The Edmonton Elks enter week 17 fresh off an upset win on the road in week 15 in Regina in which they prevailed 26-24 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After a much-needed buy week in week 16, the Edmonton Elks were able to rest their bumps and bruises like many teams in the CFL this time around.
The Edmonton Elks will host the Montreal Alouettes for week 17 at Commonwealth Stadium in which the Elks have played some good football in the last 3 weeks thus far win or lose. The 2 most notable differences for the Elks before the last 3 weeks, were the fact of applying consistent pressure from the defensive front 7 towards any quarterback they faced. The 2nd was establishing a running game. Looking at the last 3 weeks of play by the Elks, fans are beginning to see that this could be the turning point of the rebuild. Even if it’s a non-playoff year, the Elks are showcasing some more talent as a whole needed moving forward.
EDMONTON ELKS DEPTH CHART
MONTREAL ALOUETTES DEPTH CHART
The Elks receive some good news in having most notably both SB Kenny Lawler (ankle) and DT Jake Ceresna (calf) back in the starting lineup. Both have been 2 of the emotional leaders of the Edmonton Elks during the 2022 season thus far, and their leadership is displayed on the field of play when they are in the lineup.
The offensive line will be the same from the last game in week 15 with LT Martez Ivy, LG David Foucault, C Mark Korte, RG Thomas Jack-Kurdyla, RT Andrew Garnett. For the offensive line, the game plan will be no different as it was last game in trying to eliminate as much attacking pressure in the backfield for both the passing and running game. They did a great job in opening the running lanes for RB Kevin Brown vs Saskatchewan in which the Saskatchewan defence was exposed in trying to halt the running game. Keeping the consistency from the last 3 weeks will be vital vs the Montreal Alouettes. The offensive line will have to win the battles in the trenches, along with giving as much time as necessary for Taylor Cornelius to orchestrate the offence to function to its current capabilities.
For the defence, it was all so impressive in Regina last game when the defence had something that nobody would think would have happened in that game. Registering 8 sacks on Cody Fajardo, and blasting through the Saskatchewan offensive line at the pace that they dictated was impressive to see. Most notably, half of the sacks came in the form of the Edmonton Elks using only 3 defensive linemen in certain defensive schemes. All the more credit to the defensive backfield in great coverage and not giving Cody Fajardo anybody open for Saskatchewan’s passing game. To repeat the same number of sacks is a tall order. Edmonton has to keep pressure on Trevor Harris as they did with Cody Fajardo to have success in this game.
WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE
Although it won’t be a playoff year for the Elks this year making it a miracle to do so, all that can be done for the Elks is to finish the year strong on a positive note.
Check box # 1: They already passed their win total from last season at 3-11 (2021 shortened season).
Check box # 2: Win the Labour Day Classic. The Elks did not accomplish this task.
Check box # 3: Win a home game to break the unfortunate current losing streak of 14 games (October 26th, 2019 – present. Currently tied with the Ottawa Rough Riders July 19th, 1987 – October 22nd,1988).
It is so vital right now to break this streak. Being tied for an unfortunate statistic in one thing, setting a new record will be a whole new level. This game vs the Montreal Alouettes is more than just winning a game. It’s a game to give fans of the green and gold something to cheer about going into next season in 2023. And last but not least, to win a home game and halt the streak of 14 losses in a row.
THIS IS A WINNABLE GAME
At no point is any game guaranteed down the stretch of any season. Especially when you’re a team that had a lot of struggles up to shortly after the Labour Day games. With that said, the Elks have gained some much-needed confidence with the overall flow of play in recent games.
The Montreal Alouettes will be without RB William Stanback and LB / DE Nick Usher as they are still nursing injuries. As Montreal is no pushover by any means, anytime 2 of your best players are not available on both sides of the ball, it will only favour Edmonton’s chances in this game at home.
If the Elks can continue playing competitive football in all 3 phases of the game, they will have a legitimate chance of finally breaking the home losing streak. And oh boy how good will that feel for the green and gold faithful.
Come on Edmonton! Antler up! Let’s break the losing streak and give the hometown crowd something to be proud of.
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