Litmus test for Bombers

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:49 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Some call it Mission Impossible at McGill.

Others could compare it to Custer's Last Stand.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers limped into town yesterday with a 3-7 record, dead-last in the CFL East, and will face the mighty Alouettes at McGill University's Percival Molson Stadium today (11 a.m. TSN).

The Als not only boast the CFL's best record at 8-2, they have the league's stingiest defence (174 points allowed).

The Bombers have scored the fewest points in the CFL (186), are coming off back-to-back blowouts against Saskatchewan and are still trying to decide on who their starting quarterback will be.

DAVID VS. GOLIATH?

So, does this sound like David staring down Goliath with a slingshot?

"Yeah, and a real big rock," joked Winnipeg head coach Mike Kelly, who heard people calling for his head after last week's disaster. "I don't know about David and Goliath. We don't like to think about ourselves that way ... We're 3-7 and they're 8-2 so you would think there would be a drastic difference between the two ball clubs. But we're trying to stay as positive as we can.

"We still have a lot of faith in each other and we'll go out and do the best that we can."

Montreal head coach Marc Trestman is wary of Winnipeg.

"They're coming in here off a week full of adversity and we recognize that," he said. "That's always the toughest when you have to play a football team coming off adversity. It's much easier to come off a week of adversity than to come off a week of success on the field."

Kelly just smiled when he heard that.

"Then we ought to be the most motivated group in North America," he suggested. "But certainly, we may have a hunger factor right now that is ever-increasing."

The Bombers certainly didn't arrive with their tails between their legs.

"This is a big challenge for us," said tailback Fred Reid. "But this is where we want to be -- go in and show them that we can face the best. There is no better time to show it than right now. It's their field, they're 8-2, they're on top of the league -- this would be a good time to come in and knock them off right now.

"That would give us a big confidence boost for the final stretch of the season. Beating the top team on their home field, that's got to motivate you. If we can do that, that would give us confidence that we could be Grey Cup contenders this year."

The Bombers do want to prove that they're a better team than the one that served as Saskatchewan's punching bag last week.

"Games of this magnitude coming off the game we just played, success out here could right a lot of wrongs in the eyes of the fans and supporters and the people who were disappointed with the way we played last week," said veteran defensive tackle Doug Brown. "A lot of wrongs could be amended by our performance out here (today) ... This will be a true test of the character of this team."

PLAYOFF HOPES

The Bombers are in the race for the cross-over playoff spot with Toronto and B.C.

"We need a win right now, it doesn't matter if it's against Montreal or whomever," said Bomber slotback Terrence Edwards. "Everybody's beatable, you've just got to go out and play your game. They've been playing their game better than every team in this league, give them credit for that. But we're not going to crown them (champions).

"We're going to give it our best effort and not go out there and lay down for them."

JIM.BENDER@SUNMEDIA.CA


Photos