Quick Hits | EDM 3 WPG 30

5 Quick Hits from the Bombers win over the Elks…

1.  OPENING THOUGHTS: Let’s begin by calling what unfolded Friday night at IG Field a defensive masterpiece because, in that respect, what the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence painted  was certainly worthy of hanging in a gallery somewhere.
The Bomber defenders were once again at their stifling, punishing, dominant best in a 30-3 victory over the Edmonton Elks in front of 27,388 on a perfect October night in south Winnipeg. As a result of the club’s sixth straight victory the Bombers improved to 8-1 — a record unmatched in these parts since the 1960 squad opened that campaign 10-0 — and bolstered their league atop the Canadian Football League’s West Division.
Yet, for all the love for the defence absolutely deserve the offence struggled to finish drives early in what was a lost opportunity to deliver a first-half knockout and the field-goal concerns once again surfaced like a hand coming out of the grave in a horror movie.
And so — as astonishing as it seems to even be typing this after such a lopsided game — even in victory the Bombers have set such a high standard for themselves this one will lead to some serious introspection over the next few days.
The Elks, meanwhile, have dropped four in a row and are now 2-6 and these two clubs will meet again next week in Edmonton.

2. WHAT TO LIKE: The Bombers limited the Elks to just 159 yards net offence, including just 134 through the air, and forced five turnovers.
Andrew Harris did his thing, rumbling for 150 yards on 24 carries and punctuating his effort with a pair of fourth-quarter TDs. It was his first 100-yard effort of the season.
Winnipeg’s kick coverage team was solid and, combined with some solid punting by Marc Liegghio, had the Elks backed up in horrible field position all night. That led to Edmonton conceding three safeties on the night.
Worth noting: the Bombers are now 5-0 at home this season and have won 16 of their last 17 at IG Field dating back to the fall of 2018.
And, get this: the Bombers did not allow a fourth-quarter point again Friday and have yielded just six points in that quarter ALL SEASON.

3. WHAT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT: Difficult to really jump all over the offence in the wake of a 500-yard effort in last week’s win over the B.C. Lions. But they were stuffed at the goal-line on their first possession and also saw Zach Collaros intercepted in the end zone on a couple of opportunities that took points off the board. That’s the kind of stuff that will drive offensive coordinator Buck Pierce & Co. bonkers this week.
Most alarming was the work of placekicker Ali Mourtada, who was just 1-of-4 in his field-goal attempts and also missed a convert. He is now just 4-of-10 on field goals this year.

4. QB NUMBERS: Zach Collaros finished the night 16-of-27 for 207 yards with a TD strike to Nic Demski and one interception.
The Elks started Trevor Harris and he didn’t finish the game after completing just 9-of-22 for 87 yards. His replacement, Taylor Cornelius, finished the game, completing 6-of-13 for 47 yards and was intercepted late by DeAundre Alford.

5. FYI: The Bombers opened the second half without RT Jermarcus Hardrick, who left the game with an undisclosed injury. That led to Paddy Neufeld moving into Hardrick’s spot on the right flank and Tui Eli coming in to play guard… OL Geoff Gray was again the inactive player for the Bombers… Kelvin McKnight, filling in for a suspended Kenny Lawler, finished the night with four catches for 22 yardsAdam Bighill had five tackles to give him 724 in his career and moving him past Kevin Eiben into 9th spot on the CFL’s all-time list.

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