Visiting Team: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-2)
Home Team: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-0)
Date: Friday, June 24th at 8:30 pm EDT
Location: IG Field, Winnipeg, MB
Betting Line: Draftkings Winnipeg -5, Caesars Sportbook Winnipeg -4.5
This Week 3 matchup features a re-match of the 2021 Gray Cup championship game between the Tiger-Cats and Blue Bombers. Hamilton and Winnipeg come into this matchup on opposite trajectories. The Blue Bombers defeated the Ottawa Redblacks in a home and away series to start the season.
The Tiger-Cats started the season with a road loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and then lost to the Calgary Stampeders in overtime after allowing the Stampeders to come back from a large current. Regardless of team records coming into the game, this matchup is intriguing, with the Tiger-Cats playing well at times and Winnipeg struggling at times in Weeks 1 and 2. We will take a deeper look at each team as they enter this game.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Coming into this game the Blue Bombers have done what they need to do to win games. Quarterback Zach Collaros comes into this game with a 107.6 quarterback rating. He has thrown 3 touchdown passes and only 1 interception. Greg Ellingson and Dalton Schoen lead a group of receivers that have played well in the first two weeks of the season.
The Blue Bombers have also run the ball effectively with running backs Johnny Augustine and Brady Oliveira allowing the Bombers to rush for 3.7 yards/carry for the season. Defensively, the Blue Bombers have one of the best front 7 in the CFL and have produced 4 quarterback sacks for the season. A weakness of the defense is that they have only produced 2 turnovers for the season, 1 fumble intercept recovery. Coming into Week 3 the Blue Bombers are riding a 2 game-winning streak and have a balanced team.
From Week 1 to Week 2 the Tiger-Cats offence showed significant improvement and growth. Quarterback Dane Evans has completed 68.4% of his passes for 647 yards and has been thrown for 4 touchdowns. Evans has also been a source of multiple turnovers including 2 interceptions and a critical fumble that was returned for a touchdown to allow Calgary to tie the game last week.
In Week 1, the offensive line allowed constant pressure on Evans, but in Week 2 they improved allowing only 1 quarterback sack. The Tiger-Cats have been unable to get consistent run game production with Evans being the leading rusher with 7 rushes for 23 yards. The Tiger-Cats receivers have been impressive. That group is led by Bralon Addison with 16 catches for 168 yards, Steven Dunbar with 8 catches for 140 yards, Tim White with 13 catches for 138 yards, and running back Sean Thomas-Erlington with 10 catches for 90 yards. Defensively, the Tiger-Cats defensive backfield is one of the best in the CFL but has broken down in the 4th quarter the last 2 weeks.
The front 7 has struggled to produce pressure against opposing quarterbacks. Coming into this game, the Tiger-Cats have been consistent but have failed to finish games in weeks 1 and 2. To have a chance to win on the road the Tiger-Cats will have to play their best game of the season so far.
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