Game way off as playoffs near

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have made the playoffs!

When it comes to good news, however, that's where it ends for the Bombers and their fans.

The Blue and Gold are officially in the post-season for the third straight season under head coach Doug Berry, but they're going to have to improve -- substantially -- to have any kind of hope in the post-season.

The Bombers found out last night where they stack up against the league's best, and it does not look good after they got thumped 37-16 by the West Division-leading Calgary Stampeders in front of 30,110 spectators at McMahon Stadium.

The Bombers (6-10) clinched second spot in the East Division prior to taking the field, thanks to the Montreal Alouettes' 43-34 win over the Toronto Argonauts.

Winnipeg will host the East semifinal Saturday, Nov. 8, at Canad Inns Stadium.

Its opponent will be the fourth-place finisher in the West Division, but it's unlikely to be Calgary, which improved its record to 11-5.

"It's not exactly the way you want to start your post-season tuneup," defensive tackle Doug Brown said.

Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn completed only six of 13 passes for 33 yards in the first half and got the hook at halftime.

Winnipeg had more rushing yards (44) than passing in the first half.

"It's not all on Kevin," slotback Milt Stegall said.

"That's not the way this game works."

It's not like there was a real turning point in a blowout like last night's, but Calgary's 10-play, 104-yard drive that ate 11:30 off the clock and ended with Rambo's score summed up perfectly the control Burris had over Winnipeg's defence.

Calgary had 258 yards of total offence in the first half, compared to Winnipeg's 68.

The Bombers finished with 123 passing yards.

Total.

It was that ugly, but Brown doesn't think the result is indicative of where the Bombers fit in the pecking order of the eight-team loop.

"I don't really think so, because it's like we've created a culture of coming out here and getting the (crap) beat out of us," he said.

"The last three years, no matter how good we've been in the standings, no matter how handily we might have beaten or competed with them at home, we've had this terrible, perennial affliction of coming out here and getting spanked. I don't know how to put my finger on it."

The Bombers have lost six straight at McMahon Stadium.

Bomber backup Ryan Dinwiddie gave the Bombers some sort of offensive life after taking over in the third quarter.

He guided the team on a nine-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown toss to Romby Bryant.

Dinwiddie, who beat the Stamps in July, couldn't muster much more after that and finished 5-for-12 for 61 yards, the touchdown to Bryant and an interception.

If there was a bright spot for the Bombers last night, it was the field goal kicking of Alexis Serna.

The league's worst placekicker, who entered the contest with a 60% success rate, nailed kicks of 48 and 47 yards in the first half, and proceeded to add another 48-yarder in the second half.

The last time he made a field goal that long was in Week 3, when he booted a 48-yarder.

"It's nice. I just gotta believe in myself," said Serna.


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