Preview: Alouettes battle Argos in Toronto on Saturday afternoon
The Alouettes (6-5) will look to end their three-game losing skid as they take on the Argonauts (9-1) in Toronto on Saturday afternoon at 1pm (TSN, RDS, TSN690, 98.5FM). This will be the second meeting between these two teams, as the Argos beat the Als, 35-27, in Montreal on July 14th. This is also the first game of a home-and-home series between these two teams.
If you don’t have your tickets for the rematch against Toronto next week, make sure you pick them up by clicking HERE.
Improving in the red zone:
The Alouettes went 0-for-3 in the red zone during last Saturday’s defeat to the B.C. Lions. To beat a team like Toronto, the Als will have to punch more balls into the end zone instead of settling for field goals.
“There’s a little bit of (blame) on everybody,” head coach Jason Maas said. “We owned it in our room. As much as I hold accountability first here in front of everybody else, when we get in that room and correct things, we all know the things that aren’t making us productive down there. We looked at it, we analyzed it, and ultimately, we’re going to change things up down there, but no matter what you call down there, we need to execute.”
Despite the struggles in the red zone last week, the Alouettes are still fourth in the CFL in points-per-game (24.2) and fifth in offensive points scored (230).
Beating one of the top teams:
The Alouettes have been able to keep most games close. The one that really got away from them two weeks ago in Winnipeg was close at half-time when things unraveled in the second half of a very short week.
The one thing they haven’t been able to do is beat one of the top three teams in the CFL this year, as all five of their losses have come against the Blue Bombers (twice), Lions (twice) and Argos.
“Now, the biggest thing is proving that we can beat anybody,” quarterback Cody Fajardo said. “We’ve played the best teams in the league, and we’ve gone toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league, but I think our next challenge, as a team, is beating a top-tier team. We have a great opportunity this week and quite honestly next week as well, playing Toronto back-to-back.”
Closing in on 1,000 yards:
Receiver Austin Mack, who is in his first year in the CFL, could become the first player to hit 1,000 receiving yards in 2023. Mack is just 29 yards short of the milestone after posting 143 yards against the Lions last week.
The 26-year-old’s 971 yards are tops in the league heading into Week 14. B.C.’s Alex Hollins is second with 879 yards, but Mack has played one fewer game than the Lions receiver.
Mack now has four 100-yard games this season and he’s accumulated at least 70 yards in eight of his 11 games this year.
The last time he played against the Argos, he finished with seven receptions for 70 yards.
Changes to the starting lineup:
Look for American offensive tackle Jamar McGloster to take injured lineman Landon Rice’s spot at right tackle. McGloster, 28, made a pair of starts for the Alouettes earlier this season.
Middle linebacker Avery Williams, defensive back Dionte Ruffin and receiver Kaion Julien-Grant were all eligible to return to practice this week because they have one game left to serve on the six-game injured list.
They won’t play against the Argos unless they are removed from the injured list one week early, but there are salary cap implications that come with that.
J.R. Reed, who was injured against B.C., won’t play this week. Look for Tyrice Beverette to slide over to the SAM linebacker position (wide side of the field).