The Montreal Alouettes play host to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Canada Day. The Alouettes are 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2011.
Montreal Alouettes (2-0): The Montreal Alouettes are off to a great start after wins against Ottawa and Hamilton. Montreal’s new quarterback, Cody Fajardo, has looked good playing his first season in Montreal and thus far he is the leader in QBR. Montreal’s defense has been excellent as well in its first 2 games demonstrating great pass coverage and run-stopping. Montreal has allowed 12 points scored against them in each game so far.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-1): The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were held to just 6 points last week against the BC Lions. In the first 2 weeks, the Bombers averaged 43 points scored per game. The Bombers were dominated at the line of scrimmage by BC. Unfortunately for Montreal, this means Winnipeg has been fully reawoken ahead of the game coming to Montreal and will be very fired up to play their best football on Canada Day.
Date/Location: Saturday, July 1 / Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, Montreal, QC
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT
Channel: TSN (Canada), CBS Sports (USA), CFL+(International)
Spread: Montreal +5.5 (-110), Winnipeg -5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Montreal +175, Winnipeg -210
Over/Under: 48.5 (Over -105, Under -115)
Montreal Alouettes vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers
This game is a big test for Montreal. Montreal’s defense has played very well but it has not yet faced a team’s true QB1 this season with Jeremiah Masoli being injured for Ottawa and Bo Levi Mitchell missing the game for Hamilton. Playing against Winnipeg, Montreal has an opportunity to show that their defensive play is truly performing at a high level as they face the back-to-back Most Outstanding Player in Winnipeg’s quarterback, Zach Collaros.
Montreal’s offense was hot last week as they scored 38 points over Hamilton. 5 Alouette players were named to the Pro Football Focus team of the week in week 3 including quarterback Cody Fajardo, receivers Kaion-Julien Grant and Austin Mack, left tackle Nick Callender, and left guard Pierre-Olivier Lestage.
Montreal Players to Watch:
#31 William Stanback, RB
The 2021 CFL All-Star had 9 carries for 69 yards and added 37 receiving yards on 3 catches. He seems to be ramping back up to his 2021 level of production.
#81 Austin Mack, WR
Mack has been a very impressive rookie through 2 games. He is 8th in the league in receiving yards despite playing only 2 games while everyone ahead of him has played in 3. Last week he had another touchdown in which he broke a tackle before running the remaining 40 yards for a touchdown.
#11 Kaion Julien-Grant, WR
Last week Julien-Grant was the most targetted receiver for Montreal as he caught 6 of his 8 targets for 94 yards. His performance had him named to the Pro Football Focus Honor Roll with the highest grade among receivers in week 3.
#17 Cole Spieker, WR
He’s due for a breakout game. Last week he had 2 catches on 3 targets for 36 yards. Winnipeg is capable of putting up serious points. If this turns into a high-scoring game, Montreal is going to need a big game from Spieker.
#94 Mustafa Johnson, DT
Johnson had a big game against Hamilton as he had both of Montreal’s sacks, hurried the quarterback 4 times, and generated 7 total pressures.
#12 Najee Murray, DB
Was named to the week 1 Pro Football Focus Team of the Week in week 2. In week 3 he was tied for first in tackles for Montreal with 6. He played the first 2 games at linebacker and this week will be playing at defensive back due to the injury to Ciante Evans.
#37 Wesley Sutton, DB
Sutton was targetted 5 times in coverage and allowed just 2 receptions in week 2. Montreal will need another big performance out of him against Winnipeg’s volatile offense.
#26 Tyrice Beverette, LB
Beverette is tied for 1st in tackles for Montreal. Montreal’s linebacking group is without Najee Murray who is filling in at defensive back and Avery Williams who is out with an injury.
Montreal Alouettes Injury Report/Game Status:
Montreal on defense will be without DB Ciante Evans due to a leg injury and LB Avery Williams due to an arm injury on defense. Williams was listed as questionable on the injury report Thursday but is not listed on the depth chart that was released Friday. Bryce Notree will fill in at middle linebacker after being on the 1-game injured list last week. J.R. Reed will start at outside linebacker who played the position in the last 2 games as a second-stringer. Kordell Rodgers out of Texas State is elevated from the practice squad for this game and is listed as a second-string cornerback for his first career CFL game.
On offense at receiver, Keshunn Abram is ruled out. Jake Harty is starting at receiver instead of being listed as a 2nd stringer as he was last week. Montreal is playing with 7 receivers in the lineup instead of the 8 it had last week.
At left guard, Pier-Olivier Lestage is going to miss this game with a back injury. Philippe Gagnon will start in his place who was the second stringer last week. Patrick Davis will be the second-string left guard who was on the 1-game-injured list last week.
Walter Fletcher is getting his first action of the season at runningback as the third-stringer after benign on the 1-game injured list the first 2 games. He filled in very well for Montreal last season during the injury to William Stanback.
Both offenses for the most part have been very dangerous this year. I predict a high-scoring back-and-forth game with impressive defensive plays by both teams scattered throughout. I don’t think I can remember the last time Winnipeg lost 2 meaningful games in a row and expect them to be playing their best football following the embarrassing loss to BC. I predict Winnipeg to win 31 to 29.
Mike Mitchell’s: Week 4 Power Rankings
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