Bombers' Matthews continues to impressLeads CFL in recieving yards through three games
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
|Bombers WR Chris Matthews jumps to make a spectacular catch during Friday's game against the Eskimos. Through three games, Matthews leads the CFL in receiving with 320 yards.
WINNIPEG - Chris Matthews has shown no signs of slowing down and is establishing himself as a potent weapon in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offence.
The rookie wideout had another impressive showing in Friday’s 42-10 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos, catching seven passes for 171 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown strike from Joey Elliott early in the fourth quarter.
Matthews also made a highlight-reel catch in the first quarter, leaping into the air and pulling down a 40-yard completion from Buck Pierce.
Through three games, Matthews leads the CFL with 350 yards on 20 catches.
“I just made a play. That’s what I’m here for,” said Matthews, who also has a pair of touchdowns. “They pay me to make these plays. That’s what I’ve got to do. It’s nothing really special to me. That’s just how I feel right now.”
Defensive tackle Bryant Turner had another strong game, finishing with three tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
Turner has recorded all five of the Blue Bombers sacks this season, which was of little consolation to him.
“I don’t know. Of course, it’s exciting I guess,” said Turner, who was quick to sing the praises of his fellow D-linemen. “But 0-3 is way worse. It’s like you can’t celebrate. It’s just a sack, we still got a loss. It’s nothing to be excited about.
“Honestly, the sacks I have is because of the other guys. We have a lot of great guys on the line. We’re rushing the passer and the pressure is spread evenly. Right now, I might be on top of our team, but that could change any given day with the people we have up front.”
During the first two weeks, returner Demond Washington was a huge spark plug for the Blue Bombers on special teams.
But on Friday, his fumble early in the first quarter allowed the Eskimos to get a 29-yard fumble recovery by former Blue Bomber Clint Kent after Lee Robinson knocked the ball loose just before Washington’s knee touched the ground.
“I was going down and he just hit it from the back,” said Washington. “I should have secured the ball with both hands and I didn’t. He made a great play.”
Washington finished six punt returns for 60 yards and added six kickoff returns for 127 yards.
Blue Bombers tackle Glenn January didn’t go into detail, citing the need to review the video evidence, but offered this explanation about his ejection for rough play after a melee that included Eskimos defensive linemen Marcus Howard and Julius Williams.
“It was a matter of them trying to take liberties with a young guy (guard Chris Greaves) out there,” said January. “Stuff happens in games like this and you have to move on. We just need to make sure that we control our emotions out there.”
Although LaPolice figured that punter Mike Renaud would be okay after suffering an injury to his left ankle in the first half on Friday, further evaluation is going to be required.
Renaud gutted it out and made it through the game but was seen limping noticeably at the airport on Saturday.
If a punter is required, it will be interesting to see if the Blue Bombers bring back import Eric Wilbur or try to find a Canadian alternative.