Since Week 9, the Alouettes have the best winning percentage in the CFL (.800). The course of the season appears to have changed after the win over the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Aug. 11. Which was the start of this run. They followed up that first win with victories over Hamilton (twice) and the BC Lions.
The Als now currently sit in second place in the East Division. They trail the Argonauts by four points, but these two teams will go head-to-head on twice in the final two weeks of the season.
127 points scored – 109 points against:
Win or lose, the Als have scored at least 20 points in each of the last five games. In total, they’ve scored 127 points during this stretch, including a 31-point effort against the BC Lions earlier this month. That works out to an average of 25.4 per game, which is strong.
On the flip side, it seems like the defence has turned the corner. Over the last five games, they’ve held the opposition to fewer than 20 points three times. They’ve allowed an average of 21.8 points per game over the last five. If you remove the 38-24 loss to Ottawa, the average over the last four victories drops to 17.75 points-per-game.
It sure looks like defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe’s defence has figured things out lately.
10 turnovers forced
Part of the reason the defence has been a lot more effective is that they’ve been able to force turnovers. Whether it was Wes Sutton’s forced fumble late in the game in Winnipeg, or Nafees Lyon’s pick-six in the home win over the BC Lions, the defence has been able to take away the ball with a little more regularity.
There’s an exception to every rule, but when you win the turnover battle, you tend to win the game. When the offence is clicking, and your defence can give you an extra possession or two over the course of the game, things will usually work out for the best.
4 games with less than 85 penalty yards
This was a major problem in the first few weeks of the season, but the penalty numbers have come down considerably during this positive run. In total, the team has taken 401 yards over the last five games, which works out to 80.2 yards in penalties per game. Again, keep in mind that 176 of those yards came in one game (the first home win over Hamilton). You can’t just eliminate that, it happened. But if you took that game away, the average penalty yardage drops to 56.25.
Give the coaches and players credit for identifying the problem and learning from their mistakes. Hopefully, this trend continues because when you win the penalty battle by a wide margin, you have a great chance of winning the game.