It's nice to see the Toronto - Montreal rivalry heating up. I look forward to this week-ends East Final.
Word to the wise (Montreal)...don't assume this will be a cake walk on your home turf. This Toronto team truly seems to be a team united and has each others back! There seems to be a will to beleive and find a way to win.
I expect Montreal to win, and I don't think it will be close. I don't remember a team that qualified for the playoffs with an offense as poor as Toronto's. Good defense and special teams can only carry them so far. They have a good core of players, but they aren't a championship calibre team yet.
I'm glad to see another that feels this game won't be close. The experts in Vegas have the Als at 10.5 point favorites last I saw. The Argos are expected to lose and lose big so no pressure on the underdog, pressure is only on the Als as they are big time favorites. I'll grant that if Montreal jumps out to a large early lead the game is probably already decided but if the Argos keep it close after the first half it's anybody's game. Besides the Argos and their poor offense has scored 97 points anainst Montreal in their last 3 meetings.
I don't really count the final meeting between the two teams as it was backups against backups. That's not a true indication of either team. Toronto did have probably their best game of the season against the Als on Aug 14th. A game where they handily beat the Als and Lemon looked like a CFL calibre quarterback. Montreal also blew them out 41-10 in the 1st meeting. I haven't seen anything consistent enough from the Argo's on offense to give them a chance in this game. Boyd is going to run hard that's a given, but Lemon is a liability at QB when he throws passes more than 10 yards.
I'll agree the last meeting meant little to nothing but even the 2 games before that the Argos scored 67 points combined against the Als. Anyhow my point is this is not a lock for the Als. True enough Lemon needs to be a bit more prominent in this game though and can't commit the crippling turnovers in the red zone.
Let's go Argos! No pressure at all, just go in and leave everything on the field.
Montreal, take a look at the Ticats. Look at the humiliation, look at all threats to gut the roster and make all kinds of changes, look at the calls for the coach's head. That could all be yours.... but uh, no pressure...
Possibly but it still comes down to turnovers and if the Argos do make it to the Grey Cup and can protect the ball then there will be no blow out. Besides the Argos have beaten both Saskatchewan and Calgary this season. Anyhow thats neither here nor there right now. This weeks game in Montreal is all I'm concerned with right now. If we win then I'll worry about the Grey Cup.
I don't think the Argos really understand how loud and hostile it's going to be on Sunday. The last time they faced the Als in a division final was quite a while ago and I don't think anyone from that team is left. Yes, Toronto will be loose and playing with no pressure on their shoulders, and that's as it should be. They're the underdogs, the feel-good Cinderella story. Good for them. But they're coming into our house.
I think the noise of the Big-O is over rated actually.
Didn't help the Als against the Argo's in the final 5 or 6 years ago, and didn't help them in the Grey Cup 2 years ago.
In the same vein, it didn't help the Argo's against Montreal at the skydome a few years back.
It's all over rated in my opinion.
I do think though that the Als should win this game relatively easily IF, they don't let Owens return kicks, and focus their defence on the running of Boyd and Lemon.
Lemon certainly won't beat Montreal with is arm, and the Argo defence won't beat Montreal.
Watkins, Richardson, Cahoon, Bratton, S.J Green running at the Argo secondary all game is gonna kill em.
The only way I see Toronto winning is if Montreal beats itself with fumbles and/or penalties.
This should be an exciting game. Montreal's potent offence vs. Toronto's short field as a result of Owens' kick returns.
If Owens can spring one or two early, it could put Montreal in a bit of a hole. But, as I've said for the past few years, until you have more that a three-touchdown lead on Montreal, they're not out of it. Calvillo always seems to have a good fourth quarter when he needs to. And for Toronto to get any kind of lead on them, Owens has to have an outstanding game.
But if Montreal can contain Boyd, it won't matter what kind of field position Owens gives them, they're still not going to rack up any points. Lemon just isn't a good passing quarterback, and can't seem to hit much longer that ten yards. But if he can get the ball to Boyd or Owens in open field, watch out.
Prediction: Montreal 32, Toronto 15, no, 36, umm, 15, wait, 36, uh.... Oh man, I just don't know.
I think if Toronto keeps it close in the first half, and doesn't get the game get out of hand like last year's east final (blah!), they'll pull off the upset. I think they match up very well with the als. They've played them very well all season. I also think Montreal is not as strong as before. They can't just walk out of the East like they have in the past.
You obviously have to give the als offense the edge over Toronto's, but if the argos stay committed to the run game and Lemon doesn't make any stupid mistakes, he gives the argos superior special teams a good chance to influence the outcome of the game. I think Montreal's defense can be exposed, so if the argos defense does their part, this will be a very competitive game. Even if Montreal wins, I can't see it being a blowout. The argos match up better with Montreal than they did with Hamilton.
With the penchant we have here for discussing attendance, i'm surprised noone has mentioned the 57,000 expected at Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Not that far short of the number we'll get for the GC game itself this year. Als fans can accept some major kudos for team support. :thup:
Absolutely agree. Amazing job Montreal and to those that travel to attend from away. I'd really like to see the Alouette franchise try the 1 regular season game at the Big O again. Perhaps a mid season game that is meaningful. Maybe try a Labour Day game versus BC as they play each other anyways and have established a nice rivalry. That week-end usually sees sellouts in Calgary, Saskatchewan and the last 2 years Hamilton. Why not try it? Promote it big time. Sure would be nice to see the Big O filled during that great week-end of CFL games.