The Winnipeg Blue Bombers begin the back half of the schedule Friday night in Edmonton, with first place on the line against the Eskimos.
680 CJOB’s broadcast with Bob Irving begins 6 p.m. Friday with pregame coverage ahead of kickoff at 8 p.m.
As per usual, Ed Tait of bluebombers.com gets you ready for all the action with his Five Things you should know about Friday’s showdown.
1. The big story as Winnipeg and Edmonton prepare for another West Division first-place showdown is the change at quarterback for the Bombers, with Matt Nichols injured and Chris Streveler now the starter.
Nichols was moved to the six-game injured list after suffering an arm injury in last week’s win over B.C., with head coach Mike O’Shea indicating the veteran QB will be re-evaluated in four-to-six weeks. The Bombers went 1-3 in games in which Streveler started as a rookie last year.
2. This will be the second and final regular-season matchup between the Bombers and Eskimos. Winnipeg won the first meeting 28-21 in their home opener back on June 27th. A win Friday would give them the season sweep, but an Eskimo win by more than seven points would lead to a tiebreaker if the two teams have similar records at season’s end.
We’re probably getting too far ahead of ourselves to be thinking of that just yet, but should we get to that point, the tiebreaker would be which team has the better record within the West Division. Currently, the Bombers are 4-0 vs. the West, while the Eskimos are 2-2.
3. Friday’s matchup is not only a battle of two of the CFL’s most-prolific offences – Winnipeg ranks second in offensive points scored behind only Hamilton while Edmonton is third – but it also showcases two of the league’s best defences. Winnipeg ranks first in offensive points against at just 17.4 per game; Edmonton is second at 17.6.
4. Andrew Harris became the all-time leader for Canadian players in yards from scrimmage last week and continues to lead the CFL in rushing with 819 yards, while Edmonton’s C.J. Gable is second at 667 yards.
5. The Bombers are in a stretch of five straight games against the West Division. They’ve already knocked off Calgary and B.C. to begin the run and, after Friday’s trip to Edmonton, then head to Saskatchewan to face the Roughriders in the annual Labour Day Classic. That is followed by the traditional rematch a week later in Winnipeg for the Banjo Bowl.