2024 CFL Week 1 Overreactions: Are the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in trouble?

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Jun 12, 2024

Week 1 of the CFL season is in the books, so it's time to start planning the parade route if your team won and start panicking if your team lost.

There’s no overreactions quite like Week 1 overreactions. Opinions on teams and players turn on a dime after Week 1 and it can be easy to forget it’s a long season and one game won’t make or break a team.

But, as usual, I’m embracing the chaos and giving my five overreactions after Week 1 of the 2024 CFL season.

What’s wrong in Winnipeg?

Winnipeg suffered a heartbreaking loss against Montreal in the 110th Grey Cup last year and they had a chance to get some revenge against the Alouettes at home in Week 1. And what did the Blue Bombers do? They fell flat on their face, losing 27-12. Zach Collaros failed to throw a touchdown pass and the team, as a whole, looked sluggish on both sides of the ball.

To make matters worse, the Bombers will be without running back Brady Oliveira, last year’s Most Outstanding Canadian, and receiver Kenny Lawler when they travel to Ottawa on Thursday. Oliveira is dealing with a knee injury, while Lawler is on the six-game injured list with a fractured arm.

The Winnipeg team we saw in Week 1 looked nothing like the Grey Cup favourites they were predicted to be this year.

Blue Bombers vs. RedBlacks Prediction: CFL Week 2 Point Spread, Odds

Cameron Dukes isn’t going anywhere

Toronto Argonauts quarterback Cameron Dukes was undoubtedly the breakout player of Week 1. The 25-year-old looked great in just his third career CFL start, completing 21 of 27 pass attempts for three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added 37 rushing yards and another touchdown on the ground.

Dukes has already surpassed his touchdown total from his rookie season in 2023 and he looks poised to keep the Argos afloat during Chad Kelly‘s suspension. If Dukes’ play keeps up, could Toronto cut ties with Kelly after his suspension and stick with Dukes as their regular starter?

You won’t slow down Calgary’s offence

The Stampeders came away with a 32-24 win over Hamilton in Week 1 and the offence was buzzing. Jake Maier threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns, four different receivers had at least 40 yards in the air and Dedrick Mills and B.J. Emmons combined for 110 yards on the ground.

A lot of credit has to go to the offensive line of D’Antne, Bryce Bell, Sean McEwen, Zack Williams and Joshua Coker, who consistently opened holes for Calgary’s running backs to take advantage of. Saturday’s matchup in B.C. is another chance for Calgary to show just how dangerous their offence can be.

This isn’t the Elks’ year

At 4-14, Edmonton tied with Ottawa for the worst record in the CFL last year and it doesn’t look like much will change in 2024. The Elks lost 29-21 to Saskatchewan after blowing a 10-point lead and getting torched for 21 points in the fourth quarter. Losing at home is sort of what Edmonton does. After all, this is the team that set a North American sports record by losing their 21st straight home game last season (they did eventually win two games at home).

Elks quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson looked solid in his return to the CFL, but this is still a flawed team that just always seems to find a way to lose and the loss of receiver Kyran Moore due to a torn ACL doesn’t help matters. Let’s face it, Edmonton just isn’t a good team.

Alouettes vs. Elks Prediction: CFL Week 2 Point Spread, Odds

Montreal’s defence will carve the East apart

Montreal’s defence carried the team to a Grey Cup championship last year and they looked poised to do the same in 2024 after their dominant Week 1 win in Winnipeg. Most of the personnel is returning from last year’s Grey Cup team and they continue to stifle opponents, not allowing the Blue Bombers to score a touchdown until the dying minutes of the game.

The Als’ defence will be a nightmare for opponents to deal with this season, they made that clear in Week 1.