Bombers feeling pressure

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

It seems like every time the Blue Bombers find their good Dr. Jekyll, their evil Mr. Hyde re-emerges.

The Bombers got blown out in Saskatchewan but exacted revenge on the Roughriders a week later. They got blown out in Calgary but pulled out a victory in Montreal, where they had not won since 2001.

Then, with the scent of their first CFL playoff action in three years in their nostrils, they come out flat against the Alouettes and blow an opportunity to take a giant leap forward in their own ballpark.

"I don't know, man, if our mental resilience is so non-existent," said Winnipeg defensive tackle Doug Brown. "It's like when we win, we get too proud of ourselves and it takes a loss before we come back and play. It's kind of like we flip-flop on that.

"We get maybe a little too proud and boastful when we win and it usually takes a concerted poor effort across the board before we need to respond again, unfortunately. That's not going to wash down the road.

"This year, we've always done enough just to keep in things. When we need a game to stay in the hunt, hey, we'll get it. But when we need a game to cement or solidify something, it's not there. It's almost like it's not incentive enough. But it's going to be real interesting because we're running out of games."

The Bombers (7-8) have three games left in the regular season. Although Hamilton was eliminated from post-season play on the weekend, the 5-9 Edmonton Eskimos can still overtake Winnipeg for a crossover playoff spot.

"The one positive is, if we maintain this characteristic, we should win games because we're coming up to a lot of games that we really need in order to stay alive," Brown said.

"That's the only light that I can see because unfortunately we're a team that only shows up when we need to. We're really going to need to show up pretty soon and hopefully that will produce the results we haven't been able to put together when we've needed to pull something up."

Bomber defensive end Tom Canada echoed those sentiments.

"It was right at our fingertips and we just didn't get it done," he said of the 23-20 loss to Montreal. "We definitely made our share of mistakes (Friday) and it's kind of been the same story all year long. It's not what other teams are doing to us, it's a lot of what we do to ourselves -- stupid penalties, not making critical plays at critical times."

'GOOD POSITION'

Bomber centre Obby Khan, however, was not as pessimistic.

"By no means is this the end of the year, the end of the Blue Bombers," he said. "We've still got three games left and we're still in good position to get a first-round bye.

"By no means are we out of it. I mean, yeah, we didn't help ourselves out but we're not out of it by any means yet. We've got Hamilton coming up and that's what our focus is on now."

After this week's bye, the Bombers will prepare to play the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton on Oct. 15. After that, Winnipeg plays host to the Stampeders and finishes the season in B.C.


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