LIVESTREAM CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, Oct. 28, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm Oct. 27 EDT)

CALGARY — The final week of the 2023 regular season begins with a West Division showdown as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium.

The game marks the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with Winnipeg escaping with a 24-11 victory in Week 5 and a 19-18 win back in Week 11.

The mood should be positive on each side as the Blue Bombers have locked up the West Division and will host the Western Final on Sat. Nov. 11. The Stampeders secured their 18th consecutive playoff appearance with a win over BC and a Saskatchewan loss last week.

Playing time should be fluid as both teams gear up for the post-season. Quarterback Zach Collaros has totalled 4,252 passing yards and a league-leading 33 touchdowns but it’ll be backup Dru Brown getting the start. Brown has completed 49 passes for 702 yards and seven touchdowns.

» Depth Charts: WPG | CGY

Receiver Nic Demski joins Dalton Schoen on the sidelines as both are out with ankle injuries. While Kenny Lawler and Drew Wolitarsky are critical to the team’s playoff success and are in the lineup, Brendan O’Leary-Orange and Greg McCrae will surely see more targets in the regular season finale.

The Stamps’ secondary is looking to keep its strong play going as Jonathan Moxey and Kobe Williams have led the unit to be the league’s second-best pass defence when it comes to yards allowed. They limited Vernon Adams Jr. and the high flying Lions to 241 yards through the air a week ago.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, Oct. 28, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm Oct. 27 EDT)

Much like under centre, the handoffs are likely to be spread around for the Bombers. Brady Oliveira sits just two rushing yards shy of 1,500. Once he gets it, Johnny Augustine will likely need to be ready for the bulk of the carries.

Stopping the run is going to be a focus for head coach Dave Dickenson’s defence heading into the Western Semi-Final as they’ve allowed an average of 122.0 yards per game. Linebacker Micah Awe has been a bright spot and steadying presence all season with 121 tackles.

The offensive line of Julian HowsareMike Moore and Mike Rose get one final chance to show that running the ball won’t be easy come November.

On the offensive side for the Stamps, quarterback Jake Maier hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 16 when he threw two against Montreal. That’s an important trend he hopes continues from here on out.

Tommy Stevens and Logan Bonner are the other two pivots that’ll try to steer the offence this week.

When their attention turns downfield, Marken Michel and Tre Odoms-Dukes headline the talent available with Colton Hunchak and Cole Tucker providing additional options. Top receiver Reggie Begelton won’t see action as the Stamps monitor his workload after an injury.

Even though the game doesn’t have an impact on the standings, Dickenson hopes his team can continue to play well and focus on what they need to do going forward.

“I want us to play a good football game,” Dickenson told reporters. “There’s two more weeks in the year, so that’s a nice thing. Hopefully we can keep some momentum and play well. I’m going to play the guys that I hope can win and that’s about it, really. We need to build on momentum, we’re not playing that great. Our team understands we have to get better each and every week.”

The league leader in interceptions, Demerio Houston, returns to join Evan Holm and Jamal Parker in attempting to shut down the Stamps’ receivers.

On the Bombers’ line, Anthony Bennett and Thiadric Hansen are set to take on larger roles with the support of Malik Clements at linebacker.

They’ll be responsible for not only getting to whoever is under centre, but shutting down a run game averaging 98.6 yards a game. Ka’Deem Carey gets the game off but Dedrick Mills returns with Peyton Logan serving as the backup.

Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea wants his team to be prepared for this game like they would be for any other.

“I just want the week to look like every other week in terms of sticking to the process,” O’Shea told “I want the preparation for the guys to be the same. I want us to stick to the things that we value and evaluate. Obviously everyone wants to win but I think most importantly it’s making sure we’re consistent in what we do.”

It may not have implications in the standings, but Friday’s opener provides one final tune up before the playoffs.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders, Oct. 28, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm Oct. 27 EDT)

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