Sunday, 22 July 2012

Post-game thoughts on the Montreal Alouettes loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Hamilton misery continues on for the Montreal Alouettes as they were outclassed by the Tiger-Cats 39-24.

It was important for the Alouettes to get off to a fast start, and control the tempo of the football game. Clearly they didn't as quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw an early interception that eventually resulted in a touchdown for the opposition. Shortly thereafter, the Alouettes were behind 14-points.

Montreal were chasing Hamilton throughout the football game as the Tiger-Cats looked more polished and ready on the football field.

Why did they lose?

The Alouettes never got into the flow of the game. It seemed that the Tiger-Cats were the more hungrier team.

They allowed Chris Williams and Chevon Walker who both accounted for a huge chunk of the Tiger-Cats production to control the pace of the football game. Both players  had big plays throughout the football game.

For the second week in a row, the Alouettes offensive line did not play a strong game. Calvillo was harassed throughout the four quarters. As a result, he rushed a lot of his passing attempts that fell well short of the intended targets. If you're Calvillo's protectors, it should be somewhat disappointing considering the Tiger-Cats were entering the game last in CFL sacks.

The loss of Brian Bratton was bigger than expected. Bratton was injured during Thursday's practice and did not dress on Saturday night. He has been the Alouettes most consistent player through the first three weeks of the season.

Because of his absence, it seemed that the Tiger-Cats defense were comfortable containing S.J. Green and Jamel Richardson by essentially having two black shirts near them throughout the football game.

The lack of touches for Brandon Whitaker once again was evident. Granted the Alouettes were in passing mode once they were down by 22 points at halftime. But 13 total touches for your most versatile player is not enough.

Head coach Marc Trestman will need to think a new strategy to get Whitaker the football. If Whitaker is able to be more involved, then all of his teammates will benefit.

What is wrong with the defense?

As mentioned many times, this is a process. Transitioning from one formation to a new one is easier said than done. It requires different body types, and the overall schemes will take some time to adjust.

Granted, it seemed that some of the Alouette defenders were out of place. But for defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold he will need simplify the concepts so he could have the entire unit on the same page.

Moreover, the secondary is having a rough time, as the likes of Dwight Anderson, and Seth Williams were picked on throughout the game by the Tiger-Cats offense.  Furthermore, this is the third game in four weeks that the defense has allowed a receiver to have 100-yard game.

Moving on

The Alouettes will now set their sights on the Toronto Argonauts in what would be another emotional encounter with former Alouettes offensive coordinator Scott Milanovich coming back to face his mentor in Trestman. The return of Etienne Boulay who was adored by the Montreal fans will add another element to this battle.

This would be the Alouettes third division and they can ill-afford to lose this affair to the Argonauts before they head back on the road to face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Right now the Tiger-Cats have an early hold on the hammer. As for the Alouettes, if they're able to take the next two games before their bye week, they could have an overall record of 4-2 and 3-1 divisional record.  This would put them in a good shape entering the second half of the season.

For now, they must erase another nightmare experience at Ivor Wynne Stadium, and must focus on their next game and hopefully down the road regain home field advantage back from the Tiger-Cats for the tiebreaker.

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