Blue swagger back

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers got their losing streak out of the way.

Now it's time to find out how good they really are.

Of Winnipeg's final six regular-season games, five are against the CFL's top three teams -- two against the Montreal Alouettes (7-4), two against the Calgary Stampeders (7-5) and one against the B.C. Lions (8-3).

The first big test is Friday night at Calgary's McMahon Stadium against the Stampeders.

"If we can beat these guys, we can beat anybody," Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown said.

Bombers centre Obby Khan believes the home stretch will mean so much more than just wins or losses, or even a home playoff game.

He believes the implications will be felt well past November.

CHARACTER

"We'll find out a lot about character on this team and see what direction we're headed for the next couple years," Khan said. "It's a character thing on this team right now.

"Coach (Doug) Berry brought in some new guys ... so we gotta see what the core of this team's made of. That's the way I'm looking at it."

Berry's first year as a head coach has had its ups and downs, including a 5-2 start and a four-game losing streak that was halted Sunday with a 27-23 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"The win was key to the confidence. We needed it big time," Khan said.

"Our offence stepped up when we needed to, and the defence shut them down when they needed to. We gotta put it together now.

"We were in a little bit of a lull for the last little while, but things are starting to roll again, and hopefully we can carry this through the rest of the year and peak into the playoffs."

The Bombers improved to 6-6, leaving them just two points out of first place in the East Division and only four points behind the league-leading Lions.

"We'd like to be better, but 6-6 is acceptable for what our ultimate goal is," Berry said.

"We gotta find a way to get a minimum of three more wins.

"We'd like six more, of course, but we realize the schedule and what the competition is here at the end of the year."

Simply put, the Bombers are going to need slotback Milt Stegall, quarterback Kevin Glenn and running back Charles Roberts to lead the way offensively.

That much was proven when Glenn and Stegall went down with injuries during the team's winless month of August.

SMOTHERING WAYS

On the other side of the ball, a Bomber defence that established itself early as the top unit in the league but has since slipped a bit, must get back to its smothering ways.

If neither of those happen, the 4-7 Edmonton Eskimos -- or any other West Division team -- could easily sneak in and snag the East crossover playoff spot from the Blue and Gold.

"You go week by week, and every game's a big game, but the end of the season ultimately will determine what type of team this is," Khan said.

"We're a good group of guys in here.

"We're gonna turn some heads the next six weeks. We're pretty confident. Actually, we're very confident."


Videos

Photos