WINNIPEG - The math is simple for the Bombers.
If they’re going to make the playoffs, they have to win their remaining two games and hope the Edmonton Eskimos lose their last two.
That’s it. That’s all. Nothing else matters.
Because of Hamilton’s 34-32 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday night, the Bombers no longer have a shot to finish second in the East Division. All that’s left to chase is third place in the East, and that pursuit continues this weekend.
The Bombers (5-11) visit Hamilton on Saturday afternoon, while the Eskimos (7-9) travel to Montreal to take on the Alouettes on Sunday.
The good news for the Bombers is they have beaten the Tiger-Cats six times in a row, including the playoffs, dating back to the start of the 2011 season. Also of note for the Blue and Gold is the Eskimos have lost four straight in Montreal by a combined score of 148-38.
The bad news for Winnipeg is it hasn’t won two games in a row since August 2011, and Montreal has already secured first place in the East Division, so the Als might not be as motivated as they could be against the Esks.
If all goes well this weekend for Winnipeg, then it will come down to the final games for the Bombers. They will host the Alouettes on Nov. 3, but they will know if they’re still alive because the Eskimos entertain the Calgary Stampeders on Nov. 2.
The Stamps have already locked up second place in the West Division, so they’ll have nothing to play for, but they would probably like to stick it to their provincial rivals if they have the chance.
The Alouettes, of course, might not play quarterback Anthony Calvillo in the season finale, but he’ll probably see some action considering Montreal has the bye during semifinal Sunday and might not want him to sit for two weeks.
Hamilton is in the same situation as Winnipeg, needing two victories and two Edmonton losses to make the post-season.
Canadian rookie safety Dan West had to go into Friday’s game when Ian Logan got hurt in the second half, and although he didn’t record any stats he had a big hit on Andre Durie in the end zone that broke up a pass and forced the Argos to kick a field goal.
“I’ve got to give Dan West credit,” head coach Tim Burke said. “He did a great job, especially at free safety. He hasn’t played a lot on defence but he did a good job. He had a nice hit down in the end zone.
“That’s the kind of stuff I saw from him in college and thought ‘This guy could be a really good player.’ We saw that (Friday).”
— With files from Ken Wiebe