Winnipeg – For the third week in a row the Winnipeg Blue bombers had their fans on the edge of their seats. Only this time, the game had a happy end for the Bombers. A sensational play by linebacker Moe Leggett in the dieing seconds preserved a wild 37-35 win for the Bombers over the B.C. Lions, a win that moved Winnipeg into a second place tie with the Lions in the CFL West Division, although B.C. has a game in hand. Bombers are 9-6, Lions 9-5. Leggett, who had earlier been ruled out of the game with a knee injury, dragged himself off the bench and tackled Chris Rainey for a one yard loss on a third and inches play at the Winnipeg four yard line. Needing only a foot for a first down that would have given them three cracks at the game winning touchdown, the Lions decided to hand off to Rainey on a sweep rather than have Travis Lulay run a quarterback sneak. The Lions had used the same play earlier in the game for a 56-yard Rainey touchdown run but Leggett wasn’t fooled and emerged the hero of a heart-stopping back and forth contest that saw Winnipeg run out to a 24-3 lead in the second quarter only to have the Lions rally and take a 30-27 lead going into the fourth. There were big plays all over the field, kick returns, long passes, lots of big hits. It was a visual delight for those who like wide open, unpredictable football.
Last week, the Bombers were six points down to Edmonton with less than three minutes to play when the Eskimos clinched a 40-26 victory with a big play touchdown pass to Derel Walker. And the week before, the Bombers rallied from a big deficit to take a 34-33 lead over Calgary with 20 seconds left only to have the Stamps kick a last play field goal for a 36-34 win. Blue Bomber fans might as well start the game on the “edge of their seats” because that’s where they are going to finish it.
If points equate to excitement, and in the opinion of most fans they do, the Bombers have become one of the most electrifying teams in the CFL. In their last four games, 2 wins and 2 losses, the Bombers and their opponents have combined for 283 points. That’s 71 points a game. Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea would probably prefer his club to be a little tighter defensively but the fans are certainly getting their moneys worth.
The Bombers still haven’t clinched a playoff spot, but with 9 wins, it’s only a matter of time. Their priority now is to sweep the Lions. A win in Vancouver in the rematch Friday would pull the Bombers 2 points ahead of the Lions and give them a real chance at hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2011.