Bombers no road warriors

Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Buck Pierce during football practice at Canad Inns Stadium. (JASON...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Buck Pierce during football practice at Canad Inns Stadium. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:26 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos have five more passing yards than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this season.

That’s it.

That is the only major statistical department in which the Eskimos have the edge on the Bombers in 2011. Ricky Ray and his fellow passers have five more yards than the Winnipeg pivots.

Other than that, it’s a Bomber sweep.

Therefore, there is no reason why the Blue and Gold shouldn’t move one step closer to clinching a home playoff game on Saturday night when they take on the Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium.

Well, there is one thing, and it’s kind of big: The Bombers don’t win at Commonwealth Stadium. Well, not unless they have Milt Stegall and Kevin Glenn and there’s no time left on the clock and they have 100 yards to go.

Winnipeg is 1-8-1 in Edmonton since 2001, or 1-9-1 if you include the playoffs. Their only win in the last decade was when Stegall scored a 100-yard touchdown on the game’s final play in 2006.

Other than that, the Bombers have lost in a variety of ways in the Alberta capital. They’ve lost on last-second field goals, they’ve lost because of red-hot quarterbacks, and they’ve lost because of their own ineptitude.

This time around there are no excuses.

The Bombers are coming off their best performance of the season in a 33-17 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. They are also 5-2 on the road, which puts them on track to have their best mark away from Canad Inns Stadium since 2001. There’s that year again.

Beating the Ticats last week — for the third time in a row, no less — was a major statement. The Bombers can really back it up with a triumph over the Eskimos, who have three wins in their last nine games, or they can head into next weekend’s massive match with Montreal with more question marks.

Look for streak

Head coach Paul LaPolice often says the good teams string wins together. The Bombers haven’t had back-to-back victories since winning five in a row in July and August.

The bottom line is Winnipeg is bound to host a playoff game unless it loses all of its remaining games and Hamilton wins all of its contests. That is unlikely to occur.

Winnipeg is going to love the outcome of one other game this weekend no matter what happens, as Hamilton travels to Montreal on Sunday afternoon.

If Winnipeg wins and Hamilton loses, the Bombers will finish no worse than second in the East.

If Winnipeg wins and Montreal loses, the Bombers would be able to clinch first place in the East next weekend when they take on the Alouettes.

That would give them one shot to make a trip to Vancouver.

So it’s right there for the taking.

All they need to do is win at Commonwealth.

And in a season full of unexpected happenings for the Bombers, there is no reason why they shouldn’t add another to the list.


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