MONTREAL(RushPRnews)13/11/08–The Als are looking to sweep pass Edmonton and play the Grey Cup finals in their own backyard. Can the Montreal Alouettes get any more incentive to win Saturdayâ€™s game at the Olympic Stadium? Finishing in first place in a sappy east division, has critics wondering if the Als are as good as their record indicates.
They are playing at home in the East finals. Montreal will be hosting the Grey Cup. And last but not least, theirplayoff opponents are once again the Edmonton Eskimos. Howâ€™s that for motivation?
Their rivalry alone is one of the biggest in professional sportâ€™s history. Both squads arguably know the other better than any other team in the league. This is especially true come playoff time. Theyâ€™ve met so many times before that itâ€™s almost automatic. The inter-twining is particularly noteworthy this decade with Cup matchups in â€˜02, 03 and â€˜05, with Edmonton winning the latter two.
Although this meeting is not in a championship game, both the players and coaches are treating it as such. Calvillo and company had a bye in the first round of the playoffs and used this valuable time to rest and get healthy.
Calvillo is being smart with the football and doing everything that you want out of a quarterback. And what can be said about the backfield and the depth shown when Avon Cobourne was sidelined with an injury. Dahrran Diedrick stepped up. Guys have rotated in and out of the backfield and seen success. Credit the O-line. Those guys never get enough recognition.
The defense, theyâ€™re not all that bad either when something is on the line. Yes, they have had some consistency problems as of lately but nothing was at stake having secured home field advantage during the playoffs. So donâ€™t look too much into the fact that the defense took it easy and allowed inferior teams to hang around and light up the score board.
Rest assured, when the bell rings the Als defense will be more than ready to answer the call. But no one said it was going to be an easy task. Itâ€™s no secret that Edmonton has a potent offense led by Rickey Ray. He has great touch and timing delivering the ball and is accurate on short throws. Following their conservative game plan that has worked throughout the course of the season, will keep the equally explosive Alâ€™s offense off the field.
But then again Montrealâ€™s undersized but very aggressive and quick defense are so good at flying to the ball and gang-tackling. This just might favor middle-linebacker Reggie Huntâ€™s and his defensive squadâ€™s style of play. Ray might have to make throws beyond the sticks, instead of expecting his receivers to make first downs and gain yards after contact.
Both teams took the field twice this season and both times the outcome was drastically different. Montreal rolled over Edmonton 40-4 in the first contest, while Edmonton returned the favor 37-14 to end the regular season.
But all that is history now. This is the one that matters. Remove all the hype in this game and in reality itâ€™s just like any other game. It comes down to the basics. Better tackling, harder hits and the team which makes fewer mistakes will secure their place in the Grey Cup 96th final.