When I wrote my preview for this game, I said I thought the Bombers would win this one in a close one. I said however, that there were several things that the Bombers had to watch out for. In the end, they failed in all three of those areas, and got thoroughly beaten as a result, with Saskatchewan winning, 27-7
The first was that the Bombers needed to get off to a quick start if they hoped to be able to take the fans out of the game. Once again, the Bombers didn’t score in the first quarter. Not only that they didn’t particularly move the football well. The whole first half the Riders were playing on a short field, and as good as the Bombers are on defense, that cost them, and the Bombers were fortunate to escape the first half only down 10-4
Penalties. The Bombers took a boat load of them. Including 3 or 4 of the unnecessary roughness variety, lowlighted, by Brandon Stewarts ejection. The Bombers lost their cool in this one, and it cost them. Hopefully they will learn from it before the rematch in the Banjo Bowl. On the other hand, until the game was almost over the Riders were called for only one penalty that wasn’t offsetting. Wouldn’t have made a difference, but no team plays that clean.
It’s hard to quantify the effect of a coach on a team. Yet, I think that the return of Miller as Rider coach gave them a boost. On the Bomber sideline LaPolice and his staff didn’t seem to bring anything to the game to help the Bombers once they got down.
A couple of people I follow on Twitter suggested that they thought Pierce’s arm was hurt on an early sack, and more seriously than it appeared. Going forward that could be a problem, although as I’ve said before, I think that Brink is more than capable of leading the Bomber offense.
On the bright side, Kito Poblah was a revelation in his first game as a Bomber. He showed good hands, and more than that, a fierce determination to gain the necessary yardage after the catch. On more than one catch he gained the first down just on his own strength and determination.
The Bombers were beat and were beat badly. Now it’s time to pick up the pieces, give their heads a shake. Remember what they did to get them to 7-1 and come back next week to earn the series split.