It’s been 35 years since the last time the Bombers and Tiger-Cats met in a Grey Cup, and on Sunday one of the league’s two longest active droughts will come to an end.
This 2019 season will have a story book ending for one of these sides, but which one will it be? The season started with Zach Collaros under center for the Saskatchewan Roughriders knocked out of the game early by Simoni Lawrence and the Tiger-Cats.
Now, Collaros will meet the Tiger-Cats once again to end the season, but this time under center for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. At stake for both teams is the 107th Grey Cup.
CFL Odds and Betting
Here’s the breakdown of the season between these two teams. The Tiger-Cats swept the season series, winning both games. Back on July 26 in Hamilton, the Ti-Cats knocked off the Bombers 23-15. In that game, Jeremiah Masoli’s season was finished when he left the game with a knee injury. It would require surgery and the team was forced to turn the page and hand the ball to Dane Evans. On September 27, Evans put on a clinic in Winnipeg, taming the Bombers to the tune of 33-13. Evans passed for 359 yards, while Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison combined for 203 yards receiving in the lop-sided win.
On paper, it’s the two best offenses in the CFL. Hamilton averaged 30.6 points per game during the regular season, while the Bombers were a close second at 28.2. Both defences were quite stingy as well. The Ti-Cats allowed 19.1 points per game (first), while the Bombers were close by averaging 22.7 per game (fourth).
This game marks the ninth time these two franchises have met for the Canadian Championship. Winnipeg leads the series, five games to three. The last time the Bombers and Tiger-Cats went to battle for the Grey Cup was November 18, 1984. The Bombers whipped the Tiger-Cats 47- 17. Ironically, the two starting Quarterbacks in that game, Tom Clements and Dieter Brock were traded for one another in the middle of the season.
Of note, the two Head Coaches, Orlondo Steinauer and Mike O’Shea will be making their Grey Cup head coaching debuts. Both have won multiple Grey Cups as players in the league. Ironically, the two were once traded for one another in 2000. They were also on the same Argos coaching staff in 2012.
The Tiger-Cats will be looking to end the second longest Grey Cup drought when they face the Blue Bombers on Sunday. The last time the franchise won the Cup was back in 1999, when they beat the Stampeders 32-21 in Vancouver. This is the club’s first Cup appearance since 2014.
The receiving duo of Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison showed why they are the best 1-2 receiving punch in the CFL this past weekend. Banks finished the afternoon with four catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Addison had seven grabs for 130 yards in the win. During the regular season Banks finished first in the CFL with 1550 yards and Addison ranked fifth with 1236 yards.
It’ll be interesting to see who they’re matched up against in the Bombers secondary. Winston Rose led all CFL Defensive Back’s with nine interceptions while Jeff Hecht and Marcus Sayles each had three picks. All three finished in the top 10 in that category.
Simoni Lawrence led all CFL defenders with 98 tackles this season and has been the leader of the overall best defensive team. He also registered four sacks and three interceptions.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Blue Bombers will try to end the longest Grey Cup drought, when they face the Tiger-Cats this Sunday in Calgary. The last time the franchise won the Championship was back in 1990, when they knocked off the Edmonton Eskimos 50-11 in Vancouver. It was their 10th Grey Cup. Quarterback Zach Collaros led the Bombers to a 20-13 win over the Roughriders to advance to the Cup. He was 17-of-25 for 267 yards and a touchdown, and the master of the big play. Four of his 17 completions were for 165 yards.
The team didn’t rely on back-up Chris Streveler as much as they did in their semi-final win over the Stampeders. Streveler rushed for 10 yards on only four carries, but his presence was felt throughout the game, and the Bombers are hoping he will be on for this game.
In two playoff games, the CFL’s leading rusher Andrew Harris has rushed for 98 yards on 24 carries. In two games against the Tiger-Cats during the regular season, he rushed for 90 yards on 18 carries. In those same two games, Harris seemed to do more damage in the air, hauling in 143 catches for 98 receiving yards.