Toronto Argonauts: Critical Game Against the Montreal Alouettes


Despite two disappointing losses the Toronto Argonauts playoff hopes are still alive, as they travel to Montreal for a pivotal game with the Alouettes.

The Toronto Argonauts travel to Montreal looking to end a two-game losing streak and keep their playoff hopes alive, with five games left in the season. Drew Willy will play, becoming the fourth quarterback to start a game this season for the Boatmen.

It is certainly not an ideal situation for the Argonauts. However, they are fortunate that both Hamilton and Ottawa failed to separate themselves in the standings, giving them a fighting chance.

The Argos have a favourable match up against the Montreal Alouettes, who have had their fair share of struggles this season. Not that this game will be an easy one, especially against a Montreal team that will want to impress their new head coach.

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The Argos certainly have the advantage on the offensive side of the ball, but they will face a tough Montreal defence that has given teams a hard time this season. There are questions as to whether Willy is ready to take hold of the offence.

However, considering how he played in relief of Dan LeFevour against Ottawa without reps in practice, he should be able to have a strong game against Montreal. Willy’s quick release will be something he can use to his advantage, as long as the Argos receivers are able to get open.

Brandon Whitaker will be vital to the Argonauts game plan if Willy gets off to a slow start. Whitaker has performed well against his former team, so he will certainly be a player to watch on Sunday.

While the Argos defence has had their struggles this season, over the past two losses they have given the team a chance to win. They were dealt a big blow with the injury to AJ Jefferson, which has added to an ever-growing casualty list.

Even with the injuries, players have been able to step up when the team has needed them. Defensive back Aaron Berry said: “We just have to have the next man up attitude.

“Injuries happen and you cannot control that. It has been a problem for us this season, but you just have to step in and do the job of the guy that you are replacing.”

Going into this game, Berry knows the Alouettes are going to try to make a good impression: “We are just going to try and get big plays, control the ball to help our quarterback out. They will try to keep the simple for their rookie quarterback.”

There was a scary moment for the Argonauts on Thursday, when Willy hit his hand on a helmet after throwing the ball. There were doubts about his status for the game, but he came back to practice on Friday and although there was some pain in his hand, he said it was manageable.

Willy said: “I woke up and it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Was able to get cleared to go practice.

“You do not want things to hold you out and if it is not season-ending. You just try to play through it.”

When it comes to adjusting to new receivers, it has not been too much of an issue for Willy. The size of the Argos receiving corps certainly makes his job easier, when it comes to getting the ball in their hands.

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The receivers see that with his quick release. Kevin Elliot said: “He has some zip to on that ball and we love that as receivers, because the ball is coming out strong and high.”

The Argos have beaten the Alouettes already this season at home. However, they will not take them lightly and are expecting a tough game. ”

Head coach Scott Milanovich said: “They are a team that always play hard, they are physical…Guys are fighting to keep their jobs so there is no doubt in my mind that they will come out strong.”

This is an important game for the Argonauts, especially with two clashes against Calgary left on the schedule, along with matchups against Edmonton and Saskatchewan. If they cannot get momentum from this game, it will not get any easier moving forward.

Next: Drew Willy to Start Against Montreal

Elliot said: “Our playoffs start this week and we want to get some momentum going into practice. This is what I call a trap game where we can get caught up in what they are doing with all the changes they are going.”