Defence comes up big as Bombers win 7th straight
EDMONTON — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers appear to be unstoppable after improving to 7-0, as their Week 7 victory over Edmonton showcased their ability to win in multiple ways.
Winnipeg’s defence picked up the slack and made the difference while the offence had a bit of an off night. Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros threw two touchdowns against the Elks on Friday, but he was also intercepted twice for the first time this season.
Winnipeg’s defence prevented the Elks from converting either turnover into points, and they finished the game with five sacks and an interception that led to a touchdown.
Bombers defensive end Willie Jefferson talked about having the offence’s back after the victory.
“It’s just a give and take type of thing. We don’t put too much on our offence, and we know our offence expects a lot of us. So we just go out there every drive and try to get the ball back for them, and we hope that Zach goes out there and puts some points on the board,” Jefferson told TSN.
Defensive back Deatrick Nichols gave Winnipeg’s offence a headstart in the first quarter by picking off quarterback Taylor Cornelius inside Edmonton territory. The turnover set up the Bombers’ first touchdown of the game, as Collaros connected with receiver Rasheed Bailey in the end zone just one play later.
“We’re executing at a high level,” Nichols told TSN at halftime.
Winnipeg held the Elks to just two field goals in the first half and four points in the second half — including a fourth-quarter shutout. They sealed the victory with back-to-back turnovers on downs in the final two minutes of the game.
Winnipeg’s defence leads the league with 10 interceptions and are second in sacks with 17. But the Bombers will need to be firing on all cylinders for their next matchup, as they face the Calgary Stampeders (4-1) on the road in Week 8 on Saturday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET.
The Bombers handed Calgary its lone loss with a home victory in Week 6, but they only won by a single touchdown.
Jefferson said Winnipeg is ready for another battle.
“It’s expected to be a fist fight, just like it was at home. We’re going into their house, and they’re coming off a bye week. (We’re) just ready to fight.