December 15, 2019

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Free Press footbball writer ED TAIT outlines how the Bombers could win today GAME DAY

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/10/2009 (3710 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

1. DELIVER THE KO, OFFENCE

Look, it's almost impossible to be critical of the Bombers offence for their Thanksgiving Day effort in Hamilton — 31 of the 38 points scored, 474 total offensive yards, a spectacular performance by emerging star receiver Adarius Bowman and 33 minutes and 27 seconds in the time of possession. But what shouldn't be glossed over are some of the mistakes that get lost in a victory, things like Michael Bishop's two interceptions in the end zone and his two fumbles — one of which was returned for a TD by Markeith Knowlton. Those kind of gaffes didn't cost them against the Ticats, but could be critical against the Lions or the opponent in the next two weeks: the Montreal Alouettes. Some of the mistakes are understandable when a team rockets out to a commanding lead as the Bombers did, but good teams — teams that make noise in November — also know how to deliver the knockout when they've got a squad bleeding and backed up against the ropes.

2. GET TO BUCK EARLY AND OFTEN

We've made no secret of our admiration for how B.C. quarterback Buck Pierce plays the game. He doesn't have the strongest arm, doesn't have the mobility of a Damon Allen or Tracy Ham, but he plays the game like every series could be his last. Unfortunately — much like Matt Dunigan before him — his linebacker approach to running the football and his penchant for occasionally hanging onto the ball for too long in the pocket means he isn't just a target for the Bombers' ravenous D-line, he's a target slathered in BBQ sauce with a glowing bull's-eye on his back.

Getting to Pierce — as is the case with any QB — is critical, but especially based on his play of late. The New Mexico State product has thrown for 300-plus yards in consecutive games and rediscovered Geroy Simon as a main target (15 catches for 304 yards and two TDs in the last two weeks) in the process.

3. MORE OF THE SAME FROM THE FOOT SOLDIERS

One of the most dramatic improvements in the Bombers from 2008 to 2009 is the overall work of the special teams — take a bow, coach Rick Campbell — and it hasn't gone unnoticed at the league level. For three straight weeks a Bomber has been named the top special-teams player: Alexis Serna followed by Jovon Johnson back-to-back. Johnson has given the club outstanding and consistent work in the return game and now Serna, because of the season-ending knee injury to Mike Renaud, will handle the punting chores as well. A year ago that kind of development and the leave taken by Neil McKinley to go to Vancouver to finish a firefighter's course would have set off alarm bells. But this is a deeper, quicker and better coached crew in '09. Special teams, especially at this time of year, are always huge.

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