Cincinnati.com
Canadian Football League
Preview
Montreal at Winnipeg
When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, September 21, 2018
Where: Investors Group Field, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers look to stay in the playoff hunt when they host the Montreal Alouettes on Friday. The Blue Bombers have dropped four consecutive games, including a 32-27 defeat to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Banjo Bowl before their off week, to fall into last place in the West Division and hope to stop the bleeding by completing the season sweep of the Alouettes following a 56-10 victory in Week 2.



"We definitely need to self-evaluate and that's something everyone needs to do," Winnipeg defensive back Chris Randle told reporters. "We're all ready and willing to come back and work and turn this ship around." Montreal saw its slim playoff hopes take a big hit after suffering a 32-14 setback to the BC Lions in Week 14. The Alouettes had won their previous two games before the wheels came off against the Lions as Antonio Pipkin threw four interceptions and was sacked seven times, opening the door for Johnny Manziel to regain his starting role. "I think Johnny deserves the opportunity to play based on last week," Montreal coach Mike Sherman told reporters. "Pipkin has done a lot of good things … but unfortunately he's the one that touches the ball every play and we thought we'd shake things up."

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS



ABOUT THE ALOUETTES (3-9): Pipkin was limited to 95 yards passing with two of his four interceptions returned for touchdowns in the fourth quarter against the Lions. Manziel has completed 27-of-46 passes for 272 yards and four interceptions in two starts for the Alouettes before suffering a head injury against the Ottawa Redblacks on Aug. 11, but served as the backup last week despite being medically cleared to return against BC. Linebacker Chris Ackie is likely to return after missing the last two games with a pulled hamstring while Montreal released wide receiver Chris Harper, who caught seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown this season.

ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (5-7): Matt Nichols had one of the most disappointing performances of his career as he went 10-of-20 for 165 and three interceptions, including a pair of pick sixes, before he was benched in the second half against Saskatchewan. Nichols took most of the first-team reps in practice and Winnipeg coach Mike O'Shea confirmed he will be the starter on Friday. Wideout Weston Dressler practiced with the first-team offence and is likely to return to the fold after missing the last four games with a lower-body injury while starting left tackle Jermarcus Hardrick is ready to come back after sitting out three games with a knee problem.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Winnipeg has won the last four meetings with Montreal.

2. The Alouettes have been held to 14 points or fewer in five games this season.

3. Nichols has thrown eight interceptions in his last four games.



PREDICTION: Blue Bombers 31, Alouettes 21


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away OT Div
Montreal 3-9 L1 17.0 30.9 1-5 2-4 - 2-3
Winnipeg 5-7 L4 30.4 26.3 3-3 2-4 - 1-5
Last Meeting
Montreal Winnipeg
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
6/22/18 WPG 56 MTL 10 195 66 129 588 245 343
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Montreal D. Willy 64.0 111 1 0
Winnipeg C. Streveler 78.6 246 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Montreal T. Sutton 4 53 13.2 0
Winnipeg C. Streveler 10 98 9.8 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Montreal E. Lewis 4 34 8.5 0
Winnipeg A. Harris 6 68 11.3 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Montreal B. Cunningham 1
Winnipeg D. Wolitarsky 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Montreal A. Pipkin 61.3 857 1 8
Winnipeg M. Nichols 75.4 1934 11 12
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Montreal T. Sutton 86 417 4.8 1
Winnipeg A. Harris 165 984 6.0 7
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Montreal B. Cunningham 49 608 12.4 3
Winnipeg D. Adams 41 665 16.2 7
Touchdowns Player TD
Montreal A. Pipkin 4
Winnipeg A. Harris 9