Drew Willy went for over 300 yards and the Blue Bombers won the night but it was anything but smooth sailing for the boys from Winnipeg. For the second straight week at home Winnipeg took the opening kickoff but any similarities to the Toronto game ended there.
In stark contrast to last weeks brilliant opening drives the Blue Bombers went two and out on both of their first two possessions. Drew Willy who lit up the Argos in his first game was 0-2 passing in those drives and was sacked on his other drop back.
On the other side of the ball Ottawa, behind long time CFL pivot Henry Burris lit up the Winnipeg defense for 14 points on their first two possessions.
Just like that the Blue Bombers were down 14-0 and it was looking like MIke O'Shea would be on the other end of a blowout in his second game on the sidelines in Winnipeg.
But Bombers caught their balance and began a methodical comeback chipping away at the Ottawa lead throughout the night.IT started with the teams trading touchdown through the remainder of the first quarter to set up a second frame where Ottawa held a 21-7 lead.
In the second Quarter Willy led two solid drives down the field which turned into 10 Winnipeg points. By the time the first half was over what was a blowout became a 21-17 football game.
In the third Quarter the defenses set in. Winnipeg scored a field goal to make the score 21-20 in favor of Ottawa but the REDBLACKS answered right back with a rouge point on a missed field goal, and then another field goal.
At the end of the third Quarter Ottawa had a 25-20 lead.
Worse than that Drew WIlly had his hand bent backwards when a defensive lineman hit him as he released a pass. His passing for the rest of the quarter was off and what had been an exciting comeback stalled out. Ottawa added another field goal to extend their lead to 28-20 early in the 4th quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff Demond Washington reignited the comeback with a 96 yard return for a touchdown. Winnipeg missed the two point conversion but still trailed only by two points.
The Blue Bomber defense, which looked helpless in the first quarter locked down Ottawa and allowed the hero of the night, Nic Grigsby, to score a go ahead touchdown with three minutes left. Once again the defense stuffed Burris and once again Winnipeg would turn that into points, this time a field goal which extended the lead to 36-28.
One last attempt by Burris to drive his squad down the field ended on downs and the Blue Bombers took to the victory formation to start their season 2-0.
The bigger take away from this win could be that despite adversity Mike O'Shea has created a team which stays focused and does not lose control. Down 14-0 the Blue Bombers did not ever seem to panic. They have proven they can win with the run or the pass, that they can win when they are spotted 17 points or spot their opposition 14.
It's still hard to gauge the ceiling for Winnipeg but it's looking higher by the day.