After a 41-3 drubbing of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Week 6, the Montreal Alouettes defence is ready for the B.C. Lions. Even though most of the attention of the game went to the offence, the Alouettes defence is happy with holding their opponents to zero touchdowns, and looks to carry their great play into Week 7.
Alouettes Defence Prepared for Lions
The Alouettes defence has been criticised for their lack of discipline as it has cost them some key stops and turnovers. Overall, the team holds the highest average penalties per game at 12.8, and is second by the Ottawa Redblacks for total penalties, who have played one more game. Through Week 6, the Alouettes defence commits an average of 4.4 penalties per game, again the second-most in the league behind Ottawa at 5.5. They did improve their discipline against the Riders, committing only four defensive penalties.
The Lions offence isn’t much more disciplined than the Alouettes defence, committing the second-most offensive penalties with 24 through five games. Despite a need to reduce the penalties for both teams, linebacker Kyries Hebert does not want to focus only on the numbers.
“Our defence plays on the edge, if we start worrying about the penalties, we wouldn’t be looking to dominate,” said the veteran.
“Last game there wasn’t a touchdown scored [on us] and I think that no touchdowns scored is more important than any number with penalties.”
Considering the Alouettes defence is going up against a powerful Lions offence, who has put up the fourth-most points per game at 28.6 and the most TDs/game with 3.2, it may be a better strategy to dominate at home.
Outside of their stellar trio of receivers in Shawn Gore, Emmanuel Arceneaux and Bryan Burnham, the conductor of their powerful offence is undoubtedly the quarterback, Jonathon Jennings. Jennings has put up good numbers through the air, passing for 1,411 yards, 7 TDs and 3 interceptions with a completion percentage of 60.7%, but it is his feet that make him such a threat behind centre.
Jennings is second on the team and eighth in the league for rushing yards with 135, and is tied with John White of the Edmonton Eskimos for the league-lead in rushing touchdowns, with three. Jennings is arguably the most mobile quarterback in the CFL right now.
Hebert and the Alouettes defence are not afraid of his ability to pick up yards on the ground.
“We have an answer [to Jennings]. It’s a secret weapon. Wait until the game and see,” said Hebert, tongue in cheek.
Head coach Jim Popp was more elaborate on his team’s plans to stop the Lions quarterback.
“We give some runs up because we’re in a 3-4, and people will get some yards on us. The key is not letting him convert second downs. If he takes off and runs then we’re covering pretty good. You just hope you keep him from the first down and hit him pretty hard.”
Following their win in front of an energetic home crowd, the team and the Alouettes defence are looking to build on that momentum. Jennings and the rest of the Lions team march into town Thursday night, awaiting Hebert’s secret weapon.