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Elks try to hang on to playoff hopes against dominant Bombers

Aug 25, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN;  Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) reacts to an injured teammate during the second half against the Calgary Stampeders at IG Field. Winnipeg wins 31-29. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Logically, there is no reason to expect that the Edmonton Elks will be able to hang with the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday night.

After all, the Blue Bombers are 13-2 and on target to stay at home through the West Division playoffs, while Edmonton (4-11) would be eliminated from playoff consideration with one more loss, free to challenge Ottawa for the league’s No. 1 overall pick.

But Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros said he and his teammates aren’t going into this one thinking the result is already in the bag.

“You respect the opponent, you respect the game and you do everything you can to do your job at a high level,” he said. “There’s too much parity to overlook anybody. There’s a lot of talent over there and around the league and we understand that.”

The Elks were competitive in their only previous meeting with the Blue Bombers, losing 24-10 on July 22 in Edmonton. They outgained the CFL champs by 51 yards, ran 30 more plays from scrimmage and enjoyed nearly 14 1/2 minutes more time of possession.

However, Collaros’ seven completions went for 188 yards, including a pair of touchdowns. And the Winnipeg defense managed to keep the Elks out of the end zone.

Winnipeg’s 31-13 romp over Saskatchewan last week was a more well-rounded effort. Collaros threw for four touchdowns and 296 yards, while Brady Oliveira chipped in 101 yards on 15 rushes and the defense gave up just 63 yards on the ground.

Meanwhile, Edmonton set a CFL record last week with its 15th consecutive home loss as Montreal took a 25-18 win back to Quebec. The Elks outgained the Alouettes 375-295, but two fourth-quarter interceptions, the first returned 100 yards for a touchdown, decided the game.

“Offensively, we’ve got to be better and I’ve got to be better,” said Edmonton quarterback Taylor Cornelius.

The Blue Bombers are aiming for their seventh consecutive victory over Edmonton.

–Field Level Media