Saturday, 4 August 2012

Post game thoughts on the Alouettes-Blue Bombers game

The Montreal Alouettes snapped their two game losing streak with a critical road victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Thus it avoids being tied for last place with the Blue Bombers, and now Montreal has a two game lead over the defending division champions.

Why did they win?

Before the game, there was a torrential storm in the Winnipeg area. However, the Alouettes were not deterred and came out played their best overall football game.

The Alouettes received excellent pass protection from their offensive line. It seemed when rookie sensation Patrick Lavoie was inserted into the lineup, the Blue Bombers defense was confused as he was able to open more passing lanes for quarterback Anthony Calvillo to survey.

Furthermore, the game was all but over late in the fourth quarter on Alouettes receiver, Jamel Richardson's second touchdown reception of the game. Richardson was left wide open by the Blue Bombers defense who did not have the correct personnel on the field that resulted in a breakdown in coverage.

The team defense stifled the Blue Bombers offense as Winnipeg quarterback, Alex Brink never got on track until late in the fourth quarter.

In-fact dating back to the third quarter of their loss to the Toronto Argonauts, the Alouettes defense had given up six points until the Blue Bombers scored 23 points in the fourth quarter.

It seems that the team defense is getting better on each play, and with the bye week coming at the right time, it would enable everyone to recharge their batteries for what will be a grueling stretch of 12 games in a row.

The value of Whitaker

The Alouettes are 2-0 when running back Brandon Whitaker has 20 plus touches on the football. He continues to dominate the Blue Bombers as he totaled 179 yards before he left the game with an upper body injury.

It has become clear that Whitaker is the key element for this offense to produce points and yards. So far, in the two games where he had a prominent role, the Alouettes offense has averaged 38.5 points per game.

With the second half of the season coming up, it will be important that they get Whitaker the football.

Big loss

Didier Ormejuste of RDS tweeted that Marc-Olivier Brouillette has a broken left wrist. The reports are surfacing he could be out between four to six weeks. With the bye week arriving, the timetable of Brouillette potentially coming back to the team could be in the middle of September.

This is a big loss in-terms of the roster ratio. Brouillette versatility enabled the team to use an import elsewhere on the field.

With him out of the lineup for the rest of the summer season, players such as special teams stalwart Brian Ridgeway will need to elevate his game even more.

No team is exempted from injuries, but with Brouillette out of the lineup it is a blow for the Alouettes who are trying to position themselves for a chance at first place going into the month of September.

Special Teams

For now it seems that second year player Bo Bowling will be given the torch to be the Alouettes returner. Bowling provided decent field position against the Blue Bombers, and showed glimpses of his speed.

With NFL training camps well underway, the curiosity begins if general manager, Jim Popp will scour through the waiver wire to convince a free agent to come up to Montreal.

Moving on

The Alouettes will get to enjoy some time off from the football grind. As head coach Marc Trestman has always preached, he wants his players far away from football, and off their feet during vacation.

When they come back to work next week, they will start preparing for their road game versus the Edmonton Eskimos in less than two weeks.

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