Crucial home and home for Blue

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had better learn that finishing touch they’ve been missing in a hurry if they want to have any chance to making the playoffs this season.

The Bombers dropped a 44-40 decision to the reigning Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes last Friday, marking the sixth time they have lost a game by seven points or less this year.

“It’s just maddening right now that we don’t know how to take that next step,” veteran Winnipeg defensive tackle Doug Brown said after the match.

“That’s been a lesson for us all season and we haven’t figured it out as of yet. It just gets more and more deflating. We come so close and we play some of the best teams in the CFL down to the wire. It makes it that much more disheartening when you can’t pull it out in the end.”

No matter how they lost those games, the bottom line is that the Bombers are tied with Edmonton for last overall in the CFL with 3-9 records, and six games remaining. B.C. improved to 4-8 with a victory over Calgary and Winnipeg needs to finish ahead of the Lions, or at least the third-place team in the West, to earn the crossover playoff spot.

“This is the way we should’ve been playing all year,” Bomber slotback Terrence Edwards said after the loss to Montreal. “We have the players in here to do it. If we’d have been playing like that all year we wouldn’t even be talking about the crossover. Even though we lost, that’s one of the best games — without watching the film — that we have played offensively, defensively …

“They won. Congratulations to them. We lost. We’ve gotta continue to dig out of this hole.”

They will have a great opportunity to start doing that when they take on the Lions in back-to-back games, starting in Vancouver this Saturday.

“I told the players I was proud of their effort,” said Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice. “I told them that, if they play like they did (Friday), we will make the playoffs in some way, shape or form. Then, we’ll see.”

The Lions will come to Winnipeg on Thanksgiving Monday.

“We’ve got to get as many points as we can,” LaPolice underscored. “When you play a team twice, you can control their livelihood and yours for a couple of points. Our first priority is to get a win on the road and that’s where it has to start this week in B.C.”

The Bombers are 0-6 away from home this year.

“We’ve just got to continue to play hard and, if we continue to play the way we played (Friday), we may not lose another game,” said Winnipeg linebacker Clint Kent.

In the unlikelihood that they win all six, Winnipeg could even qualify for a post-season berth in the CFL East.

HEFNEY BACK: DB Jonathan Hefney, who was recently cut by the NFL’s Detroit Lions, is expected to be at the Bomber practice Tuesday.

— With files from Kirk Penton

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos