Victor Anderson rushed for 102 yards in his first CFL start Friday night.Heading into Friday night's Edmonton Eskimos-Montreal Alouettes clash, one of the key questions was which team's new faces would step up more. There's no question about the answer there, and that's a good thing for Montreal. Despite the absence of key figures like 2011 CFL rushing leader Brandon Whitaker and 2011 league receiving leader Jamel Richardson, the Alouettes came away with a dominant 38-25 victory Friday, handed the Eskimos their first home loss of the season, moved into first place in the East Division and proved that they have plenty of capable replacements. If a depleted Montreal offence can look this good against an Edmonton team that had allowed just a league-low 99 points to date (16.5 points per game), the rest of the league had better watch out.
Of course, some of the fault here was on the Eskimos. They didn't look anywhere near the defensive unit that had been so impressive in the early going this season, and they were downright terrible early on, allowing the Alouettes to put up a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter. Edmonton made this somewhat close in the late stages, but this could have been far worse than a 13-point loss, and it should be one that causes their offence in particular to really do some soul-searching. The Montreal defence played well, particularly in putting pressure on quarterback Steven Jyles (who finished with 15 completions on 28 attempts, 53.6 per cent, for just 173 yards with one touchdown and one interception), and they sacked Jyles five times while also keeping the ground game in check. However, the Eskimos have to be better in all aspects of the offensive game. They couldn't block, they couldn't throw and they couldn't run effectively for most of the game Friday night. If that doesn't improve, it's going to be a long year in Edmonton.Read More »from No Whitaker? No Richardson? No problem for Alouettes, who cruise to victory over Eskimos