Bombers Look to End Adveristy; Calgary Atop the West Once Again

Dorian McLeanContributor IIISeptember 13, 2011

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 25:  James Johnson #19 of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders jumps over a fallen Ryan Dinwiddie #4 after his interception to score a touchdown to tie the game 7-7 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the second quarter of the 95th Grey Cup on November 25, 2007 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Johnson would be the MVP in a 23-19 Rough Rider win.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are currently on their first two-game losing streak, facing some adversity and will be without middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn for the season.

Questions continue to surround the status of Jonathan Hefney who appears to have a sore side after taking a hit during Winnipeg’s loss to Saskatchewan while Buck Pierce is said to have suffered bruised ribs and is day to day.

These last two losses for Winnipeg were unfounded after their quick 7-1 start to the season and questions are slowly rising. The loss of Lobendahn for the season will be one large hurdle for the team to overcome, second to Richard Harris’ passing.

Lobendahn was instrumental to the Bomber’s defensive success and Marcellus Bowman will have his hands full in his replacement.

Toronto welcomed quarterback Steven Jyles to the roster following Cleo Lemon’s release last week but was unsuccessful in getting their third win of the season. Jyles completed 18 of 33 passes for 220 yards but failed to score any touchdowns.

The development over the last few years with regards to quarterback and receiver has been tough on the team and it has shown since. Two players received over 50 yards passing Saturday while three combined for 45 yards, two behind Andre Durie who had 47.

Their run game has lacked this season so far behind Cory Boyd who’s rushed for 100 yards only once. Toronto will need to work on building talent instead of relying on older players such as Jermaine Copeland and Prechae Rodriguez who was signed to the practice roster this week.

Meanwhile the B.C. Lions continue their climb in the West, winning their last three games after going 1-6 to start the season.

Travis Lulay has done well with the Lions in his limited starts so far and sits third in the league at 2,679 passing yards. Lulay has five games in the next six against Western teams.

And the Saskatchewan Roughriders since re-introducing Ken Miller as their head coach has won their last two games and Darian Durant has played a lot better.

A team that went 1-7 before their bye resulted in the firings of head coach Greg Marshall, prompting the return of Ken Miller and Doug Berry. Since then, Durant has taken the reins of the offense and has shown his abilities to win games.

Questions surrounded Montreal with their up and down season so far after we’ve been accustomed to seeing Montreal sit atop the division for years. Twice so far they’ve suffered two game losing streaks only to snap them by the third and are in second at 6-4.

Anthony Calvillo continues to lead the league in yards at 3,100 and is on pace for 5,580 yards. He currently has 21 touchdowns to just four interceptions, there is not a lot that can be faulted on Calvillo this season.

Receiver Jamel Richardson has been spot on for Anthony, catching 65 passes for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have won the season series against the Montreal Alouettes but took a pounding Sunday against Anthony Calvillo and Montreal, giving up their most yards through the air all season at 421.

Kevin Glenn struggled against the Montreal defense, gaining only 151 yards and unable to find his receivers after Hamilton thumped Montreal a week prior.

Avon Cobourne had 102 yards and two touchdowns on Labour Day but was shut down Sunday with only two yards on five carries. Hamilton will need more production from their offensive line in getting Cobourne out into the open.

Finally the Calgary Stampeders are back to first place in the West after their win over Montreal and Edmonton. Henry Burris is continuing to increase his performance week in and week out.

Kicker Rene Paredes who came in early in the season for injured Rob Maver has been money for Calgary so far, enough to keep Maver from returning for now.

They are perfect on the road at five wins while receiver Kenyon Rambo has been solid, with 121 yards Friday night.

Offensive Player of the Week: Jamel Richardson

113 yards on seven catches and one touchdown, Jamel Richardson was once again the go-to guy for Anthony Calvillo since Ben Cahoon retired. Montreal continues to climb in the East, looking for that top spot.

Defensive Player of the Week: Craig Butler

Craig Butler was instrumental in Saskatchewan’s win over Winnipeg recording six tackles, one sack and two interceptions.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Justin Medlock

Justin Medlock continued to be strong for Hamilton making four of his five field goals and is second in the league for kicking points at 109.

Canadian Player of the Week: Cory Watson

Second on the receiving end for Winnipeg, Watson caught nine passes for 111 yards and was a key player for Buck Pierce and Alex Brink.