The 5-5 Riders look to build on a 2 game win streak. Unfortunately this time they will have to do it against a team that isn’t absolutely awful in pretty much every way that matters. We will actually have to beat a team with a winning record (only one or our wins this year has come against a team currently above .500).
At the time I am writing this, all signs point to Willy getting the start this week so that’s what I’ll base my analysis on. It would be a great bonus if Durant can somehow go, he and Dressler always seem to have huge games against the Als. But for now I’ll assume that we are in for another Willy performance.
The Als are like the CFL equivalent of the Indy Colts when Manning was still with them... they have a future Hall of Fame QB on which all their hopes lay and they just hope the defense doesn’t do anything too awful. The new Jeff Reinbold D is showing signs of improvement but they couldn’t stop an anorexic kid in a game of red rover. Their best defensive play call is Kyries Hebert headhunting receivers downfield. Actually one of my biggest fears going into this game is Willy serving up a high pass to Dressler which results in him getting killed. The Als are currently allowing over 30 points per game... if not for Calvillo these guys would probably be well below .500.
The Als actually have pretty good run D, through the air is where they are most vulnerable. And therein lies the problem for us... our strength is running and although we are all proud of our Willy, I don’t think he is quite ready for a gun slinging duel against one of the games best. The rest of our O will need to step up and help support Willy. The scouting report on us is so obvious Helen Keller has it figured out. Our O-line struggles against pressure and our rookie QB is indecisive... not hard to figure out that we will be seeing a lot of pressure all night long. We will need to counter that if we hope to win. Strong runs by Sheets, double TE sets, screens and short slants to the wideouts will all help. Willy using his legs will also be needed. I would focus on the outside of the field to avoid Hebert and the LBs. It’s far from out style but I think if used right, our WRs could have a big day.
Defensively your only hope is to get Calvillo out of rhythm. If he gets in synch with his receivers we are in trouble. Green currently leads the league in receiving and although Richardson still looks hobbled by injury, he can hurt us if not kept in check. I was surprised to see that Montreal has the worst running attack this season (which is odd given how dominant Whitaker was last year). The Als compensate for this with the league’s top passing attack. Which brings us back to Calvillo. We need to get pressure on him consistently. The Als have a solid OL so sacks may be hard to come by but at the least we need to force Calvillo to throw early and move around in the pocket. Blitzes will help in this regard. Our D has allowed the 3rd least points this season so they are certainly capable but the accurate passes of Calvillo and the tall Montreal Wrs will be a massive test for our DBs. I’ll be interested to see if we lock Brackenridge on Richardson.
Montreal will score on us. This is one of those “we can’t stop them, only hope to contain them” situations. We can’t let this turn into a shoot otherwise Montreal’s old man will embarrass our young Willy. But again, Willy can’t do it all on his own. Our D, receivers, coaches and OL will all need to step up because nothing short of a total team effort will get us our 3rd straight win.
As much as I would love to predict a gutsy Willy win, Montreal plays exceptionally well at home and will be looking to exact revenge after getting embarrassed in BC. I think we will keep this one really close but in the end a more veteran team with a more potent offense will prevail.
Calvillo will prove that when it comes to scoring, experience will trump youth and enthusiasm. Willy will prove no match for old man Calvillo.
Als by 7