Let’s call it the Johnny Manziel revenge game. Manziel started his CFL career earlier this season with the Tiger-Cats, but ended up in Montreal mid-season. The move made sense, and still does for both teams. However, Hamilton will be hosting a playoff game next week; the Alouettes are hoping not to finish last in the entire league.
The last time these two teams played, it was not pretty for the Montreal Alouettes. A dismal season came close to hitting rock bottom in Week 8 in Montreal when the Tiger-Cats crushed the Als 50-11. It was the second most points allowed in a game by the Alouettes this season, only surpassed by the Bombers 56 points scored on them back on June 22. Things have changed leading into this late season matchup. The Alouettes are coming off their biggest win of the season, while the Tiger-Cats are already preparing for next week’s battle against the Lions. Hamilton has not played well on Saturdays going 5-16 against the spread in the last 21 games, and 6-15-2 ATS in the club’s last 23 home games. Could this be good news for the Alouettes?
Well he did it, he finally did it. Johnny Manziel finally captured CFL victory number one last week in a 40-10 win over the Argos. Manziel was 7-of-14 for 139 yards in the win. The Alouettes used both of their quarterbacks in Manziel and Antonio Pipkin for the team first win since August 31 (21-11 win over Ottawa) and only the teams fourth of the season. Rookie William Stanback gained 112 all-purpose yards along with his first two CFL touchdowns in the win. Fellow rookie running back Lawrence Pittman was also busy in the Montreal backup collecting a career-high 60 yards rushing. The pair gives hope to Alouettes’ fans that next year’s team will be better than this year’s version. Veteran John Bowman, who was playing in his last home game as an Alouette, thrilled the crowd one final time scoring a late defensive touchdown for the home side. Bowman will play this week in Hamilton, but has more than hinted at retirement after this season.
The Tiger-Cats are coming off back-to-back losses in a home-and-home series with the Ottawa RedBlacks. The silver lining in the two-game losing streak? The Tiger-Cats will host the East semi-final against the BC Lions who will cross-over and play them on November 11. But that’s where the good news ends. The Ti-Cats are reeling and are primed to fall in the first round of the post-season. MOP candidate Brandon Banks is out for the season with a broken clavicle, to add to that, defensive back Delvin Breaux was a late scratch last week with a swollen knee. He is doubtful for this game against the Alouettes and there are some questions marks about his availability for the playoff game. Expect Jeremiah Masoli to play no more than a half in this game with backup Dane Evans to see plenty of work. The key to the game for the Tiger-Cats is to stay healthy and not necessarily win the game.