The Montreal Alouettes are coming off a tough 20-23 loss to the Toronto Argonauts that saw their game-tying field goal attempt get blocked. They travel to Calgary to take on the Stampeders on Saturday who are coming off of a bye week.
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Montreal Alouettes (6-7): The Montreal Alouettes are 0-7 against the top 3 teams in the CFL which included Toronto, BC, and Winnipeg. Against everyone else, the Alouettes are 6-0. The Alouettes are on a 4 game losing streak with losses to BC, Winnipeg, and most recently 2 losses to Toronto.
Calgary Stampeders (4-9): Prior to their bye week the Stampeders traded a couple of close games with the Edmonton Elks winning in week 13 by a score of 35-31 and then losing in week 14 by a score of 23-25. The last time the Stampeders were 4-9 was 2003. The Stampeders are at risk of missing the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons as they sit 2 games behind Saskatchewan for that third spot in the West.
Date/Location: Saturday, September 23 /McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB
Kickoff Time: 4:00 PM ET, 1 PM PT
Channel: TSN (Canada), CFL+ (USA, International)
Spread: Montreal -1.5 (+100), Calgary +1.5 (-120)
Moneyline: Montreal -110, Calgary -110
Over/Under: 47.5 (Over -115, Under -105)
Alouettes Keys to the Game
Allow Fewer Sacks
The Alouettes have allowed 50 sacks over 13 games which is the most in the CFL Montreal should perhaps mix in more offensive schemes in which there is a fullback utilized and a runningback for additional pass protection. They can still be used as pass options and given routes but this would give more options for pass blocking in the playbook.
For the Love of All that is Holy Run the Football
I have been writing about this all year long Montreal needs a more balanced offense with more run plays mixed in to be sustainable. Calgary has allowed the 2nd most rushing yards per game this season while allowing the 2nd most rushing yards in the league. This would be a good game to get the run game going again
When Montreal is running the football their offensive line is playing better. When Montreal abandons the run their O-line is often plying on their heels.
Quick Progressions From Fajardo
Fajardo completed 30 of his 39 passes for 339 yards last week and did a pretty good job spreading the ball around. All of the starting receivers were targeted at least 4 times last week.
Quality Run Stopping
Jake Maier has been very good as of late but earlier in the season there were games in which too much was being asked of him and interceptions followed. If Montreal can make Calgary go away from their run game and ask too much of Jake Maier it could backfire to a degree for them.
5 Alouettes to Watch
WR Tyson Philpot
Philpot is coming off his biggest game of the season after catching 0 of his 11 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown last week.
RB William Stanback
Stanback is back in the lineup after missing time due to injury. With Calgary allowing the 2nd most rushing yards in the CFL so far this season, this could be a good game for him to get loose.
DT Mustafa Johnson
Johnson had the highest PFF Pass Rush Grade on the team last week and was 9th in the league as he had 2 QB hurries.
LB Darnell Sankey
By my notes, Sankey had 2 run stops, a B hit, and helped with another run stop in his first game as an Alouette last week. He was second on the team in tackles with 5.
LB Tyrice Beverette
Beverette had another big game last week and was graded the highest PFF Run Defence Grade among linebackers as they credited him with 2 run stops on 14 snaps. He also by my count hurried the quarterback 3 times and had a stop against the pass last week as well as a sack.
5 Stampeders to Watch
QB Jake Maier
Maier recently joined the 15 previous Stampeders quarterbacks with 3,000+ yards in a season as he has 3,310 yards. He is on pace to reach 4,583. Maier has completed 6 touchdown passes and only 1 interception in the last 3 games. He struggled to keep his touchdowns ahead of his interceptions early in the season.
WR Reggie Begelton
Begelton needs 91 yards to reach the 1,000 mark which will be the 2nd time in his career.
LB Micah Awe
Leads the league in tackles with 91. Also has a sack, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble.
LB Titus Wall
At cover linebacker Titus Wall provides good coverage and is a hard hitter who can stop on the run. Wall has 55 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.
K Rene Paredes
He is 8 for 8 in his last 3 games and is 2nd all-time in accuracy at 87.7%.
Injuries, Depth Chart Changes From Last Week:
The personnel group is the same as last week except for 1 change. William Stanback is back starting at running back and Walter Fletcher is on the 1 game injured list.
I predict Montreal to win by a score of 30-29 in overtime.
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