July 7, 2024

Alouettes looking complete after extending win streak

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca

TORONTO — The Montreal Alouettes continue to find ways to win.

The Alouettes, fresh of four straight wins to open the 2024 season and 12 straight dating back to last season, found themselves trailing by double digits against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday.

It looked like the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who also won their first four games after taking down the Toronto Argonauts on Thursday, would be the last undefeated team in 2024, but the Als said ‘not so fast’.

Montreal scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to complete a 30-26 comeback win and remain in the race with Saskatchewan to be the last team with a perfect record.

“At this very moment, it’s not difficult to predict or at least assume that it’ll likely be the Montreal Alouettes,” said Henoc Muamba in a conversation with Donnovan Bennett in this week’s edition of The Waggle Podcast about who’ll be the last undefeated team in 2024.

“It’s hard for me to say this having competed against them over the last few years, but it’s hard to find a weakness on this team.”

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It used to be that when you faced Jason Maas’ Alouettes, you knew you were in for a hard-fought defensive battle. The unit led by Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Tyrice Beverette is as good as they come, entering Week 5 allowing the fewest points and yards in the league, while also leading in sacks (10), interceptions (five) and fumbles recovered (four).

It just so happens now that the offence led by quarterback Cody Fajardo and star National receiver Tyson Philpot has also emerged as one of the best in the league, placing third in yards per game and second in points before this weekend’s games.

“They play defensively, we know that right now. They are the standard. It’s difficult to predict exactly what you’re gonna get from that defence and it’s hard to beat them,” said Muamba.

“One of their weaknesses was the fact that they weren’t really aggressive offensively. You didn’t really fear them offensively speaking. But now, you have a confident Cody Fajardo who is slinging it. Tyson Philpot, Kaion Julien-Grant. A whole offence that looks complete and really seems like ‘how do you stop them’? And a special teams to complement everything as well.”

 

Muamba’s comments came before Fajardo threw for 374 yards and two majors in the win over the Stampeders, with Philpot adding 12 catches for 134 yards. The duo was complemented by yet another excellent dual-threat effort from running back Walter Fletcher, who rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown while catching nine passes for 104 yards.

The offensive outburst was enough to propel the team to a win even on a night where not everything went perfect. The Als lost the turnover battle (three to one), but overcame it by outgaining the Stampeders in net offence 466 to 278. If the offence continues to play like this, it’ll be hard for any team to take points off the board from them.

“It is likely going to be the Montreal to continue to be the last undefeated team in the CFL this year,” concluded Muamba.

The Roughriders are the only team that can have a say in it, as backup pivot Shea Patterson led them to a 30-23 win over the Argonauts with the defence forcing five turnovers to keep their perfect record in place.

The battle between Als and Riders to remain as the last undefeated team continues in Week 6, when Montreal hosts the Toronto Argonauts on Thursday, July 11, while Saskatchewan travels to BC to face the Lions on Saturday, July 13.

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