FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
MATT’S CALF: Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols has been battling a calf injury since he was forced to leave a game on Oct. 28 against the B.C. Lions. He couldn’t play last week and has barely practised but he’ll give it a go Sunday. There’s a good chance he won’t be able to play the whole game so the Bombers have Dan LeFevour at the ready, but the Bombers need everything they can get from Nichols. CONTAINING THE GUNSLINGER: Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly is the favourite to be the league’s most outstanding player after he threw for an average of 323.3 passing yards per game. He also tossed 30 touchdowns and is the best in the league at throwing deep balls to his stable of outstanding receivers. The biggest key for the Bombers defence will be to keep Reilly in the pocket and get in his face as often as possible. GABLE IS ABLE: The biggest difference between Saturday’s game and Edmonton’s two previous losses to Winnipeg this year is the addition of C.J. Gable to Edmonton’s backfield. The veteran running back has earned at least 100 yards from scrimmage in four of his past five games played. BEST VS. WORST: Winnipeg has Andrew Harris, the league’s leading rusher, who is taking on an Eskimos defence that is dead last in allowing 5.9 yards per carry. The Eskimos will counter with the league’s leading receiver, Brandon Zylstra, who is facing a Bombers defence that allows a league worst 321.6 passing yards per game. Add in the fact they’re the two top pointsproducing offences and this could be a high scoring affair. THE BALL HAWKS: While the Bombers defence allows a ton of yards, they also force a lot of turnovers. Winnipeg is plus-14 in the turnover ratio, second only to Calgary, while Edmonton is even. Cornerback Chris Randle intercepted Reilly twice this season, once for a win-sealing touchdown. If the Bombers can come up with some similar big play on defence, they might be able to counter some of Edmonton’s relentless attack.