Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary, BC
Four remaining opponents on the season
All fighting for playoff positions
All more than capable of beating the Alouettes on any given night.
It would be absurdly cliched to state that the Als have their work cut out for them
Regardless...4 games against four pretty good defences
And while The Cats, Stamps and Bombers have been hot and cold on offence lately
There can be no letting up...or taking things for granted
As we may well have done against Toronto
Or in the last part of the Winnipeg game
We might as well write off any hopes for ST this year
I wrote 2 years ago that Larry Taylor arguably won us at least 2 games/season
In his last game against BC...he came close to doing the same for the Stampeders
With a touchdown return and another brought back to the BC 28...setting up a score.
Point is...it's hard to remember the last time we had that kind of field positional advantage
Regularly handed to us by our return guy
Maybe Bischoff is a large part of the problem
Or maybe we just haven't found anyone who comes close to replacing Taylor
it's certainly clear how rare such talented returners are in any league
And how one man can sometimes make all the difference
Speaking of which
The impressive turnaround/resurgence of Anwar Stewart is just what the doctor ordered on defence
The pressure he's bringing...and the pass-blocking/interception skills he's always had is making life that much easier for our coverage guys. And who hasn't noticed Seth Williams and his weekly evolution? What a gem....and could the timing be any better?
I only hope the Alouettes continue to focus on Whitaker...expanding his role in the offence.
A blinkered re-hashing of the same-old Calvillo sky-game will be suicidal down the stretch.
And if we can't work out some kind of counter to the pressure a lot of teams are bringing against AC...especially in the red-zone...there could be a lot of sense to bringing McPherson in in key situations to throw defences off.
It's been Calvillo's Achilles Heel over the years (especially in Grey Cup losses)...and there hasn't been much sign it's gotten any better.
No question good defences and good DC's are going to exploit it in those key situations
If Anthony's really going to be sticking around just to equalise his GC record
(as has been suggested on TSN)
He might be well advised to accept some help in the attempt
Or risk adding one more to the "column of shame"
Realistically...the constant chatter about "parity" in the CFL comes down to this:
The Alouettes are no longer the dominant powerhouse in the East.
And when you assess what defines a "powerhouse" it's not hard to agree
That such a team has few if any glaring and obvious weaknesses
This simply isn't true of the 2011 version of the Montreal Alouettes
Fortunately...neither is it true of any other team in the East
Or the CFL for that matter (except BC Lions?)
And while I'd be happier with an Alouettes team that matches up
position by position
With any opponent in the league
At this point...I'll be thrilled if the Als manage to scrape by and win it all
Any way they can