Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2015: 5-13 SU, 8-10 ATS, 6-12 O/U)
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are hoping they can finally get back into the playoffs which they have failed to do since 2011 when they reached the Grey Cup. The pressure is on third-year head coach Mike O’Shea who went 12-24 his first two seasons. Winnipeg has major question marks along its offensive line and the unit didn’t look particularly sharp during the preseason. Keeping injury prone quarterback Drew Willy on his feet once again projects to be a weakness. Matt Nichols is a solid backup option but he is still very erratic. After Nichols, the drop off in production and experience is immense. Making matters worse is the preseason injury to starting center Jeff Keeping (knee) who will be out eight weeks. The team brought in former BC Lions running back Andrew Harris but he’s had injury issues as well as a drop in production in recent seasons. Willy was lost for the season in Week 7 and after that, Winnipeg was forced to play Brian Brohm and Robert Marve. Neither played well and both ended up retiring from football after the season. Nichols came in late but never got on track. In the end, Winnipeg finished 5-13 and failed to beat a team with a winning record.
Winnipeg hired former head coach Paul LaPolice to take over as offensive coordinator. It’s a positive hire but growing pains are expected. The defense should be the strength of the team but the West Division is littered with potent offenses. If the offensive line can improve and give Willy time be effective in the pocket, there is some potential. But if the line struggles and Willy ends up hurt, we’re talking about the weakest team in the division and another sub-.500 season.
Be a part of Canadian resident Ian Cameron's 2016 CFL campaign. Action gets underway late June and runs through late November. Ian has been a consistent producer in the CFL with 55% winners since joining Sportsmemo in 2012.