The mighty have fallen

Blue Bombers' Jerome Haywood (right) gets upended by Argos' John Avery during second half action on...

Blue Bombers' Jerome Haywood (right) gets upended by Argos' John Avery during second half action on Saturday. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:00 PM ET

Just a week ago, the Blue Bombers were talking about hosting the Eastern Final and being just one win away from advancing to the Grey Cup.

Now, Winnipeg will more likely host the Eastern semifinal and there are nagging doubts about whether the Bombers will even win that one.

How the once-mighty are falling.

The Bombers have won only two of their last six games and both of those victories came against clubs that did not have their starting quarterbacks for an entire contest, if at all.

And most disconcerting is that one of the most potent attacks in the CFL has started to stagnate. When you already have the worst special teams in the league, you just cannot afford to have another phase of the game falter.

Even quarterback Kevin Glenn said they have to get better if they want to compete for the Cup.

While his receivers dropped at least six passes in the 16-8 loss to the Argonauts in Toronto on Saturday, Glenn also overthrew several wide-open receivers.

So, how does the offence cure what currently ails it now?

"Just execution," Glenn said. "That's all it comes down to, just getting out there and execute. It may sound like a one-word answer and simple. But when you're dealing with teams and playing them three or four times a year, it gets tough because they've seen you and you've seen them. You've got to make adjustments. That's the biggest thing right now. We just need to make adjustments, little tweaks to go into the playoffs and we'll be all right."

Great, after 17 regular-season games, they lack execution and the injury-ravaged squad is limping into the post-season.

"We lost an opportunity there," admitted linebacker Barrin Simpson. "We didn't play well enough to get it. I don't think we lost any confidence or anything. We just didn't make the plays. They were there. Like, we dropped two or three interceptions and we dropped six or seven passes that killed drives. We were right there.

"We can definitely shake this off. It's disappointing to lose an opportunity to clinch the division but we are a very confident team. We are going to re-group. We'll definitely mourn this loss until we line up and practise (today) but we're definitely confident that we can bounce back from it."

Although they did play poorly, the Bombers still have a glimmer of hope to host that Eastern Final. But they need to beat the Montreal Alouettes when they come to town Friday, then pray that Saskatchewan can beat the Argos on Saturday. Otherwise, Friday's match will be a semifinal preview.

"Now the situation's out of our hands," said veteran defensive back Anthony Malbrough. "Basically, we've just got to play well (Friday), get that momentum of winning and just carry it on to the playoffs -- no matter whether we have to play the first week or get the bye.

"Whatever we have to do, we have to get back on the winning track, get that momentum and just roll on through."

Yes, there's still some life left.

"It's not over," said defensive end Gavin Walls. "It's just one of those things where we had an opportunity and we didn't seize the day, it's as simple as that. We didn't play to our potential and we put ourselves into a position where we've got to fight even harder. And if that's what it takes for us to get to the Grey Cup, then that's what it is.

"Everything happens for a reason and there's a reason why we lost. We've got to deal with it and keep on playing ball."


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