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Montreal Alouettes Continue to Neglect the Run Game: 8 Thoughts Following the 19-35 Loss to BC

8 Thoughts following the Montreal Alouettes‘ 19-35 loss on the road against the BC Lions.

Other Articles Ahead of Week 6:

QB Rankings, Stars of the Week

RB Rankings, Stars of the Week

WR Rankings, Stars of the Week

Fantasy Football Sleepers, Picks

Thoughts Following BC’s Win

Montreal was robbed of a defensive touchdown

At roughly 1 minute into the game, Marc-Antoine Dequoy jumped in front of the receiver on a pass that was thrown behind the receiver rather than ahead. Dequoy ran the ball back 45 yards to the house for a touchdown that was nullified by a penalty. Dequoy was called for illegal contact as he slowed the receiver ever so slightly. The TSN broadcast crew described the contact as minimal and seemed to think it was not a good call. Montreal was frankly robbed of a defensive touchdown here. BC went on to score a touchdown on that drive. You cannot pin the outcome of a game on 1 play but to have a touchdown taken away completely changed the landscape of the game early on.

Way Too Many Sacks

Montreal had allowed 18 sacks in just 3 games ahead of this game. Against BC Montreal allowed 7 sacks. Montreal has now allowed 25 sacks in 4 games so this is a genuine cause for concern. BC and Winnipeg are both great pass-rushing teams that Montreal has played against recently but these numbers have to be limited for Montreal moving forward.

Cody Fajardo Did a Better Job Spreading the Ball Around

Last week out of the 22 passes to receivers there were only 5 thrown to receivers who were not Austin Mack or Kaion Julien-Grant. Austin Mack and Kaion Julien-Grant continued to be fantastic this week as well. Mack had 8 catches on 10 targets for 72 yards and KJG had 5 catches on 9 targets for 49 yards.

Tyler Snead and Quartney Davis Looked Great in their CFL Debut

Montreal brought in 2 of their rookie receivers this game in Quartney Davis and Tyler Snead for their first CFL games. Quartney Davis had 2 receptions on 6 targets for 50 yards and Tyler Snead had 4 catches on 5 targets for 61 yards. Hergy Mayala also caught his lone reception for 15 yards. It is positive to see more targets to other receivers as predictable tendencies can be exploited by defenses.

Quartney Davis looked good and one of his catches was essentially a 50/50 ball in which he went up and battled to earn the catch over a defender. It was very similar to what he would do often in college when playing for Texas A&M and also had some similar catches in the preseason.

Tyler Snead showed off his blazing speed as 37 of his 61 receiving yards were YAC. Snead also returned 2 kickoff returns with his best being an 18-yarder. He had 2 kickoff return touchdowns in college playing for East Carolina.

Montreal Continues to Neglect the Run Game

Last week Montreal ran the ball only 10 times compared to 27 pass plays. This week they only handed the ball off to William Stanback 6 times compared to 39 passing plays. They did have one other run play dishing it off to Kaion Julien-Grant who picked up 17 yards.

This has really been a predictable tendency and right now defenses don’t really need to scheme against the run. They can have their defensive line just focus on pass rushing and not concern themselves with needing to watch for a fake handoff to the running back as much.

Stanback only had 17 yards on the 6 carries for 2.8 yards per carry. Regardless the Montreal offense has been highly predictable with this low ratio of run plays.

Montreal has only handed the ball to its running backs more than 10 times in a game once so far this season which happened in week 1.

Montreal Needs to Be Better in the Red Zone

Last week in the third quarter against Winnipeg Fajardo made a bad read and threw a costly interception when Montreal was at Winnipeg’s 14-yard line. The interception had a big return and led to a Winnipeg touchdown.

This week just under 2 minutes left in the game down by 2 scores, Montreal had the ball at BC’s 8-yard line after a 44-yard gain by Tyler Snead. Fajardo threw 2 incompletions setting up for third and goal. Montreal has to get it into the endzone but Fajardo checks it down to William Stanback who has a guy right on him and is in an area nowhere close to the endzone. The play ended up being a 1-yard loss. As soon as the ball was in the air it seemed there was no way the play could result in a touchdown.

Quartney Davis who has been so good at touchdown receptions in his career appeared to be breaking open beyond Stanback and Fajardo had great protection on the play providing time to make a better read. The fact that Fajardo was sacked 7 times could have been a possible factor for him not wanting to hold on to the ball any longer.

Dionte Ruffin’s Forced Fumble was Clutch

With just over 3 minutes left in the game, Shaun Shivers was about to score a 69-yard touchdown for BC and put the game away. Ruffin punched the ball out beautifully right at the 1-yard line keeping the game alive as Dequoy recovered the football for Montreal. The play felt like a movie scene as the game surely felt like it was about to end but was saved for Montreal by Ruffin’s heroics.

The Game Was Closer than the Score Indicates

Montreal had a defensive touchdown taken away. The BC Lions had a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. If the field goal isn’t blocked and the touchdown isn’t flagged then that’s a 17-point swing. Montreal had 91 rushing yards compared to BC’s 94 in large part due to Fajardo picking up 57 rushing yards. Montreal had 280 pass yards compared to BC’s 283.

A lot of CFL fans are writing off Montreal after dropping back down to .500 with the losses to BC and Winnipeg, but Montreal has actually shown that they can compete with anyone. I still believe Montreal can be one of the more dangerous teams in the CFL if they are able to fine-tune a couple of facets of their game and play-calling tendencies.

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.


  1. Ron Brown

    July 12, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    We can’t win with an offensive line that has allowed 25 QB sacks in 4 games. The coaching staff are overlooking a very basic requirement of a winning football team.

    The worst O line in twenty years means the Alouette season is already over!

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