Coming off of an ugly 44-21 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks at home last Friday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers currently have a 5-4 record after ten weeks/nine games.
Winnipeg’s so-so record is good for third in the West Division, sitting one game in front of Saskatchewan and one game behind Edmonton.
Below are nine interesting and meaningful Bombers team statistics and individual players’ statistics.
1. 32.11 points per game
Despite recent quarterbacking struggles, Winnipeg leads the league in points, and points per game. A pair of 40-plus point games and a 56-point outing in Montreal certainly boosts the overall number, but this statistic speaks to Winnipeg’s ability to finish off drives, and often score at will. But with their next three games against Calgary and Saskatchewan (x2), Winnipeg’s offence will be challenged.
2. 1,314 rushing yards
The Bombers 1,314 rushing yards are 379 better than the next best rushing team -Saskatchewan. Even when factoring in Winnipeg’s extra game played, Winnipeg still averages 146 yards on the ground per game, which is 29 better than Saskatchewan, who also sits in second in that statistical category. Andrew Harris leads the league with 792 rushing yards, and the Bombers are one of three teams (Hamilton, Calgary) who have three players who are in the top 20 of the league in rushing yards. Chris Streveler is tenth (still) with 239 rushing yards, and Nic Demski is 19th with 126. The Bombers only average three more carries per game (23.89) than the league average (20.37) too.
3. 26 takeaways, 78 points off takeaways
A staple of Richie Hall’s defence has been the ability to force takeaways. Players such as Kevin Fogg, Maurice Leggett, Chris Randle, and Adam Bighill have always had a knack for the ball, which has stood true this season. As of today, Winnipeg is tied for first with Calgary with 26 takeaways each, but the Bombers have 78 points off their 26 takeaways which is first in the CFL. Winnipeg also holds a +7 turnover ratio.
4. Adam Bighill 57 tackles, Jovan Santos-Knox 42 tackles
Ever since Henoc Muamba departed the Bombers after the 2013 season, the middle linebacker position has been a weakness on Winnipeg’s roster. Enter Adam Bighill, who is second (to Muamba) in the CFL in tackles with 57, has two interceptions, and is in the Most Outstanding Defensive Player discussion. Second-year linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox has ran away with the starting weak-side linebacker spot, sitting ninth in the league with 42 tackles, and leads all CFL linebackers with four sacks. The Bighill-Santos-Knox one-two punch has contributed to Winnipeg’s improved overall defence.
5. Andrew Harris’ individual numbers
Harris’ 792 rushing yards is good for first in the CFL. The Bombers running back leads all running backs with seven rushing touchdowns, and all non-kickers with 54 points scored. Harris is on pace for 1,584 rushing yards and 520 receiving yards – which equals 2,104 total yards. Could this be the year Harris wins his first Most Outstanding Player award?
1. 0-2 versus teams with winning records
The Bombers have only faced two teams – Edmonton Eskimos, Ottawa Redblacks – with winning records this season. The result? Two home losses, most recently a 23-point beatdown courtesy of the Redblacks. Winnipeg takes advantage of weaker competition, earning 12 out of a 16 possible points versus the lesser East Division last year. The Bombers have yet to face Calgary or Saskatchewan this year too, who make up five of Winnipeg’s nine remaining games.
2. 1 100-yard receiving game
Prior to last Friday night, no Winnipeg Blue Bomber had recorded a 100-plus yard game through the air. Darvin Adams’ eight-catch 162-yard game on August 21st marked the first 100-plus yard receiving game for Winnipeg. If someone told you in May that not one of Weston Dressler, Darvin Adams, Nic Demski, and Adarius Bowman would eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark in a single game until late August, you would have called them crazy.
3. 10 30-plus yard completions
The Bombers have played nine games this season, one more than five CFL teams, yet rank last in the league with ten 30-plus yard completions. Adarius Bowman was brought into Winnipeg to become a deep threat but is no longer on the team. Aside from Darvin Adams (4) and Nic Demski (2), no other Winnipeg receivers have more than one 30-plus yard reception. Without an established deep passing game, opponents will load the box in hopes of stopping Winnipeg’s league-best run game.
4. 45-31 – Winnipeg’s remaining opponents combined record
After nine games, Winnipeg’s opponents have a 31-45 combined record. The Bombers final nine games are against opponents with a 45-31 combined record. Sitting at just 5-4, Winnipeg’s schedule only gets tougher from here on out. Included are two games against Calgary, three games against Saskatchewan (one in Regina, two in Winnipeg), and two visits to Edmonton. If Winnipeg wants to clinch a home playoff game, they will have to defeat some stiff competition.
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