Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton will host a potential Grey Cup preview Friday when the West Division-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the East Division-leading Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Blue Bombers bring with them their perfect 5-0 record while the Tiger-Cats have just one loss through six weeks of the season. The game will feature the league’s top two scoring offences and defences.
Watch the game Friday starting at 7pm et/4pm pt across the TSN Network, on TSN Direct, and streaming on TSN.ca.
The impressive numbers (Winnipeg is second in scoring offence and first in scoring defence, Hamilton is first in scoring offence and second in scoring defence) are courtesy of two lineups rich in playmakers on both sides of the ball and on special teams, all of whom will be in action Friday.
Seven of the CFL on TSN Top 50 Players this season are on either the Blue Bombers or Tiger-Cats.
3. Adam Bighill - The reigning Most Outstanding Defensive Player has missed three games to injury so far this season, limiting him to just six tackles. The Blue Bombers linebacker was on the game day roster last week before getting scratched before the game. The hope is he’s ready to go with one more week of rest.
5. Andrew Harris – Winnipeg’s dual-threat running back is second in the league in offensive yards with 610 and is on pace to eclipse 2,000 this season, something he’s never accomplished in his career.
6. Jeremiah Masoli – After proving he was the real deal last year, Masoli has continued to impress this season, throwing for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns through five games. The Ticats quarterback is on pace for a better season statistically than last year, when he was the East Division nominee for Most Outstanding Player.
7. Willie Jefferson – The defensive end, who has been named an all-star in each of the past two seasons, has had a solid start to his first campaign with the Blue Bombers. Thus far, Jefferson has amassed two sacks and two forced fumbles for the undefeated Bombers.
8. Brandon Banks – An early season Most Outstanding Player candidate, Banks has been a regular on the highlight reels for his play on both offence and special teams. Hamilton’s receiver/kick returner leads the league in receiving with 36 receptions for 506 yards and has a combined six touchdowns – three receiving, one rushing and two missed field goal returns.
9. Delvin Breaux – The Ticats cornerback is one of the best at locking down an opponent’s top receiver and his lack of stats (15 tackles, no interceptions) is a result of quarterbacks staying away from him.
10. Stanley Bryant – The Blue Bombers’ left tackle anchors an offensive line that is third in the league in sacks allowed with just eight, and helps pave the way for a run game that is second in the league, averaging 147.6 yards per game.
There are a number of other players that fell outside the Top 10, or didn’t make the list at all, that are having monster seasons and could put their stamp on Friday’s game.
Lucky Whitehead – The Bombers rookie has made an impact on both offence and special teams so far in Winnipeg, recording 267 yards and two touchdowns on offence and adding another score on a kick return.
Matt Nichols – Saddled with titles like game manager throughout his career, the Bombers quarterback has taken the next step this season. Nichols leads the league in touchdown passes with 12 and has the highest efficiency among starting QBs at 129.1. Nichols was named a Top Performer in Week 6 after the Bombers’ win over the Ottawa Redblacks.
Ja’Gared Davis – In his first year with the Ticats, the defensive end is second in the league with four sacks and on pace to shatter his career-high of nine in a season.