Magnifique Montréal: Als are back in the playoffs

Magnifique Montréal: Als are back in the playoffs
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It was ‘Magnifique Montréal’ this past weekend as the Montreal Alouettes made their way back to the playoffs. All the more exciting for Als fans as this is the first time since 2014.

You can see how big a turnaround this is when you consider that the Als, even with a playoff appearance have gone 38-70 since 2013. The past two seasons a combined 8-28 have been particularly painful for Als fans, so you know they had to be loving this moment.

Montreal have seemingly struggled on and off since 2013 and the retirement of Antony Calvillo their great quarterback. A fact we noted in the pre-season.

On top of that, things seemed chaotic before the season began as the Als parted with their coach on the eve of the season.

There has been something about this years’ team though. You could see it encapsulated in their ‘Cardiac Kids’ style comeback against Winnipeg recently.

Reasons for the Resurgence

The Coach

It all starts with the coach. As mentioned above, less than a week before the team’s opening game of the season, head coach Mike Sherman and the Als parted ways.

Offensive coordinator Khari Jones was named the interim head coach and he has been nothing short of a revelation. The former CFL All-Star certainly ‘gets it’ when it comes to the league in a way you feel Mike Sherman never really did.

He looks a certainty to be nominated for the league’s Coach of the Year award this year. You could make a strong case for him to win it too.

The Quarterback

In our weekly game updates it feels like we keep mentioning how Vernon Adam Jr finds ways to win. It has been a true break out year for the signal caller. The Als always seem more competitive in the games he is in.

The team has coalesced around him. You sense that if he is in the game they always feel like they have a chance.

In the four seasons between playoff appearances, Montreal has had 12 different starting quarterbacks. Surely Als fans will be hoping Adams Jr sticks around and continues in this vein.

The Defense

Montreal may not have the most dominant D in the game. They may not be allowing the fewest points league wide. But they are competitive. Look at the win over Calgary that put them into the playoffs this week.

That game saw them force three fumbles, an interception, and two sacks on the way to a win. That against a team led by the reigning MOP. The key point is that didn’t feel like that much of an anomaly.

This is a balanced, good team on both sides of the ball. Now that they are in the playoffs other teams are going to have to watch out for them.

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