Okay Blue Bombers football fans – did you really think your team had any chance of beating the Alouettes in Montreal on Thanksgiving Monday? The Blue & Gold were coming off a disastrous 29-10 loss to the Toronto Argonauts at Canad Inns Stadium. Starting quarterback Buck Pierce suffered a concussion and backup Joey Elliott struggled in relief throwing three interceptions. Throw in the fact that Winnipeg was winless on the road this season and you have the recipe for another loss.

The Blue Bombers were winless on the road until Thanksgiving Monday. Elliott completed 17-of-25 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns as the Bombers beat the East Division leading Alouettes 27-22. The game wasn’t in the bag until Winnipeg defensive back Brandon Stewart intercepted an Anthony Calvillo pass intended for receiver Brandon London with under a minute left in the fourth quarter and Montreal driving down the field looking for the winning touchdown.

“It felt like I was back in college again – back in the wide out days,” commented Stewart on his game-saving interception. “London had gotten me earlier in the game in the second quarter with the same play. He jogged off and lulled me to sleep a little bit on that one. I wasn’t really ready to play the ball. I knew again - especially in the crunch time - I got be on my point. I got to read my keys…play my technique proper and I just did it. I turned and everybody on the sideline was screaming ball. I had a lot of help. I had 40-50 guys on the sideline helping me out as well. I just went up and got it.”

Now the focus turns to Calgary and a Stampeders team that bounced the Blue Bombers 44-3 in week 12 at McMahon Stadium. Did the players think about that game when preparing for Saturday afternoon’s rematch at Canad Inns Stadium? “A little bit,” answered Elliott who will start against the Stamps as Pierce has not been cleared to play. “Everybody knows what happened. They were moving the ball really well offensively and had a great game plan. They were able to move us around a little bit, run the ball - a little play action. They got (Stamps quarterback) Kevin Glenn on the outside and got him some easy throws. That obviously put some pressure on our offence in the first half to try and put some points up and we started pressing too soon.”

Three times the Winnipeg football club had a chance to win back-to-back games this season and all three times they failed. The fourth try follows the team’s best performance of the season – a win in Montreal over an Alouettes team many think will be representing the East in the Grey Cup game next month in Toronto.

“When we play up to our ability level and if we’re focused and we play with emotion – I think that’s the kind of team you can expect,” said head coach Tim Burke. “It will be interesting this week because Joey has done really well against zone-teams and now he’s going to face a man-team. Now you have to be real accurate with the ball. You have to throw it away from the defender. You can’t just check it down because those guys are covered. It’s a little different way to play the game can so I think this will be a good challenge for Joey. We’ll see if he is getting better as a quarterback against man-teams as well.”

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have four games left in their 2012 regular season schedule. The Blue & Gold will play home games against Calgary and Montreal and away games in Hamilton and Toronto. Winnipeg (4-10) is two points back of the Tiger-Cats in the race for third place in the East and four points back of the Edmonton Eskimos who would get the cross-over if the season ended today.

The Bombers came to play on Monday. They found a way to put the football in the end zone and keep future Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo in check. Now they have to find a way to do the same against Stamps running back and future Most Outstanding Player Jon Cornish who by the way leads the CFL with almost 1,200 rushing yards. Another test – another must win.