The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have completed the first third of their schedule, posting a solid 5-1 record.
With that in mind, I took a look at the Bombers’ offensive numbers and how they project over an eighteen-game schedule. Read below for trends, potential career-highs, and a few surprising lows.
Passing — Matt Nichols
Actual: 122-of-175; 1,411 yards; 13 touchdowns; four interceptions
Projection: 366-of-525; 4,233 yards; 39 touchdowns; 12 interceptions
Nichols’ touchdown-to-interceptions ratio remains excellent despite a poor performance in the club’s most recent game against the Tiger-Cats. The veteran is slightly off the pace to match his career-high passing yardage total from 2017 (4,472 yards) but is already just 15 touchdowns away from a new career-high.
Rushing — Andrew Harris
Actual: 80 carries; 494 yards; zero touchdowns
Projection: 240 carries; 1,482 yards; zero touchdowns
Harris is on pace to top the 1,390 rushing yards he recorded last year, which was a new career-high. His carries projection (240) is essentially identical to his total from last season (239), while his lack of of rushing touchdowns is a surprise.
Rushing — Nic Demski
Actual: 10 carries; 68 yards; one touchdown
Projection: 30 carries; 204 yards; three touchdowns
Demski is slightly off the pace from his rushing totals last season (34 carries, 248 yards, one touchdown), though he’s seeing essentially the same number of carries.
Receiving — Lucky Whitehead
Actual: 22 receptions; 284 yards; two touchdowns
Projection: 66 receptions; 852 yards; six touchdowns
The rookie receiver leads the Bombers in yardage this season, which means the club is not on pace to have a 1,000-yard receiver this year. Whitehead has quickly taken on a key role in Paul LaPolice’s offence.
Receiving — Darvin Adams
Actual: 20 receptions; 267 yards; three touchdowns
Projection: 60 receptions; 801 yards; nine touchdowns
Adams is slightly off the pace from his production last year in receptions (61), receiving yards (1,028), and touchdowns (10). He left Friday’s game in Hamilton due to injury and won’t play this week in Toronto.
Receiving — Andrew Harris
Actual: 31 receptions; 233 yards; three touchdowns
Projection: 93 receptions; 699 yards; nine touchdowns
Harris is on pace to crush last year’s totals in receptions (58) and receiving yardage (451). His lack of rushing scores is made up for by the fact that the veteran is on pace for a new career-high in receiving touchdowns with nine.
Receiving — Nic Demski
Actual: 14 receptions; 230 yards; two touchdowns
Projection: 42 receptions; 690 yards; six touchdowns
Demski is on pace to set a new career-high for yardage, yet his receptions per game have dropped significantly since last year (3.5 to 2.3). That’s what happens when you record two touchdown receptions of over 70 yards.
Receiving — Drew Wolitarsky
Actual: 17 receptions; 187 yards; three touchdowns
Projection: 51 receptions; 561 yards; nine touchdowns
Wolitarsky’s receptions are up slightly from last season, though his yardage is down about five yards per game. Nine touchdowns would be a new career-high for the third-year receiver.
Receiving — Chris Matthews
Actual: three receptions; 26 yards; zero touchdowns
Projection: nine receptions; 78 yards; zero touchdowns
The first third of the season has been a rough stretch for Matthews, appearing in just two games. A healthy scratch the past two games, the veteran will return to the line-up with week against Toronto.
Actual: 166 points; 1,500 passing yards; 801 rushing yards
Projection: 498 points; 4,500 passing yards; 2,403 rushing yards
The Blue Bombers lead the CFL in points per game (27.7) and are essentially on pace to match the 502 points scored last year.
Winnipeg has maintained a consistent rush/pass balance from a season ago when the club recorded 4,409 passing yards and 2,429 rushing yards. This year’s projections differ by just 91 yards passing and 26 yards rushing.
The club currently sits fourth in total yards of offence, averaging 375 per game.
The Bombers have 13 giveaways as a team, six of which came in the club’s most recent game in Hamilton. Richie Hall’s defence has generated 14 takeaways, giving the club a plus-one turnover margin.
The club sits fourth in second down conversion rate at 50 per cent (71-of-142). The team has also done well in the penalty department, averaging just six per game — tied for best in the CFL.