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Canadian Football League: The Montreal Alouettes come into 2018 after another dismal season, going just 3-15 last year.
They have another new coach in former NFL head coach Mike Sherman, and are hoping he can help turn things around. Sherman is the fifth new coach for the Alouettes in four years. He went 59-43 in the NFL during his six seasons as coach of the Green Bay Packers and took the team to the playoffs four times during that time.
Montreal’s been in a rut for several seasons now with the team’s last championship coming eight years ago and its last winning season occuring in 2012. The Alouettes have only had five losing seasons in franchise history and all of those have come in recent years, including three straight years below .500 from 2015 to present.
Last season got off to an up-and-down start and torpedoed near the midway point. After going 3-4 through their first eight games, the Alouettes lost the next 11 straight to end the season without a playoff berth. After losing that many games in a row, the team is sure to be hungry for a new start in 2018.
The last place finish last season did come with a silver lining -- the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Montreal elected to trade that pick, however, to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for their second overall pick and guard Ryan Bomben. The Alouettes were allotted a total of ten picks from this year’s draft including offensive lineman Trey Rutherford, out of Connecticut, with their second overall selection.
CFL Odds To Win the Grey Cup at BetCRIS
Calgary Stampeders 2/1
Edmonton Eskimos 6/1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 13/2
Toronto Argonauts 13/2
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7/1
Saskatchewan Roughriders 15/2
BC Lions 10/1
Ottawa Redblacks 12/1
Montreal Alouettes 18/1
Not much is expected of Montreal this season as it has the longest odds at capturing a Grey Cup. The Alouettes finished with the worst record in the CFL a season ago and there was nothing unlucky about it, as the team scored only 314 points and gave up 580, far and away the worst point-differential in the league.
In some respects the Alouettes were lucky to win even three games as one came by only a point and another was within a touchdown. Montreal had Darian Durant at quarterback a year ago but he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. The team now has a wide open quarterback competition. Veteran Drew Willy is seen as the possible front-runner to start but former NFL quarterback Josh Freeman is also on the team as he hopes to push for playing time.
Freeman is intriguing because he found some success in the NFL but he hasn’t picked up the CFL game quickly and may not make the impact that was once hoped. Whichever quarterback it is will rely on star receiver B.J. Cunningham, who had 69 catches for 1,128 yards and four touchdowns a season ago.
Linebacker/safety Kyries Hebert was the team’s Most Outstanding Player a year ago but requested his release after the season and the 37-year-old will move on to play for Ottawa. That’s not a good sign for a defense that already struggled with his standout performances in the mix.
Grey Cup Titles
7 -- The Alouettes’ latest titles came in back-to-back fashion back in 2009 and 2010. The team’s first ever title came sixty years prior, way back in 1949. It’s been a struggle since those two straight titles eight years ago and Montreal could be hard-pressed to add another Grey Cup this year or any time soon. It figures to be a tough road in 2018 for the Alouettes in CFL betting.
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