Scorching start for Matthews

Bombers WR Chris Matthews is off to one of the hottest rookie starts in CFL history. Through two...

Bombers WR Chris Matthews is off to one of the hottest rookie starts in CFL history. Through two games, Matthews has 13 receptions for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. (QMI Agency/JASON HALSTEAD)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:03 PM ET

WINNIPEG - He is off to one of the hottest starts a CFL rookie receiver has ever had, and he is already making Bomber fans forget about the free agent defection of Greg Carr to the Edmonton Eskimos.

Chris Matthews hauled in eight passes for 131 yards and a touchdown during Friday night’s 41-30 loss to the host Montreal Alouettes. That came one week after he had five catches for 48 yards and a touchdown against the B.C. Lions in his first regular-season pro game.

The Sun examined hot starts by first-year CFL receivers two years ago when Terence Jeffers-Harris bolted out of the gates for the Bombers. It turns out Matthews is having a better start to his career than players like Arland Bruce III, Terrence Edwards and Geroy Simon, and depending on how he performs in his next two games could surpass the starts of other elite CFL pass catchers.

Of course, we’re not saying Matthews is the next coming of Milt Stegall. All you have to do is look at Jeffers-Harris, who is already out of the CFL despite his impressive debut two summers ago.

The future, however, looks bright for Matthews, who is only 22 years old. He’s shown the ability to get open in coverage, and he’s not afraid to make the tough catch. The fact he’s 6-foot-5 doesn’t hurt, either.

Matthews, whose only pro experience before arriving in Winnipeg was attending Cleveland Browns camp last summer, leads the Bombers with 13 receptions, 179 yards and two touchdowns through two games.

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NICE START

Notable recent and current receivers, and how they've performed in their first four CFL games.

Player               Year              Rec.        Yds     TDs

*Milt Stegall        1995             20           380        3

Terence Jeffers-Harris 2010   18           325        3

*Romby Bryant      2008         17           309        1

*Derrell Mitchell     1997         15           273        3

*Kelly Campbell     2008         14           269        2

*Jason Tucker       2002          14           267         0

Jamel Richardson 2003          17          233         1

Chris Matthews     2012          13         179          2**

Weston Dressler   2008           9           170         2

Arland Bruce III     2001           11         164          1

Derick Armstrong 2001           10         131          0

*Terrence Edwards ’05-06       11         115          0

Ben Cahoon         1998            6          112          0

Jeremaine Copeland 2001       7          109          0

Geroy Simon        1999           11          93           0

*Fred Stamps       2007            9           81           0

Kerry Watkins        2004           4            36           0

 

*came to CFL with pro experience

**after two games


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