Grey Cup 108 brings us a rematch of the 2019 Grey Cup game in Calgary, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. We don’t need to remind everyone of how that game went, the Blue Bombers dominant play all season long has made it so no one has forgotten, but this matchup is one of the high-flying offences and stingy defences.
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Looking at nothing but the standings might give you a false sense of what this matchup really is. It’s not an 11-3 team playing an 8-6 team. It’s a team that has thrived this season in the Blue Bombers going up against the sleeping giant of the Tiger-Cats. Both teams have taken exceptionally different paths to get to this game, but both are more than deserving of being where they are.
For as dominant as they have looked all season long, the Blue Bombers are not going to walk into Tim Horton’s Field and easily take out the Tiger-Cats on their home turf, at least you wouldn’t imagine that to be the case. We only have one regular-season meeting to look at between these two teams, and it came in week one, a game the Blue Bombers won by a score of 19-6.
How much can be taken from that game and used as a measuring stick for what we can expect in the Grey Cup on Sunday? Likely not much if anything. That game came in week one after missing an entire season and having no pre-season, meaning that no one was really in sync yet. For the Tiger-Cats in particular, getting in sync has taken a really long time, and you could argue that they still haven’t hit their peak.
On the other side of the football, the Blue Bombers were clearly the best team in the Canadian Football League this season. Their biggest scares haven’t really been all that scary this season, but they are coming off a particularly bad game, especially offensively, in the West Final. Zach Collaros threw three interceptions as the Blue Bombers turned the ball over six times. Despite this, they found a way to win the game with their impressive defence and timely offence.
With the 108th Grey Cup matchup set, the Tiger-Cats come into the week as underdogs, but should they be? Seeing how these two teams have handled their business all season long, it’s safe to say that, yes, Hamilton should be the underdogs in this game, but not by much. Coaches and players always talk about getting hot at the right time, and that’s exactly what the Tabbies have been doing as of late. They look to be breaking out of their shells a little bit, but we also have to remember where this game is being played.
The regular season is critical for football teams as they want that home-field advantage when it comes time to play the biggest game of the season. With the Grey Cup city being decided well before we know who’s in the game, we don’t frequently see the home team playing, but we will this year. The Tiger-Cats are notoriously difficult to beat on their home turf, and with the Grey Cup on the line and the end of their 22-year drought insight, you know their fans are going to show up and bring the noise.
The Tiger-Cats will be making a change at quarterback, starting Dane Evans. Evans was unstoppable in the East Final, and if they get that kind of performance again, they are in for a good result. For the Bombers, you know what you are going to get. In 2019, the difference was the offensive and defensive lines for the Blue Bombers, and if they can hold that advantage again, they will win. If the Cats can break through and get some pressure on Collaros, they stand a chance.
We should be in for a good matchup and a close game, and as they say, any given Sunday.