The Montreal Alouettes loss Friday night to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is a possible blessing in disguise. This could force owner Bob Wetenhall to finally clean house and rearrange his coaching staff during their bye week.
Alouettes Loss Possible Blessing in Disguise
Montreal Just Hangs On Until the End
The Alouettes loss was not a blow out. They lost 20-17 and it was only the second time this season they were defeated by less than a touchdown. This does not hide the fact that they are 3-9 and are losers of four straight games.
The Alouettes did stay in this game for a majority of it, and led at halftime. Once again, turnovers and a fourth-quarter collapse allowed the Ticats to win the game on a field goal.
The Alouettes did not have a great game, and they did not have a bad game. Their offence was horrendous, not scoring a touchdown and turning the ball over three times. They collected 257 yards, with a mere 168 coming through the air.
Their defence was once again great until the end, with two interceptions within their own half. They were torn apart on the Ticats final drive, which lasted 11 plays and travelled 73 yards down the field, including a 31-yard pass to Andy Fantuz.
For the most apart, this Alouettes loss sums their season up: bad offence, and a good defence until the fourth quarter.
Like most games, special teams kept the Alouettes rolling. Duron Carter blocked and returned a punt for the opening touchdown, and kicker Anthony Fera went 2/3 on field goals and put up 9 points. Special teams scored 15 points, and Tiger-Cats punter Brett Maher conceded a safety for the other two points.
In any other game, the Alouettes would not have survived until the end with no touchdowns scored. If the Alouettes would have won, it would have seriously hid the fact that they just aren’t good enough, and that Popp needs to go.
Wetenhall Has Excuse
With the Alouettes loss, Wetenhall has an excuse to remove Jim Popp as head coach. The Alouettes begin their bye week, and logic would suggest it’s the perfect time to make a switch. Whoever gets promoted, whether it be Noel Thorpe, Anthony Calvillo, Kavis Reed or Jacques Chapdelaine, has a week off to write up a new scheme.
Players also get a week to relax, spend time with family or go away on vacation. With their season speeding down a hill without any brakes, most players will not want to think about football. This allows the players to start Week 15 with a fresh mind and accept the ways of a possible new head coach.
If the Alouettes won in Hamilton, Popp would have had an excuse to keep him. Why fire a coach after a win? It’s not like Popp has ever done that himself, after firing the two previous head coaches, Dan Hawkins and Tom Higgins, following wins…
Even if Montreal won, they would have been 4-8, and a playoff spot would still be a distant goal. Instead, with a record of 3-9, the Alouettes really have no hope to make any playoff push. What’s the point of keeping a head coach who has gone 6-14 and misses the playoffs for two straight years?
The Montreal Alouettes loss is a blessing in disguise. It gives the Alouettes a reason to fire Popp as head coach, and create some stability over their bye week. If Popp does not get fired over the week bye, it is likely he stays on for the rest of the season.