FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

MATT’S CALF: Bombers quar­ter­back Matt Ni­chols has been bat­tling a calf in­jury since he was forced to leave a game on Oct. 28 against the B.C. Lions. He couldn’t play last week and has barely prac­tised but he’ll give it a go Sun­day. There’s a good chance he won’t be able to play the whole game so the Bombers have Dan LeFevour at the ready, but the Bombers need ev­ery­thing they can get from Ni­chols. CON­TAIN­ING THE GUNSLINGER: Es­ki­mos quar­ter­back Mike Reilly is the favourite to be the league’s most out­stand­ing player after he threw for an av­er­age of 323.3 pass­ing yards per game. He also tossed 30 touch­downs and is the best in the league at throw­ing deep balls to his sta­ble of out­stand­ing re­ceivers. The big­gest key for the Bombers de­fence will be to keep Reilly in the pocket and get in his face as of­ten as pos­si­ble. GABLE IS ABLE: The big­gest dif­fer­ence be­tween Satur­day’s game and Ed­mon­ton’s two pre­vi­ous losses to Win­nipeg this year is the ad­di­tion of C.J. Gable to Ed­mon­ton’s back­field. The vet­eran run­ning back has earned at least 100 yards from scrim­mage in four of his past five games played. BEST VS. WORST: Win­nipeg has An­drew Har­ris, the league’s lead­ing rusher, who is tak­ing on an Es­ki­mos de­fence that is dead last in al­low­ing 5.9 yards per carry. The Es­ki­mos will counter with the league’s lead­ing re­ceiver, Bran­don Zyl­stra, who is fac­ing a Bombers de­fence that al­lows a league worst 321.6 pass­ing yards per game. Add in the fact they’re the two top pointspro­duc­ing of­fences and this could be a high scor­ing af­fair. THE BALL HAWKS: While the Bombers de­fence al­lows a ton of yards, they also force a lot of turnovers. Win­nipeg is plus-14 in the turnover ra­tio, sec­ond only to Cal­gary, while Ed­mon­ton is even. Cor­ner­back Chris Ran­dle in­ter­cepted Reilly twice this sea­son, once for a win-seal­ing touch­down. If the Bombers can come up with some sim­i­lar big play on de­fence, they might be able to counter some of Ed­mon­ton’s re­lent­less at­tack.

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