If Saturday nights match up with Saskatchewan was any indication, the 2005 season may be one to test the faithful at CanadInn stadium. The Bombers opened up the season by renewing acquaintances with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Riders weren't particularly hospitable.
Nealon Greene took control of the Green riders offence and gave fans of the Green and white cause to forget about that guy named Henry. Greene launched a number of drives down the field during the course of the 42-15 victory finding receiver Matt Diminguez as a favourite target, Corey Holmes found success with both his running game and his special teams play and the Riders defence made life as miserable as the weather for the Blue in front of over 23,000 Rider fans (at least we assume they were Rider fans, the Bomber fans were quite quiet on the night).
The game started horribly for the Bombers and never really got any better, 12 seconds into the play Corey Holmes was in the endzone celebrating his first touchdown of the contest. Three minutes later Holmes collected 63 yards in a punt return setting up another Rider scoring play as Green carried the ball in for a touchdown himself from the four.
By the time the first quarter was over the Riders were up 16-0 and seemingly on cruise control. One of the few bright spots for Winnipeg was Keith Stokes 69 yard punt return for a touchdown for the Blue. That would account for almost half of the Bomber points on the night.
Saskatchewan look dominating on Saturday, which should give the "experts" cause to possibly reconsider the order of finish in the West. Most prognosticators have picked the Riders to finish in third, Saturday they gave notice that they just might not be willing to settle for that.
The take their undefeated record on to Hamilton on July 2nd, while the Bombers find life doesn't get any better as on Thursday night, they take on the Eskimos at their home opener in the Peg .
While it's probably not time to panic with just one game under their belts a poor performance at home against the Esks will certainly provide plenty of conversation material for the football talkshows in Winnipeg.