For real? Get real

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

So we got our answer.

Didn't we?

Last night's game between the Blue Bombers and B.C. Lions was supposed to go a long way towards telling us if the Bombers and their three-game win streak were for real.

Well, the streak is history.

The Bombers? Well on their way to being history.

We think.

A team that can't beat a .500 squad at home probably has no business being in the playoffs, let alone making any noise in them.

With back-to-back games against 13-2 Montreal staring them in the face, you could argue the Bombers, 6-9, are looking at a seven-win season, at best.

DINGED UP

But this is the CFL. And in case you didn't hear, Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo dinged his knee yesterday, meaning the Bomber defence might buy a break when the Als come to town in five days.

The question is, would that even make a difference, given the latest state of the Winnipeg offence?

Because even though the Lions lost starting quarterback Buck Pierce early last night, third-stringer Travis Lulay was good enough to hand the Bombers a 24-21 loss that once again shone the spotlight on Winnipeg's inconsistent attack.

After living a fairly healthy lifestyle for a few weeks, the glamour boys on offence relapsed, big-time, an addiction to turnovers and the two-and-out doing them in.

Leading the way, as he's done since he took charge in that win over Toronto a month ago, was the confounding Michael Bishop, who threw three interceptions and coughed up a fumble.

That's seven giveaways in the last two games by No. 16.

Bishop's two distinct personalities, from brilliant to baffling, were on full display.

On the first drive of the game he needed just three plays to produce a touchdown, for instance.

But he missed far more passes than he hit, including the one he threw while standing in his end zone: an interception for a touchdown that began B.C.'s climb out of a 14-0 hole.

"You don't want to turn the ball over," Bishop said. "But they started playing deep, started dropping into deep zones, and they made plays.

"Starting off the game I felt good. I got a little banged up towards the end."

ROUGH NIGHT

There were times when Bishop's throws were an area code away from his receivers, as the Bombers held the ball for six minutes less than the Lions.

"It's on me," head coach Mike Kelly said, going back to his post-game mantra from earlier in the season. "We didn't put him in good enough situations... it's all my fault."

It is and it isn't.

Bishop had a rough night, yes.

But this is what you get when you hitch your wagon to a thoroughbred with a penchant for unpredictability. You'll be in awe of its raw ability one moment, cringing at the sight of it running into the rail the next.

On the interception for a touchdown, he had the option to hand the ball off, but chose to throw it -- with a D-lineman in his face.

You get the impression Bishop would rifle the pig at least 30 yards down field every other play, if it were up to him. His confidence is as big as his arm.

Here's what he said about the Bombers' offensive strategy after they jumped to the 14-point lead.

"I wouldn't say we relaxed, but we could have kept doing what we were doing to get those points. Every team, every once in a while, once you get ahead in a big game where you've got a lot riding on the line, you try to play safe football.

"The end result is we let it get away."

That they did.

And for the umpteenth time the defence deserved a better fate.

It's not the mess we were forced to endure through the first half of the season.

But for real?

Get real.

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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