On Thanksgiving Day, my sister-in-law’s father asked me who I thought was going to win the Grey Cup. My reply came as a bit of a surprise. It was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Due to a local fibre optic cable outage out of my control, I was unable to see the Blue Bombers 30-13 upset loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday. However prior to that embarrassing loss, the Blue Bombers had won eight of their last nine games.
The turning point of the Blue Bombers season was on July 27. That night at the Investors Group Field, the Montreal Alouettes had a 40-28 lead over the Blue Bombers with 1:40 left. The Alouettes were partying on the sidelines and Jacques Chapdelaine (who was the Alouettes head coach at the time) was celebrating and hugging his players. Then the remarkable happened. The Blue Bombers got a touchdown, an onside kick and another touchdown to pull out the 41-40 come from behind win.
At the time, the Blue Bombers and Alouettes each had records of two wins and two losses. Since then, the Blue Bombers have been red hot, while the Alouettes have only won once—a 21-9 win over the Toronto Argonauts on August 11.
There is no question there was some controversy when Nichols left the Edmonton Eskimos in 2015. While Eskimos QB Mike Reilly was out with a knee injury two years ago, Nichols led the Eskimos to a 5-2 record but was pulled for James Franklin on four occasions. However this season, Nichols leads the CFL with 27 passing touchdowns and is fourth in the CFL with 4,002 passing yards. It is the first time in his five year CFL career that Nichols has reached the 4,000 passing yard plateau.
The Blue Bombers have not won the Grey Cup since 1990. However with a prolific offense, led by Nichols, running back Andrew Harris and wide receivers Darvin Adams and Clarence Denmark, the Blue Bombers have put themselves in the conversation as serious Grey Cup contenders.