Bombers closing in on history with undefeated record
MONTREAL — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers stand alone atop the CFL mountain with a perfect 9-0 record following their latest win over the Alouettes, and the team is just a few consecutive wins away from making history.
The two-time defending Grey Cup champions have one of the longest win streaks to start a season in CFL history, and they will tie a 74-year-old record with three more consecutive victories. The 1948 Calgary Stampeders had the greatest start in league history with a 12-0 record in 1948, while the Bombers’ best start came in 1960 with a 10-0 record.
Quarterback Zach Collaros was uncharacteristically intercepted three times on Thursday night in Montreal, but Winnipeg’s defence and special teams stepped up to finish the job. The team has proven time and time again this season that all three phases can shift momentum and close out games.
“When we’re working as a unit, when everyone’s executing and doing their job, when we play that complimentary football we know we can be successful,” receiver Dalton Schoen told TSN at halftime.
“If we play good football, we know we can win. ”
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Winnipeg is the first CFL team to start a season with nine straight wins since the 2005 BC Lions. But only Calgary (1948) and Edmonton (1955) went on to win the Grey Cup after starting a season 10-0.
Collaros gave credit to the defence after the win — a unit that has surrendered just one fourth-quarter touchdown since Week 5. Their ability to shut down opposing offences in the second half instills confidence in Winnipeg’s offence, as the defence can make up for slow offensive starts and negate turnovers that would otherwise be costly.
Montreal was only able to produce one field goal from the three interceptions against Winnipeg.
“I thought the defence carried us all night long,” Collaros told TSN after the win. “I put them in some bad positions, but we found away to do the fourth; all three phases did a great job and stuck together.”
While Collaros is happy with the streak, he knows the team still has to improve and clean up mistakes entering the second half of their regular season. Collaros has throw five interceptions through the last three games after only throwing three in the first six games.
“We’ve got to keep getting better all the way around,” Collaros said. “Obviously we like the position that we’re in. We’ve got to get back to work, though.”
Winnipeg and Montreal face off again next Thursday at IG Field in Winnipeg at 8:30 p.m. ET.