In 2019 Vernon Adams Jr. led the Montreal Alouettes to their first regular season winning record in seven years, but is he ready to take the next step and make this team a legitimate contender in 2021?
After years of trying to find a replacement for quarterback Anthony Calvillo, the Montreal Alouettes finally found their man in 2019, Vernon Adams Jr. With much of the same 2019 offensive roster coming back, Adams will have his sights set on improving Montreal’s 10-8 record from two years ago.
The Alouettes were run by the CFL in 2019 while the league looked for new ownership. They found that ownership last year and the new bosses got right to work, hiring general manager Danny Maciocia, who was quick to give Adams the mantle in Montreal. In Adams, Maciocia has a quarterback who threw for 24 touchdowns in 2019 and almost 4,000 yards. There’s going to be familiarity with the receiving core, as B.J. Cunningham, Mario Alford, Quan Bray, Jake Wieneke and Eugene Lewis are all returning.
CFL All-Star running back William Stanback, who signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020, will also be back in the fold. Stanback ran for five touchdowns in 2019 and finished third in league rushing with 1,048 yards. The offensive line took a hit, however, with the retirement of Canadian starters Trey Rutherford and Tyler Johnstone.
Defensively, the Als will need to contend without safety Taylor Loffler, who retired, and linebacker Henoc Muamba, who signed with Toronto in free agency. Part of the defensive gap will be filled by defensive tackle Almondo Sewell. Sewell finished finished the 2019 season with 35 total tackles and eight sacks.
Montreal Alouettes 2021 CFL Schedule
After their first winning season in almost a decade in 2019, the Als have expectations of improving on that in 2021. They start the year on the road for three of their first four games, but that gives them a home-heavy schedules to end the season. They’ll play four of their last five games in Montreal, including a regular season finale against an Ottawa team that doesn’t look like it’s improved much since their 3-15 season in 2019.
Saturday, August 14 @ Edmonton Elks
Friday, August 20 @ Calgary Stampeders
Friday, August 27 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, September 3 @ Ottawa Redblacks
Saturday, September 18 vs. BC Lions
Friday, September 24 @ Toronto Argonauts
Saturday, October 2 @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Monday, October 11 vs. Ottawa Redblacks
Saturday, October 16 @ Ottawa Redblacks
Friday, October 22 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Saturday, October 30 vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saturday, November 6 @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Saturday, November 13 vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Friday, November 19 vs. Ottawa Redblacks
Montreal Alouettes 2021 Season Prediction
The Alouettes win total at Sports Interaction is set at 6.5 for the season, while they’re paying +900 to win the Grey Cup. If this were a full 18-game season, I would expect Montreal to improve, but it will be tough in an abbreviated year. I still don’t expect them to regress and they should compete with Toronto for a second in the East (Hamilton looks poised to clinch the division).
2021 Projection: 8-6