Mission Impossible for Bombers?

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:36 PM ET

MONTREAL — The Alouettes are tied atop the CFL East with a 5-2 record and boast the league’s top-rated passer.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are alone in last place in the East at 2-5 and will start their backup quarterback.

The Alouettes are the reigning Grey Cup champions and have won 12 straight games at home.

The Bombers, who failed to make the playoffs last season, are 0-3 on the road.

So, the Bombers will take on what looks to be Mission Impossible when they face the Als at the expanded Percival Molson Stadium on Thursday night (6:30 p.m.).

“It’s a difficult challenge, obviously,” veteran Bomber defensive tackle Doug Brown conceded Wednesday. “The fact that they’re in the top spot in the Eastern Division and they’ve got a long streak going on in here, but all streaks are broken at some point.

“I don’t feel any different going in here than I do in any other game for the fact that we know we have an opportunity and we have a chance. If we play well, we should be in the thick of it … Every game I’ve gone into, no matter how many I go into, you’re always optimistic because you always understand the CFL. It just takes an inclusion of the right number of factors for things to go your way.”

While most observers won’t give the Bombers a chance, the players are certainly going into the game with the right attitude.

“Man, if we paid attention to what everybody said, we probably wouldn’t even step foot on the field,” said defensive end Phillip Hunt. “But we have the mindset that we’re going to go out and play the game hard, and we’re going to play to win.”

Rookie Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice actually relishes the mission.

“I told our players all week that I’ll be excited to see what they can do on Thursday night,” he said. “It’s a challenge … We’ve lost three in a row and we definitely want to get back on a winning track … It would speak a lot to our team if we could come in here and steal a win against this team because this is one of the most stable teams in the CFL.”

The Bombers are actually the last squad to beat the Als at home back in Oct. 26, 2008.

“So we have had some success here,” said Brown. “But they’re a formidable team. Unfortunately, it’s been a similar situation the last few years. We come out here and we’re just struggling in the basement in the East and they’re the perennial powerhouse atop the Eastern Division.”

Bomber slotback Terrence Edwards was also a member of that squad.

“That was a good accomplishment,” he said. “They’re a tough team to beat at home and we were the last team to do it. Hopefully, we can do it again. But it’s going to be extremely tough to beat them.”

The Als will also be looking to rebound from a loss to the Argos in Toronto last week.

“We understand it’s a divisional opponent and, with professional athletes, it gives them a little bit more focus,” said Montreal head coach Marc Trestman. “We don’t feel we need to have bumps in the road to be hungry and give us an edge but it naturally does, and it will for both teams … I hope we come out with a sense of urgency (Thursday) night.”

The Als are favoured to win by 11.5 points.

“Sometimes, it’s good to be the underdog because then, there’s no expectations,” said Winnipeg cornerback LaVar Glover.

“We know we’re 2-5 and we definitely want to win,” said Bomber quarterback Steven Jyles. “We know anybody can win on any given day so, it would be huge coming in to get a win here and go home with a great bye week.”


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