The Almighty Als vs the Stamps

OKay what is everyones thoughts on this game! Whcih Als team will show up and the same with the Stampeders! Can the Stamps do it again?

Tough call, but the Stamps seem to be on a roll, and the Als, not so much. I think I'm going to enjoy this game more than the Bombers whis week...

All I can say is that I Hope the Als win. Past that, I don't think much can be said. You just have to hope in a league like the CFL.

Montreal should win for 5 reasons. First, home advantage favors Montreal. 4-0 at home while Calgary is 1-3 on road. Secondly, Montreal has defeated Calgary in 7 of 8 previous meetings at Montreal. Except for Hamilton, teams that lose big tend to bounce back in the next game this season. Third, Jekyll/Hyde Calgary may be rusty after bye week. Fourth, mismatch of Calvillo versus worst pass defense in league. Montreal defense can limit Reynolds. Fifth, Montreal can play better but can Calgary? In previous game, Calgary (playing error free) barely beat crippled Montreal in final minute. Now Montreal is healthier.

Montreal is on a freefall, Calgary will have no trouble beating them.

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With a 7-2 record midway through their regular season, a winning percentage of .778, the Alouettes have the best mark in the Canadian Football League.

But that doesn't mean Montreal necessarily is the best team. That honour, arguably, could be given to the British Columbia Lions, who are 7-3 heading into their bye week in the schedule and have won five consecutive games. Or perhaps the 5-4 Calgary Stampeders, who are coming off a bye and meet the Als tomorrow night at Olympic Stadium.

In the wild and wacky CFL, the best team will be the one holding the Grey Cup on Nov. 19. But it might not be the team that finished with the best record. The Lions won their first 11 games last season ... and then went 1-6 before being eliminated.

Life and football, as the Als also displayed last season, is all about timing. Montreal was a mediocre 10-8 in 2005 - 4-5 at this juncture - and appeared dead after being blown out 49-23 by Toronto at Olympic Stadium on Oct. 22. But one month later, the Als went into Rogers Centre and upset the Argonauts 33-17 in the East Division final.

You never know.

In forging a 7-0 record this season, the Als simply weren't that good. They took advantage of a favourable schedule - three games against dreadful Hamilton and two against the Blue Bombers. They also beat an Argos team at home that was missing quarterback Damon Allen. Montreal did just enough to win, but also met all challenges it faced, winning games at Winnipeg and Edmonton that figured to be tough.

Similarly, in losing their last two games, the Als haven't been as bad as the critics believe. The Stamps needed two field goals longer than 50 yards in the final minute to stage an improbable comeback, while Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw five interceptions - the most in his career - last Saturday against Toronto. The Argos were hardly world-beaters that night; Allen passing for only 200 yards sandwiched around missing portions of the second and third quarters with dizziness.

"If I've learned anything over the years," eight-year veteran defensive-tackle Ed Philion said last weekend, "it's that what happens in the middle part of the season doesn't matter."

Philion has that right. On the other hand, we've seen this movie before. Great starts followed by lousy finishes have plagued this franchise over the years. Montreal lost three straight October games in both 2003 and '04. This season's first slump just started earlier.

But mark this down as fact: A loss this week and things will potentially get ugly around here in a hurry, with back-to-back games against B.C., sandwiched around a bye week, on the horizon.

This season has been marked by some good aspects, mostly on defence, which was the biggest question mark. The Als continue being at or near the top of most defensive categories, allowing an average of only 16.2 points per game and a mere 12 touchdowns.

If defence wins championships, this team appears to be on solid footing.

There hasn't been a standout individual defensively. Instead, it has been strength in numbers; linebacker Timothy Strickland with four quarterback sacks one week, rush-end Anwar Stewart with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown another week. No Montreal player has more than four sacks, two interceptions or two fumble recoveries. But collectively, the 12 players on the field generally have prospered.

It's on offence, surprisingly, where the shortcomings have occurred. Long the Als' strength, there have been too many inconsistencies this season.

Calvillo is second in the CFL in passing, with 2,378 yards, but will have to increase his pace to reach 5,000 yards for a fifth consecutive year. With 11 touchdowns, he's unlikely to equal last season's total of 34. Calvillo has passed for an average of 270.1 yards, compared to 333.3 in 2005.

The Als have had four 1,000-yard receivers each of the last two seasons. This year, only two are on pace to reach that figure. Ben Cahoon leads the team, with 55 catches for 646 yards, while Kerry Watkins has 47 receptions for 536 yards.

But they have only three touchdowns between them and are both averaging less than 12 yards a reception.

The Als still don't have a deep threat; no one receiver, like the Lions' Geroy Simon, Winnipeg's Milt Stegall or Edmonton's Jason Tucker, who strikes fear into opponents.

At least running-back Robert Edwards, with 701 yards, is on pace for a 1,400-yard season, which would be an improvement. And, with 11 touchdowns, he could threaten league and team records.

OOOO! The Big O Is Back!!!

oops...just noticed they put this story on the cfl main page...oh well.

Here are my thoughts:

  • In the last two losses, Montreal’s defence remained solid. After the fourth interception last week, Montreal was still just down by 8. In Calgary, the Als gave the ball away 3 times and got no turnover in their favour. Still, Sandro had to spray some magical powder on his shoelaces to win the game in the dying seconds. So our D will hold up.

  • However, Calgary has historically disputed very close games in Molson-Percival, often losing by a field goal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that game be won/lost in the final minute too.

  • I expect Montreal to keep Joffrey Reynolds pretty quiet. I however fear Burris will run around the field like a crazy horse. The Als tend to forget quarterbacks run too.

  • The most impredictable factor will be Montreal’s offence. We’ve heard many times this week of AC’s five interceptions last Saturday, but not that much about how our receiver gave Calvillo absolutely no help since the beginning of the season. Cahoon being our only reliable treath in the receiving corp, he will be well covered. Well, I’d expect it. So someone else has to rise. Can Wilson start where he left last Saturday (he was the only good player on offence)? Can Watkins find a way to get sticky paws? Will Terrence Edwards come out of the dark to make something happen? Will Dave Stala find his confidence back?

Too many question to really expect something in particular.

In all, I hope both teams show up and give one great show. I would love to see the lead switch back and fourth five or six times. With the Als hanging to it on the last play, of course.

My real expectation is this should be the game of the week. I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t.

....touche mon ami.....this is going to be a regular old slug my team with the horse on their heads I leave this from General Hannibal:

“We will either find a way or make one.?

.....good luck to both teams......

Hey third

Sounds like youre going to get a chance to see our new fullback. You know that
265pd’r you called fat. Hope that doesnt
come back to bite you in the @ss.

You should put him on kick return...

....he'd probably jump at that chance....and pull off a Gizmo flip in the endzone......

That would grant him a cute little nickname... Something like "Earthquake"...

Good luck tonight third, Im off golfing
then will settle in to watch the game
of the week.

That sure sounds like a nice way to spend the day. However, I must warn you: these last two Saturday, I went golfing prior to watching the game. And my team lost each time. There might be a correlation between playing golf and seeing its team lose.

I believe you might jinx your team's chances of winning tonight.

Montreal is going to win very convincingly.

The reason Montreal got crushed by Calgary is mainll due to Calvillo’s poor performance. He made bad decisions which are uncharacteristic of him

If Calvillo is on his game this week Montreal wins.

Plus the Esks could use some help!!! So c’mon Montreal!!!

.....but I'm NOT golfing today so therefore we are guarenteed a VICTORY!!!....

It takes only one person p|ssing in the soup to have a spoiled soup.