(Photo credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports)
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have already clinched a playoff spot but certainly want to pad their victory count over the final five games.
The Blue Bombers (10-3) aim to continue their success when they visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-7) on Saturday.
Winnipeg is looking to avenge last season's 48-31 setback in Hamilton, while the Tiger-Cats are focused on handing the Blue Bombers another stunning setback.
"They are a good football team," Hamilton coach Orlondo Steinauer said of the Blue Bombers. "That being said, focus on all of that detracts on what we need to do, which is to get better each week.
"We know what we are up against but we're going to be ready for the challenge."
Two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player Zach Collaros of Winnipeg hasn't forgotten the bitter taste.
"We went out there last year and it didn't go our way," Collaros said of the visit to Hamilton. "It was not a good experience for us. We're focused on the task at hand. They're a really good football team and we've got to execute at a high level."
The Blue Bombers clinched their seventh consecutive playoff spot with Saturday's 51-6 rout of the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders. Collaros passed for 319 yards and five touchdowns in the easy victory.
Collaros leads the CFL with 27 touchdown passes and ranks second in passing yardage (3,136). Brady Oliveria leads the league with 1,144 rushing yards and Dalton Schoen has a league-best 10 touchdown receptions.
Winnipeg cornerback Demerio Houston is enjoying a season that could net him Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors. He leads the league with seven interceptions (nobody else has more than four) and is tied for the league lead with teammate Jackson Jeffcoat with three fumble recoveries.
Hamilton is coming off a 27-24 road win over the Ottawa Redblacks last Friday.
Rookie quarterback Taylor Powell passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns and has fared well in place of in place of Bo Levi Mitchell, who fractured his right lower leg June 18.
Powell has completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 1,593 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions.
To compete with the Blue Bombers, Hamilton will need a strong defensive effort. The Tiger-Cats rank eighth in the nine-team league in scoring defense (27.2 points per game) and seventh in total defense (378.9 yards per game).
Veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence, who is in his 10th season with Hamilton, promises a strong effort on Saturday.
"It's whatever it takes," Lawrence said. "The best way to lead is by being on the field and producing and showing the way. ... The best way is going out and just ballin'."
--Field Level Media