Someone will stop their bleeding Saturday at Canad Inns Stadium.
Barring a rare overtime tie, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will snap a two-game skid or the Edmonton Eskimos will win their first CFL game in four tries in a football cage match that starts at 5:30 p.m.
Winnipeg (1-2) is coming off a 28-7 loss to the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton while the Eskimos (0-3) dropped a 24-20 decision to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina last week.
“We know what’s at hand,” Bomber defensive back Brandon Stewart said Friday. “We know this is a big one for us … We never want to step on the field and lose, especially at home. This is our house.
“We want to come out and show our fans what we can do. We want to show them that they can believe in what they see and what they get.”
Richie Hall also talked about believing.
“Desperation after three weeks?” Edmonton’s head coach asked. “You’re fooling yourself because every team is going to go through a period of time where they are going to struggle, lose two out of three or three out of five, or something like that.
“But if you believe in your football team and if you believe in what you’re doing, then you have to be able to persevere through those adverse times and our adverse times happen to be right now. And, if you struggle early, it’s going to make you stronger at the end.”
The Bombers can improve to 2-2 and renew that early-season promise or fall to 1-3 with a third straight loss, and hope to become stronger by surviving their adverse times.
“Look across the league, there’s lots of teams with two losses,” Stewart said. “Nobody likes to lose. Nobody likes to be 1-2 but we’re going to do everything in our power to go out there and try to get this win … Any time the lights go on, you want to win the game, period. That’s it. That’s why we’re here.”
At least Winnipeg has a win.
“They’re hungry for another victory and we’re trying to get something that they have and what we don’t have, and that’s a victory,” Hall said. “We want to get the thing rolling. We’re in the process of trying to pack that snowball before we can start rolling. If we can do the things that we’re capable of doing, and not being our own worst enemy, we’ll have a great chance at being successful at the end.”
Steven Jyles, who began the season as the backup, will start at quarterback for the Bombers, who can only hope their season doesn’t snowball the other way.
“I’ve played against some teams that were 0-3, 0-6, 0 and whatever,” said Jyles, who replaces the injured Buck Pierce (knee). “They still come to play football. You have to come to the game and try to dominate.
“I think we’ll get off to a great start. We just have to move the ball. You want to put up some touchdowns, but the most important thing is possessing the football, getting into the score zone and getting points when you can.”
It may be his first start as a Bomber, but Jyles didn’t appear to have the shakes on the eve of battle.
“I feel pretty good about myself right now,” said Jyles, 27. “I’m confident and I’m just ready to go out and play football. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to get out here and play. I don’t want to get worked up too early but I can’t wait until kickoff.”
Winnipeg is 1-1 at home and determined to establish home turf as a place where opponents fear to tread.
“We just want to get into the mentality that, when you come into our house, it’s going to be a fight, a dogfight,” said linebacker Joe Lobendahn.