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What to know for the Grey Cup, where a dynasty hangs in the balance

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts will sq. off for the CFL championship on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET in Regina. Here are some issues to know about the 109th Grey Cup sport:

Winnipeg is capturing for the Moon.

After defeating Hamilton in back-to-back Grey Cups, the Blue Bombers try to change into the first CFL staff to win three consecutive championships since Edmonton captured 5 in a row from 1978-82. Warren Moon — the solely participant ever to be inducted into each the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame — had a hand in all of these titles and was Edmonton’s beginning quarterback for the final three earlier than leaving for the NFL after the ’83 season.

Winnipeg has led the 2022 Grey Cup chase wire to wire, opening the common season with 9 straight wins earlier than ending with a CFL-best 15-3 document. Last week, the Bombers got here off a first-round playoff bye to defeat the B.C. Lions 28-20 in the West Division ultimate as their fierce defence compelled three turnovers. Winnipeg additionally has a formidable offence led by veteran quarterback Zach Collaros. The 2021 Grey Cup MVP received his second straight CFL Most Outstanding Player award final evening after throwing a CFL-high 37 landing passes in the common season.

Collaros and firm are favoured by six factors over Toronto, with the betting odds implying Winnipeg has about a 2-in-3 probability of capturing the Grey Cup three-peat.

But the Bombers may need an Achilles heel (or ankle).

Collaros missed Winnipeg’s first two practices of the week after rolling his proper ankle when he was tackled late in final Sunday’s win over B.C. The harm was extreme sufficient to maintain Collaros on the bench for his staff’s ultimate possession, regardless that the Bombers nonetheless wanted a rating to put away the Lions.

Collaros has insisted all week that he’ll play on Sunday, and he instructed reporters Thursday that he is “prepared to go” and his mobility is “good.” But if the ankle is bothersome or forces him out once more, it might swing the sport towards Toronto. Young backup Dru Brown, who took the Bombers’ first-team reps in observe earlier this week, has a complete of 64 passing makes an attempt in his two CFL seasons. Close to two-thirds of them got here in an Oct. 25 sport vs. the Lions where Brown threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns however was additionally picked off twice.

For one Argo, revenge is a dish greatest served chilly.

The tundra-like situations in Regina (at kickoff, it will really feel shut to 10 beneath with the wind chill) most likely will not hassle Argonauts operating again Andrew Harris, who’s from frosty Winnipeg. Harris was a key element in his hometown staff’s back-to-back Grey Cup victories, piling up 169 complete yards and two touchdowns in 2019 to change into the first participant ever to win each the Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Canadian trophies in the identical Grey Cup, after which speeding for a game-high 80 yards final 12 months. Harris additionally led the CFL in speeding yards in three of his 5 seasons with Winnipeg.

But, with Harris turning 35 final spring and in want of a new contract, the Bombers determined to let him stroll regardless that he was eager to keep. Feeling “undesirable,” Harris signed with Toronto and had the sort of season you’d count on from an growing older again. Though he loved a few good video games, together with 111 yards speeding in a one-point loss to Winnipeg in Week 4 and 188 yards of complete offence at Saskatchewan in Week 7, Harris was averaging a career-low 4.3 yards per carry when he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in mid-August that sidelined him for the remainder of the common season. He returned final week and ran for 42 yards and a landing whereas including a 30-yard reception in Toronto’s 34-27 win over Montreal in the East ultimate.

The Argos’ hopes of pulling off the upset Sunday might relaxation on their ball-hawking defence. Toronto led the CFL with 48 takeaways this season, together with a league-high six interceptions by defensive again Jamal Peters, who compelled a fumble in the East ultimate. For extra on the storylines in this Grey Cup, together with the undeniable fact that that is the first time Winnipeg and Toronto are assembly in the title sport since the notorious 1950 Mud Bowl, learn this story by CBC Manitoba’s Darren Bernhardt.

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