Thursday, July 18, 2024

REDBLACKS Get Torched – 5 Thoughts on Ottawa Loss to Montréal – 13th Man Sports

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Ottawa REDBLACKS get torched by Cody Fajardo and the Alouettes, losing 47-21 in a one-sided game that was out of reach not even 10 minutes into the 1st Quarter.

It has been frustrating stretch of football in the nations capital since 2019 and every win and more importantly every loss is under a microscope.

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo is tackled by Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Alonzo Addae as he runs for yardage. The Canadian Press

During my Pre-Game preview highlighting my three keys to success for the REDBLACKS, I highlighted the fact that the Alouettes entered Thursday match up with a +5 Turnover Differential and that for Ottawa to have a chance to win, they would have to win the turnover battle. They ended the night with 4 turnovers, 2 Fumbles, 1 Interception & 1 Turnover On Downs.

Alouettes forced fumbles on back to back drives in the 2nd quarter. They finished the game with 20 points off Turnovers.

Ottawa is now a -1 in Turnover Differential heading into Week 4. They will need to go back to the positive side if they want to win vs Hamilton.

Giving up 394 yards in any game isn’t a good way to win, but when you’re giving up chunk plays on a consistent basis you’re going to make it pretty easy for the opposing team to score. Fajardo went 28 for 35, attacking the soft zones or the one on one match ups up high, Fajardo was able to put the ball where only his receivers could catch it.

Canadian Receivers Tyson Philpot and Kaion Julien-Grant were a two headed monster for the Alouettes, putting up 127 and 139 receiving yards respectively. Reggie White Jr. who played his first game after suffering a knee injury where he tore three ligaments vs Ottawa in October of 2022 put up 61 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Secondary wasn’t the only problem on defence though and that will be talked about later in this article.

We can have discussions around the validity of some calls, but the reality is, Ottawa continues to put themselves in negative situations on both sides of the ball.

With 9 Penalties for 115 yards on Thursday, They are now at 18 total penalties – Tied with Saskatchewan and have a league leading 210 total penalty yards.

Roughing the Passer call on Javon Santos-Knox followed by the Pass Interference Penalty on Money Hunter on Back to Back Drives led directly to 14 points. Dru Brown had two Delay Of Game Penalties puts the offence back on drives.

Dyce and co will need to get these things sorted soon or they could end up costing the REDBLACKS more game this season.

Montreal Alouettes defensive back Myles Brooks, left, and defensive back Smoke Monday take down Ottawa Redblacks’ Justin Hardy during first-half CFL pre-season action, Friday, May 31, 2024 in Ottawa. PHOTO BY ADRIAN WYLD /The Canadian Press

Defense is a machine and if one part of that machine isn’t working properly, every other part is going to struggle. As much as the Secondary struggled to stop the pass, the defensive line did not help them much either.

We need to give credit to Jason Maas play calling, they moved the pocket, utilized quick throws and play-action calls to keep Ottawa pass rushers from getting into a rhythm.

It won’t happen often nor can it but the defense is better when the defensive line is getting after the Quarterback.

Going down 17-0 early wasn’t part of the game plan but only calling 11 run plays all game is unacceptable when the defense has struggled containing the run.

Winning the time of possession battle doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to win the game but when you’re trying to shift moment after giving up 17 point on the opponents first three drives, you need to be able to use your running game to do so.

Ryquell Armstead had 6 total carries for 26 yards. He needs to be more involved if this team wants to be playoff contenders. He is a difference maker if given the ability to do so and I hope we see him utilized more on June 30 vs Hamilton.

Final Thoughts

I don’t believe this game is an indication of how the rest of this season will go but there is no longer any benefit of the doubt given. How the team responds when they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will tell us how strong this team is.

The Ottawa REDBLACKS are now 15-55 since the start of the 2019 season. The fans only care about the results, there is no more morale victories or small victories that can be spun to keep this fanbase positive.

Ottawa REDBLACKS next game: Sunday June 30 vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats at TD Place

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