Preview: TOR at MTL – Week 6

The Montreal Alouettes are just a few days away from having their first bye week of 2024, but before they get to enjoy some time off, they’ll host the Toronto Argonauts on Thursday night.

This will be the second time these two teams go head-to-head in three weeks. The Alouettes beat the Argos at BMO Field, 30-20, at the end of June. Heading into this matchup, the Als have a six-point advantage over Toronto and Ottawa in the East standings.

Here’s what you need to know about this matchup…

The walking wounded:

Last Saturday’s thrilling come-from-behind win came at a cost, as Jason Maas’ team lost four bodies right before/during the game. Louis-Philippe Bourassa and David Cote were both ruled out after the pre-game warmup, while Frederic Chagnon and Marc-Antoine Dequoy were hurt during the game.

Cote and Chagnon were both placed on the six-game injured list while Bourassa and Dequoy are game-time decisions for Thursday’s contest.

Global kicker Jose Maltos will take over as the primary place kicker until Cote is ready to return. Maltos went three-for-three on his field goal attempts last week.

On Tuesday morning, the team announced that they had signed Canadians Anthony Federico (DL) and Michal Domagala (K).

A stout passing defence:

Heading into Week 6, the Alouettes pass defence ranks first in the CFL in yards allowed per game. What’s even more impressive is that they haven’t allowed any of the starting quarterbacks they’ve faced to accumulate 300 yards or more in any outing this season.

Week 1 – Zach Collaros (209 yards)
Week 2 – McLeod Bethel-Thompson (269 yards)
Week 3 – Dru Brown (292 yards)
Week 4 – Cameron Dukes (199 yards0
Week 5 – Jake Maier (106 yards)

The Alouettes are the only team in the league that has an average of fewer than 250 passing yards allowed per game (241.8).

Red zone efficiency:

The Alouettes’ defence has obviously been impressive, but we can’t forget about the work that’s being done on the other side of the ball.

Red zone efficiency only seems to be brought up when a team is struggling to punch the ball into the end zone. It’s hardly mentioned when things are going well, and right now it’s going very well for the Als.

They currently lead the CFL in trips to the red zone, with 17 (tied with Winnipeg). The Alouettes are the only team with double-digit touchdowns from inside the 20, as they are currently tops in the league at 10. And that includes the field goal right before halftime last Saturday, where Maltos had to kick on second down because there was less than five seconds remaining before the break.

The Argonauts are last in trips to the red zone (eight) and red zone touchdowns (five – tied with Ottawa).