Today the Alouettes will look to claim their 4th straight Eastern final game as they battle the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. With three games left in the season, the team is riding high on a 4 game winning streak. Momentum is always key as you head towards the playoffs and this win by the Alouettes will represent the domination of their division.
The Alouettes have dealt with the Argos & Tiger-Cats, now the Blue Bombers stand as the only threat left to the hopes of the Alouettes’ promised home playoff game being an Eastern final game.
The last time these two teams played, it was a thriller as Montreal dominated but essentially let Winnipeg back in to the game. A highly suspect pass interference call led to a goal line stand by the Alouettes that prevented the Bombers from scoring on the one yard line with a fresh set of downs as time ran out.
If they get a lead in the double digits, Montreal simply cannot allow the Blue Bombers back into the game. Stupid penalties will kill the best of teams. And Winnipeg’s D, which took a beating last week in Edmonton, will be looking for redemption. They will take those risks and try to get to Anthony Calvillo early and often.
The Alouettes will need their superstar RB Brandon Whitaker to have another monster game. When he is given the ball and isn’t stopped, he will get those 8-9 yard rushes, so 2nd & long plays will be even more crucial. The threat of the Alouettes receiving corps is even more bolstered by the gradually improving play of Kerry Watkins, who couldn’t have picked a better time to find his all-star form of years previous. He’s the preferred deep threat of AC and will stretch out the field if given the chance.
The big key to victory will be Montreal punching the Blue Bombers in the face early and not letting up for even a second. If you give the Bombers at home even just a bit of breathing room, they will take full advantage of it. Buck Pierce has proven to be a resilient enough quarterback and provided he’s not knocked out of the game, will find a way to punish opposing defenses with jaw-dropping play.
With a win today, Montreal can breathe easy for the next two games versus Calgary & B.C., two teams that can easily give the Alouettes fits. If they lose, the season series belongs to Winnipeg and the Als will have to win out & need some help from the Bombers’ next two opponents.
There’s no question, today’s game WILL be the 2011 season for both these teams. They will probably face off in the playoffs to go to the Grey Cup, but will it be in the deafening Olympic Stadium or the blustery cold Canad Inns Stadium? Today will tell the story’s end.
Today’s game and every other game this weekend will feature a lot of pink; on the players, coaches and fans in support of the CFL’s initiative for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. The NFL has been doing this for years and now the CFL will give everyone the chance to support charities in each CFL city to raise cancer awareness.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone whose life hasn’t been affected by this dreaded disease. Having lost family members to cancer, I am in full support of any efforts made, whether it’s through fund-raising or just overall education. Buying pink CFL gear won’t cure this disease, but if it means that someone somewhere is being made aware of what it all means, then the battle is being fought and eventually won.
Cancer has affected a lot of the Alouettes players as well, so expect them to proudly take the field in pink gear such as shoelaces, wristbands, towels and even pink eye-black. Alouettes fans can buy the same caps that the coaching staff will wear right here. Remember, real men wear pink!
That’s all for now. Enjoy the game, whether it’s at home with friends or at the local sports bar. But don’t drink and drive; we need all our Alouettes fans alive and well for the playoffs.