Former West Division rivals duke it out at Canad Inns Stadium on Sunday afternoon, as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Have the Riders really turned the corner? They probably have to, knowing that they only have less than half the season to get into the playoffs. There is help on the way in the form of WR Andy Fantuz, who should be resigning with the team next week. However, for now, QB Darian Durant will have to live without him, something that he did in fine form last week against these same Bombers. The Saskatchewan signal caller threw for 238 yards and three TDs, and he rushed for 39 more yards in a stellar effort. He wasn't asked to do a whole heck of a lot, but the little that he did was definitely effective in the 27-7 victory at Mosaic Stadium. Now, Head Coach Ken Miller tries to get the team's third win of the season and the second on the road. The first was a victory at Percival Molson Stadium against the Montreal Alouettes, so this should be an easier task than that since the Als are still the favorites in the East even though they are in third place through nine games.
And then there's Winnipeg, which is just hoping that its two game lead in the East doesn't get trimmed to one this week. The Bombers still have plenty of games to play against their East Division foes, and this is going to be a huge stepping off point to potentially put the Alouettes three games in their rearview mirror with just eight to play. QB Buck Pierce hasn't played all that well this season in truth, but he has stayed healthy and hasn't done anything to really cost his team games. He went 20-of-28 last week, but he only had three completed passes for more than 15 yards, and only two of those ended up actually getting thrown more than two yards in front of the line of scrimmage. RB Fred Reid was grounded thanks to the fact that Winnipeg spent the entire game trailing, and as a very predictable result, the team never reached the end zone. This Bombers defense is solid under second year Head Coach Paul LaPolice, but it's not so good that the offense can't score and still win games.
Last week, the oddsmakers were totally off base when the Riders were underdogs at home. Now, they're off base that they're underdogs on the road. Even though these two teams are polar opposites in the standings at 7-2 and 2-7, there's no doubt in our minds that Saskatchewan truly has the better team. It'll show for a second straight week on Sunday.
Free CFL Pick: Saskatchewan Roughriders +5.5 @ Bookmaker Sportsbook