The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-11) said goodbye to Ivor Wynne Stadium and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-11) bid their playoff hopes farewell, as they lost to the Tabbies, 28-18, on Saturday, October 27. Here's a look at how it all happened in the Bombers' report card for week 18.
Offence -- Buck Pierce, Chad Simpson and Will Ford all were knocked out of the game in the first half -- need I say more? Unfortunately, I do. In the first quarter, Pierce was sacked and fumbled the ball, allowing defensive end Greg Peach to scoop up the ball and rumble into the end zone for a 14-0 lead. Pierce soon left with a shoulder injury and Winnipeg didn't score its first major until there was 1:69 left in the third quarter. Elliott, who finished the game 14-for-29 passing for 126 yards and one interception, ran for a six-yard touchdown. He had a team-leading 54 yards rushing. That says it all. Grade: D
Defence -- Chris Williams exploited a match up against linebacker Marcellus Bowman for a 19-yard touchdown early in the first quarter and the Ti-Cats were off and running. Henry Burris, who threw for 171 yards and a pair of TDs, found Andy Fantuz for a nine-yard major late in the second quarter to make it 22-0. Winnipeg was missing a couple of key players on defence, including defensive linemen Jason Vega and Kenny Mainor, but the effort in a must-win game was less than inspiring. Grade: D+
Special Teams -- Winnipeg failed to convert on a fake punt in the first half, otherwise it was an uneventful day for this unit. You could argue that the Bombers needed and didn't get a boost from the special teams, as Demond Washington returned eight punts for an average of 14.3 yards. But the special teams didn't do anything to win or lose this game. Grade: C
Coaching -- Who is more stubborn, Pierce or coach Tim Burke? Both should understand that Pierce is hurting the team with his inability to finish games. He takes first-team snaps during the week, then can't finish the game, leaving Elliott or Alex Brink to clean up the mess. Furthermore, the Bombers' fake punt blew up in their faces when Hamilton marched 69 yards on its ensuing possession to go up 22-0. Once again, the Bombers failed to answer the bell once again and fell behind early. Five turnovers and numerous penalties spoke to the team's lack of discipline. Grade: F
Next Marking Period --The Blue Bombers mercifully end their season against the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, November 3 in what's expected to be the last game at Canad Inns Stadium. Winnipeg defeated Montreal, 27-22, earlier this month and is 1-2 against the Als this season.
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.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- Buck Pierce