Takeaways from Montreal’s 27-14 win at Hamilton. The Montreal Alouettes shut out the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2nd half after trailing 3-11 at halftime.
CFL First Period All-Star Team (Weeks 1-7)
When Life Gives You Lemon, Ruin a Quarterback’s Day
Shawn Lemon had a fantastic day in what was his second game as an Alouette. In the 2nd offensive play for Hamilton, he got to Taylor Powell who was trying to escape to his right and he fumbled the ball. Lemon had 2 sacks on the night with his 2nd sack coming inside the last 6 minutes of the game. Lemon also had an interception on a pass that was batted away at the line by Lwal Uguak on a great knockdown.
Limited Run Support
2 Key Run Stops
James Butler was only held to under 5 yards on a carry 2 times not counting his 4-yard touchdown. Bryce Notree held him to 0 yards early in the third and Jamal Davis II held him to 1 yard late in the third. Hamilton gave up on the run in the 4th quarter after only handing Butler the ball 3 times in the third quarter putting all the pressure on Taylor Powell who was playing in just his 2nd CFL career start.
In the 4th quarter, Powell completed 4 of his 6 passes for just 27 yards. Powell completed 20 of his 31 passes for 202 yards with 2 interceptions in the game.
Hamilton was unwise to discontinue providing run support to their rookie quarterback as James Butler was effective rushing for 5.7 yards per carry. Regardless those 2 key run stops from Notree and Davis seemed to be enough of a discouragement for Hamilton to abandon the run game.
Montreal sustained a lot of injuries in week 8. Najee Murray is done for the season after starting all but 1 game at cover linebacker and leaves a big hole in Montreal’s defense. J.R. Reed started as a cover linebacker and had a pretty good game making his presence known on a heavy hit in the first quarter on James Butler hitting him hard and knocking him down as he caught a short pass in the first quarter.
Frederic Chagnon started at middle linebacker in place of Avery Williams who was out for this game due to injury. Chagnon had a great knockdown in the first quarter at the line getting over to his right and getting his hand up.
Reggie Stubblefield started at halfback in place of an injured Dionte Ruffin. Stubblefield did not allow a reception his way.
Quartney Davis came into the lineup with Kaion Julien-Grant being injured and he had over 50 yards receiving. Julien-Grant was 7th in receiving yards in the CFL coming into this game.
Keep Giving William Stanback Carries
A healthy balance of passing and running plays is so important. Last week Wiliam Stanback had 15 carries for 86 yards (5.7 average). Saturday in Hamilton Montreal gave him the rock 19 times on the ground and he rushed for 106 yards (5.6 average).
Much of this season Montreal was abandoning the run and the offense looked predictable at times. During these times the offensive line often struggled as well playing much of the game on their heels.
In Montreal’s last 2 wins the run game has been committed to and fully established after their week 7 bye. Montreal’s coaching staff have done a good job addressing the area and it is improving all facets of the Montreal offense. Montreal has given up 3 sacks in the last 2 games which is significantly better than what has been seen in the first 5 games during which they gave up 26 sacks.
Cody Fajardo Did a Great Job Spreading the Ball Around
Cody Fajardo has had a lot of games in which he was targeting Austin Mack and Kaion Julien-Grant too much. Both of those receivers have been stars this season but at times he’s seemed to not be going through his progressions such as the game against Calgary in which Fajardo had his least productive game of the season during which Kaion Julien-Grant and Austin Mack accounted for 73% of the target share. This can create some predictability that defenses can exploit.
Fajardo had 2 interceptions in the first quarter, 1 of which was a play in which Hergy Mayala slipped and the ball was intercepted after going over him although the ball was still thrown a bit on the high side. Despite 2 first-quarter interceptions, Fajardo finished with a very good passing day completing 19 of his 25 passes (76%) for 318 yards and a touchdown.
Fajardo also added 15 yards on 2 rushes with the longer rush being a 13-yard first down on a 2nd and 6.
All in all, it was a fantastic day and I believe had his best performance of the season so far.
Montreal Had a Lot of Contributors Among Their Receiving Room
I wrote in the preview for this game that Montreal has a lot of talent among their starting receivers despite the fact that they have Kaion Julien-Grant and Greg Ellingson on the injured list. Week 9 saw 3 of Montreal’s receivers who are rookies to the CFL have over 50 receiving yards.
Austin Mack had a big day catching all 5 of his targets for 106 yards with his longest being a 58-yard play with a lot of YAC cutting between defenders in the first quarter.
Tyson Philpot had his first catch of the season after only being targeted once in his season debut last week. He caught 4 of his 5 targets for 26 yards.
Tyler Snead made some more big plays as well with his biggest being a 53-yard play mostly involving YAC down the right sideline. Snead caught 4 of his 6 targets for 90 yards and had 64 YAC.
Quartney Davis made a good play securing a 43-yard catch in coverage. Davis caught all 3 of his targets for 55 yards.
Regis Cibasu had the lone touchdown which he got open on a corner route for a 37-yard touchdown. Cibasu is typically used in special teams.
Hergy Mayala was not targeted again after the 2nd interception but he can play as well and had 50 catches last season so far this season only has 6 receptions and that is because he would typically be targeted once per game.
Don’t Worry About Cote
David Cote missed a 38-yard field goal and a 45-yard field goal in the first half. Those are not close field goals by any stretch. Cote did finish 4 of 6 in-field goals on the day. Coming into this game Cote had been very accurate thus far.
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