Football is a game of mistakes, as an old saying goes. Usually, this cliché comes out of the mouths of the team members who committed the most during a match. Sunday night, that team was the Montreal Alouettes. Jason Maas’ squad sabotaged themselves against the BC Lions and lost 35-19.
Statistically, the Alouettes have not been downgraded, but as everything is in the way, Byron Archambault, coach of the special teams, will certainly lecture some of his colts during the return flight between Vancouver and Montreal.
Three times in the game, including two in the final minutes of the game, long, piercing kick returns were called off and botched with obstruction and holding penalties. Hergy Mayala, twice, was caught out while Chandler Worthy, one of the best punt returners in the Canadian Football League (CFL), scrambled to carry his team into the opposing zone.
In a league where every streak passes at lightning speed, starting a first play in the offensive zone is a luxury. However, when the most beautiful breakthroughs ultimately lead to nothing, the offensive stagnates. And that’s why the Alouettes suffered a second straight loss to bring their record to two wins and two losses since the start of the season.
Six of the ten penalties were earned on special teams.
At the same time, it was not just the handkerchiefs that sank the Montrealers. The lack of execution, again on special teams, also helped the Lions cause.
Had Israel Antwine successfully blocked a David Côté field goal attempt late in the first half, the Lions probably wouldn’t have blocked the punt and Jalon Edwards-Cooper probably wouldn’t have scored a touchdown on the units. specials.
If Worthy had caught the ball on a routine punt less than two minutes later, the Alouettes might not have allowed three extra points.
By dint of playing with fire, the Alouettes ended up getting burned. The special teams have been rather tasteless, whereas usually they have a quite singular value.
In the last game, the Als offense had been anemic. To brew the soup, Jason Maas added receivers Tyler Snead and Quartney Davis to the scoresheet.
Overall, the unit led by Cody Fajardo fared well with 280 yards through the air, only three shy of their opponents.
However, something is wrong with the Montreal offensive. All week, during training, there were puzzles in the diagrams and in the personnel employed.
Again, despite lots of goodwill, the aerial game came to almost nothing. The only touchdown of the game came from the quarterback, thanks to a two-yard run early in the game. Otherwise nothing. And it’s hard to understand why.
The answer may lie in the lack of variety on offense. Although newcomers Snead and Davis made some big plays here and there, they were half as targeted as Fajardo’s right-hand man Austin Mack and Kaion Julien-Grant.
Even though they received the ball more often, they weren’t able to stand out too much.
It has become automatic. During passing plays, the ball will be thrown mostly in their direction, but they are unable to tell the difference.
Julien-Grant was targeted four more times than Snead, but Snead got 12 more yards.
Before the start of the season, the receivers’ situation was the most intriguing. That’s still the case after four games, and that’s certainly not good news.
Twenty two. This is the number of quarterback sacks collected by Fajardo since the start of the season. Against the Lions, the Alouettes’ offensive line has been more fallible than ever since the start of the season, with seven sacks.
The Lions dominate the Canadian League in this phase of the game, with in their ranks Mathieu Betts, the best quarterback fighter in the league, who plays as inspired as during his good years with the Rouge et Or of Laval University .
Fajardo had stressed after the first games not to be bothered by the number of sacks taken, since the team was winning and that was all that mattered. However, the team loses and this situation becomes more and more worrying.
It’s hard to blame just the offensive line, because when sackting a quarterback, a ton of factors have to be considered. The layout of the receivers, their availability, the visibility of the quarterback, his reaction time, among other things.
However, there is a failure within the Montreal offensive unit and it will have to find the solution by Friday’s game against the Toronto Argonauts.