Saturday the Riders look to get back to their winning ways when the Alouettes roll into town. Well it would be more correct to say when the Alouettes limp into town just happy that Winnipeg is taking some of the attention away of just how bad their season is going. The sad thing is, despite how bad a season the Als of had so far, a win and they are comfortably in 2nd in the East. At this rate Ottawa should have no problem being competitive in year one.
The Als are just so different than the ones we have grown accustomed to. For the better part of a decade they have become known for their dangerous passing attack and rock solid OL. Here a just a few stats to tell you just how far they have fallen from that.
- They have the worst passing attack in the league
- Calvillo has just 6 TDs and 5 INTs (sometimes he barely throws that many picks in a year)
- They have allowed 20 sacks… that’s so many hits on old man Calvillo it borders on elder abuse.
You can talk about injuries playing a part but let’s call a spade a spade here… their offense has looked like shit all year. It was expected that ditching that idiot Hawkins would fix things but that didn’t improve anything. I’m honestly waiting for Calvillo to just retire on the spot after one of their ridiculous amounts of 2 and outs.
We can’t afford to take them lightly though as an offense featuring Green, London, Bruce and AC should be able to find the endzone by accident at some point. Doug Berry now calls the shots… which means if we cover the shot gun draw we will have their run game neutralized. Green has been the only consistent performer of the bunch (and we need no reminder of what that freak receiver can do at Mosaic). Given how bad the O has been I’ve been really surprised they don’t just chuck it up deep on the sidelines to London more. He plays the jump ball as good as anyone I’ve seen at this point. But what do I know? I'm just a guy who drinks whiskey and wears a robe.
If the Als watched last week’s tape they will know to get a blocker on Williams, run early and often and pick on Anderson. Fortunately, as previously mentioned, the run will not be a factor so we just need to worry about covering in the secondary. Green on Anderson worries me as a match-up. But given how bad their OL has been and how good our front 4 are I don’t see Calvillo getting much time to throw which should help. Same as always we just have to take away the big play. From what I’ve seen of this offense, they are about as likely to put together multiple long passing drives as the half time wedding is to not feature someone yelling out “She’s carrying my baby!!!!”
Offensively we need to contend with a defense that has actually played some OK ball. They are aggressive as hell, love to blitz, love to gun for big plays, they are high risk/high reward. The reward is the 15 takeaways and 20 sacks they’ve amassed. The risk is the almost 30 points a game they allow. We will need be to be very disciplined in our blocking assignments (including RBs, TEs and blocking WRs) to keep Durant upright. A heavy dose of Sheets will help counteract their aggressiveness. A well time screen could prove deadly if we catch them in blitz. Durant needs to be smart about his passes because the Als love to go for picks. Get the ball in accurately and on time and we should be fine, a pump fake or two could easily become 6 points.
While I doubt Devine will once again try to hand the game to the opponents over and over and over, I still think that the Als are in trouble. We are still a good team, we are at home and looking to exact revenge after a loss. The Als are just looking for an offensive series that doesn’t end in Calvillo’s hands up in the air in frustration (a near certainty with Berry trying to completely revamp their passing attack midseason)
Riders by 15.