Preview: Als look to clinch home playoff game on Saturday

The Montreal Alouettes (9-7), who have won three games in a row, will look to clinch a home playoff date this weekend when they travel to Edmonton to take on the Elks at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday (TSN, RDS, CJAD 800, 98.5FM). If the B.C. Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night, the Als would automatically clinch second place in the East Division. If Montreal beats the Elks on Saturday, they will be guaranteed to play at Percival Molson Stadium on Nov. 4 regardless of what happens in the Lions-Ticats game.

The Elks (4-12) were eliminated from playoff contention after last week’s loss to the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field, but they’ve been playing better football in the second half of the season.


This will be the first time the Alouettes take on Geno Lewis. The 30-year-old missed six games due to injury this year. He has accumulated 34 receptions for 625 yards and three touchdowns.

Lewis broke into the CFL with the Alouettes in 2017 and played in Montreal through the 2022 season. As Als fans know, he’s a big receiver, who is physical, and who has good hands.

“Never stop,” Dequoy said when asked what the key to defending a player like Lewis is. “You’ll get to the last second, you’ll appear to be making a perfect play on the ball, and he’ll come and snatch it. When you’re covering him, you can’t stop until you hear the whistle because he can make an incredible play.”

His best season as an Alouette came last year when he finished with 91 receptions, 1303 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Philpot steps up

Tyson Philpot has been outstanding over the last few weeks. The 23-year-old missed the first seven weeks of the season with a lower-body injury, and it took him some time to get going. He was held to under 40 yards receiving in his first seven games, but he’s hit his stride over the last month.

In his last four outings, Philpot has 22 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He has also had at least 87 yards receiving in three of the four games and he also caught a touchdown pass in three of the four outings.

The Als have found a way to put the ball in his hands in a variety of ways. Sometimes they take deep shots with him, other times they’ll give him a jet-sweep, or even a quick hitter in space where he can make defenders miss.

With Kaion Julien-Grant (upper body) likely done for the season, the Als will need to continue to lean on Philpot as their primary Canadian contributor on offence.

Forcing turnovers:

During Monday’s game against the Redblacks, the Alouettes defence was able to score another touchdown thanks to a forced fumble by Reggie Stubblefield which Tyrice Beverette scooped and scored on. That was their eighth defensive score of 2023.

Heading into Week 19, the Alouettes have the second-best turnover ratio in the CFL at plus-7. They trail the Argos, who are at plus-21. They have come out of their three-game winning with 11 turnovers created and two turnovers committed, which puts them at plus-9 during this impressive stretch.

“It’s been the key to our season,” head coach Jason Maas said of winning the turnover battle. “We’re 7-0 when we turn the ball over less than our opponent. We talked at the beginning of the year about how turnover margin is one of the biggest predictors of winners in this league. In our nine wins, we have a turnover margin that’s very high. In our losses, it’s the exact opposite. No matter who the opponent is, when we protect the ball, we give ourselves the best chance to win.”

The Elks are eighth in this category at minus-13. Only the Roughriders (minus-15) are worse.