The Montreal Alouettes gave their sideline a good shake up last week by firing head coach Jacques Chapdelaine and defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe. If the goal was to give their players a jolt, it didn’t exactly work.
For the second time in three games, the Als were thoroughly embarrassed on their home turf by the Ottawa Redblacks.
Although Montreal still has a chance of making the playoffs, many would argue that’s nothing more than a dream at this point.
If the performances don’t get better in a hurry, the Alouettes will be heading for another early off-season.
Speaking of their performance, let’s break down the good and bad from Sunday’s loss to the Redblacks.
As always, I like finding positive things to write about. So here we go:
–Cornerback Jonathon Mincy had a nice afternoon. He came up with a big interception of Drew Tate in the first half and he seemed to be very involved in the play defensively. He’s often in the right place at the right time and he definitely has a nose for the football. Unfortunately, his interception didn’t spark his team’s offence, as they went two-and-out on the ensuing drive.
–The defence went into that game with four interceptions on the season. They came up with two, as Tevaughn Campbell got his first as an Alouette (more on that later).
–Montreal’s offensive totals were abysmal on Sunday, but the one thing I found encouraging, is that Ernest Jackson seemed to be the primary target pretty often. That didn’t result in many points for the Alouettes, but if they hope to get this thing turned around they’ll need their most dynamic player to get the ball in his hands.
–The Als rushing attack showed signs of life in the second half. Tyrell Sutton’s 43-yard run (his longest of the season) set up a Drew Willy one-yard touchdown. After a great start to the year, Montreal’s ground game has really struggled lately. I don’t think Sutton is to blame for that.
Ya, that’s all I’ve got.
–I have to start with quarterback Darian Durant, who finished the game 0/6 on his passing attempts. Durant was pulled in the second quarter and never got back on the field. As much as I’ve defended him this season, there’s no defending his performance against the Redblacks. He needs to be better right away.
–The Alouettes defence was on the field for over 40 minutes. That’s just a crazy amount of time. When they’re on the field that much, it’s usually because the offence can’t sustain drives. As much as that’s true, the defence still allowed Ottawa to go on a pair of 15-play drives. One of those lengthy drives happened on the first series of the game, so you can’t blame the offence there.
As bad as they were in the game, the Als were down two scores at the start of the fourth quarter with Ottawa starting their drive from their own one-yard line. Instead of getting a quick stop, the Montreal defence allowed them to put together a 15-play drive, which essentially ended the game.
–For the fifth game in a row, the Alouettes failed to score a point in the first quarter. The CFL is a wacky game, comebacks will happen, but you can’t continuously fall behind in this league. During this five-game losing skid, they’ve been outscored 106-17 in the first half of those contests. That’s completely and totally insane. They had the ball for 2:30 in the first quarter and they finished with minus-2 yards in the opening 15 minutes.
–I mentioned Campbell’s interception earlier. It’s not often that you see an interception in the end zone turn into a negative for the defence, but that’s exactly what happened. Campbell picked off Ryan Lindley, took the ball out of the end zone and ran back into the end zone. He was eventually tackled, which resulted in a safety. That’s just the kind of season the Als are having.
–When you finish the afternoon with 83 yards passing, there’s obviously not many yards to go around. B.J. Cunningham and Tiquan Underwood were invisible. That probably wasn’t their fault though.
On to Toronto next Saturday.
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