CALGARY - Following a 38-11 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have just a slight a glimmer of hope to qualify for the CFL post-season.
In order to make the playoffs, the Bombers (2-12) must win all four of their remaining games, while hoping that the Montreal Alouettes (6-8) lose all of theirs.
The Bombers can keep their slim hopes alive with a win over the Alouettes in Montreal on Oct. 14.
"We've got to stay positive and we've got to get up for this next game," said quarterback Max Hall, who completed 15-of-34 passes for 147 yards, no touchdowns and one interception against Calgary. "We can beat that team."
In Week 2 of the season, the Bombers scored 11 points in the final quarter in Montreal to beat the Alouettes 19-11 for their lone road victory of the season.
"Let's go do it again," Hall said.
According to veteran offensive lineman Glenn January, the Bombers have no choice but to bounce back with a better effort against the Als.
"At this point, this song and dance is getting pretty old," January said. "If we don't start playing better, they're going to find other people to do it."
Winnipeg coach Tim Burke said the Bombers will definitely have their hands full against Montreal on Thanksgiving Day.
"That'll be a tough contest," Burke said. "They've got a great defence. They're playing really well and their offence is starting to pick up now. I think they're getting a dose of confidence and they're just playing better."
One bright spot for the Bombers against the Stamps was the play of running back Will Ford, who broke off a 70-yard run in the first quarter to give the Bombers a first-and-goal situation on the Stamps' eight-yard line.
"I thought Will did a great job," Burke said. "Obviously he ran the ball well. I thought he was reading his holes well and then he's got the speed to really take it a long ways."
After Hall threw a pair of incompletions, the Bombers had to settle for a 15-yard field goal by former Stampeder Sandro DeAngelis.
"We've got to convert those," Hall said. "It's just little things. The first ball I threw, I've got to get that a little more up in the air so we can get up there and make a play. The second one, we can't get jammed on the line. You've got to start making those plays."
Ford, who finished with 156 rushing on 11 carries and 148 more yards on four kickoff returns, was disappointed he ran out of gas before Calgary's Derrius Brooks tackled him short of the goal line.
"I was kind of down on myself for not finishing that run," Ford said. "At the end of the day, we've got to score. I've got to finish that run and just put the team in a better position."
Late in the third quarter, Ford returned a kickoff 100 yards into the Calgary end zone for Winnipeg's lone touchdown.
"We (were) down and we needed a spark," Ford said. "Whatever it takes, whether it be making a tackle or whether it be me running the kickoff return or making the block or whatever it is, I'm here to help this team win at the end of the day."
Ford would like nothing better than to build upon his strong showing against the Stamps when the Bombers line up against the Alouettes next week.
"It's one game at a time," he said. "This game is over with. We lost, but we've got to battle back next week."