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Tiger-Cats look to tame Alouettes’ improving offense

Dec 12, 2021; Hamilton, Ontario, CAN; Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive tackle Dylan Wynn (98) gets the fans to cheer during the 108th Grey Cup football game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Tim Hortons Field. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

When the Hamilton Tiger-Cats play the visiting Montreal Alouettes Thursday night, it will be their first of six straight games against the two teams they trail in the East Division.

During that span, the Tiger-Cats (1-5) will play the Alouettes (2-4) twice and the Toronto Argonauts (3-2) four times.

“The record, we’re not proud of,” Tiger-Cats receiver Bralon Addison said. “We have to find a way to put it all together. The race for the East starts now.”

Hamilton lost 17-12 to the host B.C. Lions last Thursday.

“It’s simple, we’re 1-and-5; that’s what we are,” Tiger-Cats coach Orlondo Steinauer said. “We’ve been in every football game, and that’s important because that’s kind of the difference between wholesale changes and tweaks.

“We have to take the ball away more, we have to not turn it over and we have to score when we have scoring opportunities and that doesn’t always include field goals.”

The visiting Alouettes defeated the winless Ottawa Redblacks 40-33 last Thursday.

Montreal receiver Hergy Mayala caught five passes for 102 yards and one touchdown at Ottawa.

Mayala feels that since Anthony Calvillo took over play-calling two weeks ago, he is getting more opportunities.

“I feel like now there’s a lot of movement,” he said. “And it puts guys in different positions. It gives different guys the opportunity to do the things that they’re good at.”

The Alouettes converted just 5-of-14 chances in the red zone in their first four games, but that has improved.

They scored five red-zone touchdowns in Ottawa and four against the Edmonton Elks a week earlier.

“For us, it was just about getting in there,” Mayala said. “I felt like a lot of times we’d get in there and get stopped, and now we get there, and the mentality isn’t to come out with three (points), it’s about coming out with six (points), and I feel like we’re doing a good job. We’re 9-for-11 (in the last two games), but I feel like we could be 11-of-11.”

–Field Level Media