Time for Bombers to step up

Bombers ninja quarterback Buck Pierce says it's important his team stays on pace and doesn't hurt...

Bombers ninja quarterback Buck Pierce says it's important his team stays on pace and doesn't hurt itself or put the defence in bad situations.

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:45 PM ET

WINNIPEG - There are so many reasons the Winnipeg Blue Bombers should beat the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night.

For starters, the Bombers are (usually) good and the Argos are bad. This is 10-6 versus 4-12. It should be over by halftime, but you know it won’t be.

Secondly, it’s the final regular-season game at Winnipeg/Canad Inns Stadium. The place is 58 years old. There’s no way a team should be allowed to lose its final regular-season game in a place they’ve called home for that long.

(Plus, if they lose and a fan slams his foot in disgust, the stadium might collapse.)

Thirdly, the Bombers need this game badly. Their magic number to clinch first place in the East Division is two. If they win, they still control their situation. If they lose, the Montreal Alouettes, who are also 10-6, would gain control of the East and the Bombers would need Calgary or B.C. — or both — to beat the Als.

Fourthly, it’s time this team step up and show that it can play a complete game. The defence has carried the team this far, and now the offence needs to get it going to prove it is, in fact, part of a first-place team.

“It’s important,” said quarterback Buck Pierce, whose quarterback rating is the worst of the league’s eight primary starters. “It’s important that we just stay on pace and don’t hurt ourselves or put our defence in bad situations. We need to score more points when we have opportunities.”

Head coach Paul LaPolice sorta kinda said his offence needs to step it up a notch. He didn’t come right out and say it, but he hinted at it when asked what one thing his team needs to improve upon going into the playoffs.

“We’ve done it sometimes, but I’d love us to jump out 21-0 on somebody,” LaPolice said. “That would be great, to be able to do that, to start fast. We did that a couple weeks ago in Montreal.”

Yes, they did, and it resulted in a rather complete game and a 25-23 over the Alouettes in their own park. Then they followed it up with a 25-24 loss to these same Argos a week later, although, to be fair, they did lose seven players to injury.

Winnipeg hasn’t won two in a row since its five-game streak in July and August. By our count, they’ve put together three games that would be considered complete efforts since the middle of August.

This team has been so up and down, showing maddening inconsistency for the fans, that it would not be shocking one bit if they fell flat on their faces against the Boatmen.

This is the chance for the young team to prove it knows how to not only stand, but stand tall. The only way to do that is to lay a beating on the Argos, who are playing for pride and to be a spoiler.

The Bombers still need to prove they’re contenders.

“This is another crucial step, this game against the Argos,” LaPolice said. “This will be a crucial game for us if we want to continue to establish ourselves.

“Good teams string wins together. That’s what we’re trying to do.”


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