Friday, 27 July 2012

Key gamenotes for the Montreal Alouettes-Toronto Argonauts game

Tonight, the Montreal Alouettes will embark on a critical home game versus the Toronto Argonauts.

By the end of the night, the winner will have at least sole possession of second place in the division.

Furthermore, this will be an emotional return for Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich, and safety, Etienne Boulay who were important parts of the Alouettes Grey Cup runs. Both comeback to Montreal to prove they can succeed elsewhere.

Here are some key story lines for tonight's divisional match up between these highway 401 rivals.

Must protect Anthony Calvillo

Last weekend in Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats entered the game in last place for total sacks in the CFL, but were able to boost their total as they harassed Calvillo throughout the entire game.

The offensive line will need to do a better job protecting Calvillo, otherwise he could be receiving plenty of unwanted hits to his body which could further increase his chances of not finishing a football game.

The Alouettes need Calvillo healthy, otherwise if he isn't it will diminish their chances of having home field advantage throughout the CFL playoffs.

Receivers must dominate

Across the board, the Alouettes have the biggest receiving core in the league led by S.J. Green, Brandon London, and Jamel Richardson.

With no Brian Bratton in the lineup, it will be important for this trio to muscle their way in trying to gain yards against a very athletic and long armed Argonauts secondary group.

With the media questioning Richardson's slow start, it seems that "Optimus Prime" has accepted the challenge to prove his doubters wrong.

Whitaker's influence

Brandon Whitaker must get the football in his hands. To date, the Alouettes best offensive performance was three weeks ago when they defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 41-30, and Whitaker totaled 235 yards.

Since then, Whitaker has taken a backseat becoming somewhat invisible in the team's overall offense.

If the Alouettes are going to win this game, they will need Whitaker to get plenty touches on the football for this engine to run smoothly.

Where's the defense

Earlier in the week the Alouettes gave Aaron Hunt his walking papers, clearly no one is happy with the current performance of the team's defense.

The first warning shot has been sent that no one's job is safe on the defense. If there is another underachieving performance in-front of the home crowd it could mean a few more changes to next week's lineup card.

The key will be the Alouettes front seven being able to control the line of scrimmage. The defensive line will need to eat up the gaps, control offensive linemen, and allow the linebackers to make plays.

If they can do the simple things it will alleviate a lot of pressure off their backs.

Finally could the secondary prevent a fourth different receiver in five games from reaching 100 yards or more. It has been a long season for the back end of the Alouettes defense.

Special teams

Last week, Chris Williams broke the Alouettes backs with a big return. This week, Montreal's special teams will have their hands full against Chad Owens.

They must contain Owens, and not give him any seams, otherwise he could take it for a huge return.

Furthermore, in the last two years, Owens has had trouble securing the football, and this might be an opportunity for an Alouettes tackler to try strip him of the football.

Keep an eye on ball security.

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