Friday night’s game wasn’t their best effort as of late, but despite all the mistakes and miscues, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers pulled out a 35-32 win over the B.C. Lions in Vancouver. Winnipeg swept the home-and-home series that started last week in Winnipeg, which the Blue Bombers took 37-35. With the two-game sweep, the revitalized Blue Bombers moved past the Lions to take second place in the West, hoping to secure a home playoff game at Investors Group Field.
At the start of the season, the Blue Bombers looked anything but a playoff team. They posted a 1-4 record in the first five games, their offence sputtered under then-pivot Drew Willy. But since Matt Nichols was made the starting quarterback, the Blue Bombers have been a different team, pulling out wins here, and convincing wins there on the way to the post-season, hoping to get to the Grey Cup championship game. That will be their first since 2011, when they lost to the very same Lions that they have dominated this season.
The defence deserves a lot of the credit, having stepped up their game significantly since things began to turn around. Add into the mix a rejuvenated Nichols who finally looks like a starter, a never-say-die running back in Andrew Harris, and one of the most accurate kickers the CFL has ever seen in Justin Medlock, and you have a winning combination. The trade orchestrated between the Bombers and the Toronto Argos that saw them send Drew Willy to Toronto for T.J. Heath and some draft picks only helped them as well, as did the acquisition of Tori Gurley for the receiving corps.
The Blue Bombers made the right moves at the right times, and the team has gelled and rallied behind the cause. Whether they can maintain their momentum going forward is uncertain, especially if they continue on a collision course with the juggernaut that is the Calgary Stampeders in the playoffs. But there is always hope, and these Bombers have shown us that they’re capable of pulling off the impossible, no matter how far-fetched it seems. A little hope can go a long way indeed.