to Andrew Harris and figure to get a healthy dose of Sheets this week.

Bottom line: The Riders' overall balance is enviable, although you can bet Argo head coach Scott Milanovich will soon have the Toronto offence humming.

 

STAMPS (1-1) AT ALOUETTES (1-1)
Friday, 6:30 p.m. TV: TSN

Calgary line: Kevin Glenn gets the start at QB this week with Drew Tate (strained forearm) on the mend... again. The Stamps will continue to pound Jon Cornish -- whose 6.7-yard rushing average is tops in the CFL -- and rely on Joe West, tied for the league lead with three TDs, and the receiving corps to torch defences.

Montreal line: They're scrambling to diffuse a ticking time bomb in Montreal, where the normally efficient offence looks frustrated and lost under the leadership of new head coach Dan Hawkins. Anthony Calvillo lashed out immediately after the loss to Winnipeg, then back-pedalled, but this bunch is under the microscope.

Bottom line: Hard to imagine the Als losing two straight, let alone two straight at home. But that's a very real scenario based on last week's evidence.

 

BOMBERS (1-1) AT TIGER-CATS (0-2)
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. TV: TSN

Winnipeg line: If the Bombers can get just a smidgen of offence to go with their dominant defence -- as they did last week -- then they can run with most anybody. The turnovers remain a concern -- 10 in two games -- and injuries will keep receiver Terrence Edwards and defensive lineman Bryant Turner from the lineup in Guelph.

Hamilton line: Nobody figured the turnaround under new boss Kent Austin would be instant, but an 0-2 start wasn't expected, either. The Ticats were lit up defensively last season and have already surrendered 69 points through two games this year.

Bottom line: Intriguing matchup: a Bombers squad trying to prove they are legit vs. a Ticats team attempting to dig out of an early hole.

 

LIONS (1-1) AT ESKIMOS (1-1)
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. TV: TSN

B.C. line: After a sluggish start to the season in an uninspired loss to the Stampeders, the Lions looked much more like a Grey Cup contender in a win over the Argonauts. Lots of weapons, even more depth.

Edmonton line: Toughed out a gritty win over the Tiger-Cats in a monsoon in Guelph. QB Mike Reilly's numbers might be iffy -- 395 yards passing with three TDs and three picks in his first two starts for the Eskimos, but he got it done against the Tabbies.

Bottom line: The Eskimos are a work in progress; the Lions are far beyond that.

 

THE PICKS

The Free Press has assembled a panel this season to offer their fearless predictions every week. Joining us this year are CJOB's Bob Irving, and from the Free Press, sports editor Steve Lyons, columnists Gary Lawless and Doug Brown and football writers Paul Wiecek and Ed Tait:

Irving: Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, B.C.

Lyons: Saskatchewan, Montreal, Hamilton, B.C.

Lawless: Saskatchewan, Montreal, Hamilton, B.C.

Brown: Saskatchewan, Calgary, Winnipeg, B.C.

Tait: Saskatchewan, Calgary, Winnipeg, B.C.

Wiecek: Saskatchewan, Calgary, Winnipeg, B.C.

Last week/overall: Irving 1-3/4-4; Lyons 2-2/4-4; Lawless 1-3/3-5; Brown 1-3/3-5; Tait 1-3/4-4; Wiecek 1-3/4-4.

 

-- Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 11, 2013 D2

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