Only the division leading Calgary Stampeders stand in the way of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers clinching a playoff spot for a third straight season.
It’s been almost a decade since the Bombers last beat the Stamps on home field. The last time the Bombers picked up a home victory over the Stampeders was 2009. A new stadium and three coaching changes later, the Bombers will look to end that streak of nine straight home losses.
Quarterback Matt Nichols has never beaten the Stamps — he is 0-8 in his career against Calgary.
“They’ve been a good football team for the last almost decade that I’ve been up here. I think if you look at everyone else’s records that has played against them it’s probably not much better. They’re a good football team. Been in a lot of close football games against them and we’ve found ways to lose games.”
Riding a four-game win streak, this time the Bombers enter as the favourites with the Stamps having lost back-to-back games.
“I’m sure they feel like they should be the favourites. None of that matters when we kick off. It’s gonna be two good football teams playing against each other and it’s gonna come down to who makes one or two more big plays and who doesn’t make big mistakes.”
WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Interview
The Stamps are struggling for the first time in recent memory in large part due to a host of injuries on both sides of the football.
“We were in the same position a month ago, and we found a way to come back, and come on a four game win streak. So it can definitely switch and change.”
WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Media Briefing
“Calgary has shown time and time again they got great depth,” head coach Mike O’Shea said. “The guys that step in and play are always well prepared.”
The game will feature the league’s two most potent offences, but after missing the past six games the Bombers are expected to have defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat back in the lineup to try and get in the grill of Bo Levi Mitchell.
“This is my first time being back since what two months or so,” Jeffcoat said. “That’s what I have, I got a lot of energy built up that I haven’t got to let out, so I’m excited to get back out there and play.”
“Before he went out he was our most productive D-lineman,” O’Shea said. “I would say he was our best D-lineman and let’s see if he can return to form.”
And after a bye week, the Bombers will be looking to pick up right where they left off with a playoff spot on the line in their most crucial game of the season.