If the Winnipeg Blue Bombers-Montreal Alouettes Week 15 game preview were a meme, there would be an obvious choice. It’s a classic, straightforward image with no editing required: Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man.
If you don’t understand, it means they’re similar teams.
An example? It’s a meme Saskatchewan defensive lineman Jordan Reaves used to describe opposing linebackers when Chris Streveler takes off with the football.
— Jordan Reaves (@JReaves77) September 10, 2019
Alouettes-Blue Bombers Personnel Similarities
At quarterback, Winnipeg’s Chris Streveler is more reliant on his legs, rushing for 406 yards which is seventh in the entire CFL.
For Montreal, Vernon Adams Jr. has proven he can operate in the pocket, but can also juke-out hopeless defenders, as Adams Jr. ranks 11th in the CFL with 294 rushing yards.
Don’t see the same traits in these two? Well, players were even barking out “Chris Streveler” during one of Adams Jr.’s wild scrambles last week in Regina.
— Nik Kowalski (@nik_kowalski) September 17, 2019
Right from his first carries in the CFL, it was clear Alouettes’ running back William Stanback had some Andrew Harris in his game.
Although Stanback’s a little heavier, each back is 215-plus pounds. Both approach contact without hesitance, because the defender is likely going to bounce off.
Where the two become even more similar is their deceptive speed. Go back and watch Stanback in Week 4 versus Hamilton and Harris in Week 8 against Toronto. Backs that are as strong as these two typically aren’t able to either run a defender over or run past them.
It’s why Harris (6.4) and Stanback (6.2) are the top two running backs in yards per carry (those with over 40 rushing attempts).
On defence, each team fields game-changing, veteran middle linebackers, Adam Bighill on Winnipeg and Henoc Muamba on Montreal. Then there’s the defensive end who lives in opponents’ backfields, Willie Jefferson on Winnipeg and John Bowman on Montreal.
In the secondary, each team is enjoying breakout seasons from their boundary halfbacks, Marcus Sayles on the Blue Bombers and Greg Reid on the Alouettes. Then there’s the hard-hitting, Canadian safeties, Jeff Hecht on the Bombers and Bo Lokombo on the Als.
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) September 7, 2019
Alouettes-Blue Bombers Statistical Similarities
With the mobile quarterbacks and bruising running backs, it’s no surprise that Montreal and Winnipeg each epitomize ground-and-pound football.
Winnipeg has a sizable lead on all teams in rushing yards (1,755), rushing attempts (288) and yards per rush (6.1). The Alouettes rank in the top three in each, with 1,389 rushing yards (second), 244 rushing attempts (third), and 5.7 yards per rush (second).
Teams also avoid running against these two clubs. Each are the only teams in the CFL with under 210 rushing attempts against. The Bombers also only give up an astounding 67.8 yards on the ground per game.
Surprisingly, both teams rank eighth and ninth in passing attempts and completions — and seventh (Montreal) and ninth (Winnipeg) in passing yards. Although it doesn’t stop the Als and Bombers from being second (Winnipeg) and third (Montreal) in offensive points.
It’s an attest to both making their possessions count, or rather ending them sooner than later with explosion plays. Winnipeg sits second in the CFL with 34 big plays, plays of 20-plus yards, while Montreal is one behind with 33.
Where the Alouettes and Blue Bombers are Identical
Then there are the categories where each team coincidentally fares the same.
First, there’s opponents’ starting field position off kickoffs, where Montreal and Winnipeg pin opponents to their 30-yard line (league-best) on average.
Boris Bede and Justin Medlock are both 22 for 26 in their field goal attempts, although Medlock has accumulated 20 more points through PATs.
Lastly, each posts a 3-3 record on the road. In comparison to other teams’ road records, it’s a solid number.
You should know by now that you’ll have to wait until Week 15’s Nik’s Picks on Friday.
The Bombers are currently one-point road favourites. Bookmakers rightfully have this game going down to the wire on Saturday afternoon.
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images