Bombers: Math is for losers

Khan said the Bombers should have an advantage in the back half of a home-and-home series. (BRIAN...

Khan said the Bombers should have an advantage in the back half of a home-and-home series. (BRIAN DONOGH/Winnipeg Sun)

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:29 PM ET

The math is getting simpler.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers may not be mathematically eliminated from the CFL playoffs just yet but they are getting closer because they have yet to learn to add to their own side of the equation.

That playoff picture got even bleaker with Toronto’s win over Saskatchewan on Saturday.

If the B.C. Lions beat the Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium on Thanksgiving Monday (3:30 p.m.), they will officially eliminate Winnipeg from the post-season race in the East because both Toronto and Hamilton are 7-7 with four games left, and the Bombers need to finish ahead of one of them.

But the 3-10 Bombers will remain in the cross-over playoff hunt regardless of the outcome.

“The numbers keep getting smaller but the bottom line is, I don’t care about no math,” veteran Winnipeg centre Obby Khan said Sunday.

“I don’t care who wins, who loses. All I care about is us winning, and we have to win now. We have to. I don’t care about who wins. I don’t care if Toronto won (Saturday); we’ve got to win.

“If we don’t win, it’s all for naught.”

It is not only essentially a must-win game but a must-win month for the Bombers.

“I guarantee if we win these next five games, we’ll be in (the playoffs),” said backup safety Brady Browne. “So that’s how we’ve got to think. We’ve got to win every game every week until the end of the year and we’ll be in. And it starts (Monday) …

“This is it. Like, this … is … it. And we all know it. So we’re going to come out with a W, hopefully.”

B.C. defeated the Bombers 16-14 in Vancouver last week to improve to 5-8 and Winnipeg will likely have to catch the Leos for the last available post-season berth. The 4-10 Edmonton Eskimos are also in the picture.

“It’s always an advantage playing a team back-to-back, especially when you lose the first game,” Khan said. “We’ve got a grudge to settle with them. We’ve got a score to settle. We thought we played well last week, just not good enough.

“We’ve got to go out and prove that we could have won last week and we should have won last week.”

In a controversial move — some call it desperate — Alex Brink will make his CFL debut as a starting quarterback for Winnipeg.

“I want to win,” said Brink, who will replace Steven Jyles as the starter. “There’s nothing for me, personally, to prove. I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong. I’m out here competing with my teammates and we need to win. That’s what it’s all about …

“I’m just trying to get mentally prepared, trying to get myself ready to go. I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s going to be a fun day, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.”

Backup quarterback Travis Lulay led the Lions to victory over Winnipeg after replacing Casey Printers as the B.C. starter last week.

“Alex is going to bring a new dimension to the game,” Khan said. “He’s got a real good arm; he’s got a real quick release. He’s real confident and he’s a real smart player so, we’ll see if we can take advantage of some of the things B.C. does … We’re confident in him and we’re excited.”

Brink seemed self-assured.

“Yeah, I’ll sleep tonight,” he said Sunday. “It’s not my first start ever, you know. I’ve played football before. I’m going to approach it like any other game. I’m going to get my studying in, get to bed early and be ready to go.”

But the Lions know they can almost put the Bombers to bed with a Thanksgiving victory.

“It’s in our hands,” said B.C. linebacker Korey Banks. “If they do make the playoffs, they’re going to be a scary team. We need to keep them out of there, bottom line.

“If they make it, it’s going to be on our backs, so we can’t let it happen.”

— With files from Kirk Penton

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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