LIVESTREAM PPV: BC Lions @Winnipeg Blue Bombers Sat. Oct. 28 4p EDT (10p CEST)

CFL.CA STAFF
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers control their own playoff destiny heading into their Week 19 matchup against the BC Lions.

The Bombers would clinch second place in the West and host the Western Semi-Final, their first home playoff game since 2011, with a win on Saturday afternoon. An Edmonton loss in the second game of Saturday’s double header would also give Winnipeg a home playoff date.

The BC Lions were officially eliminated from playoff contention last week following a 35-29 overtime loss against the Edmonton Eskimos. The Esks stormed back, scoring two touchdowns with just over four minutes to go to send the game into overtime. Edmonton scored a major on its first possession in extra time and the Lions could not respond, dashing the hopes of a BC playoff run.

Lions quarterback Jonathon Jennings threw for 212 yard and a touchdown while Chris Rainey had over 250 combined return yards. The Lions have dropped their last five games and have lost eight of their last nine.

“I thought we made some decent plays and got some points on the board, but just didn’t get it done when it counted,” Jennings told BCLions.com. “It’s tough but we still had an opportunity to kind of steal the game and its unfortunate.”

After a disappointing 2017, the Lions are still hoping to finish the season strong and plan to give the Bombers all that they can handle.

European veteran RB to see action

That being said, the Lions are also looking to the future and will have some new faces in the lineup on Saturday, including defensive back Kendall James, running back Tyler Davis (who starred in Germany with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in 2015), offensive tackle Keavon Milton and defensive linemen Kourtnei Brown and Luther Maddy.

BC Lions WR Bryan Burnham scoring one of 2 TDs Oct. 14 Photo: The Canadian Press

One player that will definitely not be returning to the Lions lineup next year is receiver Marco Iannuzzi. The 30-year old announced last week that he will be retiring at the end of the season after seven years with the team. Iannuzzi says that the physical demands of playing professional football are one of the reasons be decided to call it a career.

Despite being knocked out of the playoffs, the Bombers have no intentions of taking it easy on the Lions.

Winnipeg is looking to bounce back after giving up an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter to narrowly fall 28-27 to the Toronto Argonauts last week. The Argos scored on back-to-back possessions, including the go-ahead touchdown with just over two minutes remaining.

Matt Nichols completed 25-of-33 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown while Weston Dressler had a game-high 129 yards on eight catches.

Andrew Harris was contained to just 32 yards on nine carries and made two catches for four yards.

The Bombers have now lost two of their last three games.

“We need to take a step up in our play and raise that level, and that starts with how we practice everyday,” Harris told BlueBombers.com. “Expectations we have as a team; we need to raise that. This time of the year, the games get faster and they get more intense and there’s a lot more at stake so we have to rise to that occasion. This game this week on Saturday is going to be a big one for us.”

The possibility of Harris becoming the first player in CFL history to reach the 1,000 yard mark in both the receiving and rushing is slowly diminishing after his numbers from last week — but still not impossible. Harris needs 97 rushing yards and 180 receiving, averages of 48.5 and 90.0 yards, through the Bombers’ last two games to reach the historic milestone.

The Bombers have not had a home playoff date in six years. The last time was 2011, the same year they played for the 99th Grey Cup, an eventual loss to the BC Lions.

The Lions and Bombers last faced off just two short weeks ago. Winnipeg emerged victorious and clinched a playoff spot with a 26-20 win over BC. Special teams and defense shone for the Bombers as Fogg had an 88-yard punt return touchdown while T.J. Heath added a 64-yard pick six to lead the Bombers into the playoffs.

Winnipeg KR Kevin Fogg en route to an 88 yard return for a TD Photo: WinnipegBlueBombers.com

By The Numbers:

15 – Field goal attempts in a row made by Lions kicker Ty Long.

16 – Tackles needed by BC linebacker Solomon Elimimian to break his own all-time CFL record 143 (2014).

97 – Penalties drawn by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this season; the fewest in the league.

558 – Passing yards needed by Matt Nichols to become the third Bomber in franchise history to surpass the 5,000 mark (Khari Jones 2002, Kevin Glenn 2007).

The Skinny:

When it comes to the quarterback battle between Nichols and Jennings, it is Winnipeg that has the edge.

Nichols is 4-2 in his career against the Lions while Jonathon Jennings has not led the Lions to a win over Winnipeg in four career regular season starts. Winnipeg is the only club that Jennings has not beaten in his 36 career starts (18-18).

Nichols currently boasts the highest QB rating of 86.4 and his offense shows no signs of slowing down heading into the post-season. The Bombers are averaging a league high 31.5 points per game.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2017 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

If you can’t watch it live, each game is available for 48 hours after the original broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – BC Lions @Winnipeg Blue Bombers Sat. Oct. 28 4p EDT (10p CEST)

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