Rolling into Montreal

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

If the Winnipeg Blue Bombers go to Montreal on Nov. 22 for the East Division final -- and a lot has to go their way for that to occur -- head coach Mike Kelly hopes the Alouettes will always remember Oct. 24.

It was on that day Bomber quarterback Michael Bishop looked like Tom Brady, returner Jovon Johnson made Montreal's punt cover team appear inebriated and the defence smothered the Alouettes.

The result was a dominant 41-24 Bomber victory that means they will play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for second place in the East on Nov. 8 at Canad Inns Stadium.

But first things first: Kelly wants a repeat performance from his club this Sunday when the teams meet again, this time at Molson Stadium. It's expected that Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who missed Saturday's contest with a calf injury, will play.

"Hopefully we've put just a drop of doubt in the back of their minds, that 'Hey, this club is competing right now,'" Kelly said. "We have won four of our last five, and I said all along going into the game last week that I thought we matched up pretty well with Montreal.

"So I'm sure that this game this weekend is going to be a very interesting game to watch."

The Alouettes, who have allowed more than 500 yards of offence in back-to-back outings, admit they're not exactly feeling confident -- despite owning a 13-3 record.

"If we're not motivated, we better get motivated," defensive end Anwar Stewart told the Montreal Gazette. "I'm concerned now. We've all got to look in the mirror."

The Bombers will have a shot at second in the East on Nov. 8 no matter what happens this weekend, but another victory over the Als would go a long way in warding off the fourth-place finisher in the West from crossing over and stealing the final playoff spot.

Winnipeg would also want to win this Sunday in case their game against Hamilton ends in a tie. The more victories, the better.

And the better Bishop plays, the more victories there might be. The 33-year-old threw for a career-high 411 yards on Saturday -- using bullets and soft passes when required -- and helped his coach get over a flu that hammered him in the 24 hours leading up to the game.

"We dropped one (pass)," Kelly said. "I said, 'Do you know why that was dropped? Because you threw it with touch.' There's nobody that wants to succeed any more than Michael Bishop right now.

"He is trying to do everything that we've asked of him. You saw when he's in tune, he's pretty good. And when he's in tune like that, we're a pretty good football team."

Bishop also showed excellent decision-making skills against the Als and improved his record as Winnipeg's starter to 6-6.

"I know how important it is for us to get to the next level, to keep things going, to stay hot going into the playoffs," Bishop said. "So whenever the opportunity was there for me to throw it out of bounds, I took advantage of that instead of trying to make a big play down the field."

LATE HITS: Receivers Adarius Bowman (head, knee) and Brock Ralph (hamstring), safety Nick Kordic (hamstring) and long snapper Chris Cvetkovic (thumb) got banged up on Saturday. Kordic's injury appears to be the only one that could keep him out of the lineup on Sunday ... The Bombers figure middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn (hamstring) will be ready for the regular-season finale against Hamilton ... The team will return to the practice field tomorrow.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

WHAT'S LEFT

- Winnipeg (7-9, T2 in East) -- at Montreal, vs. Hamilton

- Hamilton (7-9, T2 in East) -- vs. Saskatchewan, at Wpg.

- B.C. (8-8, third in West) -- vs. Calgary, vs. Edmonton

- Edmonton (7-9, fourth in West) -- vs. Toronto, at B.C.


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