It was a happy Thanksgiving in Swaggerville , as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Montreal Alouettes, 27-22, on Monday, October 8 at Percival Molson Stadium. Here's a look at the Bombers' team report card for a breakdown of how it happened and who was most responsible for the win.
Offence -- Joey Elliott had his best game of the season, as he threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He chucked scoring passe to Terrence Edwards and Chris Matthews in the first half, as Winnipeg (4-10) took a 17-13 lead to the dressing rooms. Edwards' 50-yard major immediately followed a fumble recovery and Matthews' 36-yard grab put the Bombers in front, 17-10, with 10:53 left in the second. Elliott found Rory Kohlert for a 15-yard TD on a pretty play-action call to in the fourth to make it 27-16. Chad Simpson had 61 of the team's 109 rushing yards. Grade: A
Defence -- The defence did its job. Jonathan Hefney made two critical fumble recoveries, one near the goal line in the first quarter and another late in the fourth, and Brandon Stewart grabbed a game-clinching interception with 36 seconds left. Anthony Calvillo threw for more than 300 yards, but only had one touchdown, a 13-yard pass to Brandon London late in the fourth quarter, and was picked off twice. Furthermore, Montreal (8-6) was held to under 100 yards rushing. Grade: B+
Special teams -- Demond Washington fumbled away a kickoff in the first quarter, but Will Ford pounced on a special teams fumble to get one back. The coverage team had only one lapse on a 56-yard return by two-time CFL Special Teams Player of the Week Trent Guy, otherwise the Bombers were in good position on returns. Justin Palardy was 2-for-2 on field goals. Grade: B
Coaching -- The Bombers were prepared to play against the Als. Remarkably, they scored an offensive touchdown in the first quarter for the first time this season. Furthermore, the offensive play-calling was sharp and creative -- was I watching the Bombers? -- and the defence made plays when it counted. Sure, the players deserve most of the credit, but the coaching gets some props, too. Grade: B
Next marking period -- The Blue Bombers host the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday, October 13 at Canad Inns Stadium. The Stamps stomped the Bombers, 44-3, in Calgary in week 12. Last season, Calgary won two games from Winnipeg by a combined seven points.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter and supporter of all Winnipeg sports teams. The coldest sporting event he ever attended was the 2011 East Division final between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium. Adam follows back Bombers fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.