The Montreal Alouettes lost 20-17 to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Friday, and much-maligned receiver Duron Carter was one of the few offensive players to have a good night. Montreal did just about everything right on defence and special teams, but still found a way to lose and fall to 3-9. This isn't a result that inspired any confidence this team can turn things around. It wasn't hugely positive for the Tiger-Cats, either, as it took a last-play field goal for them to pull off the win against a team that didn't have an offensive touchdown on the night, but at least they got that win and improved to 6-6. Meanwhile, the highlights of the night for Montreal were Carter pulling off a massive punt block and return for a touchdown, plus him signing a "Worst. Teammate. Ever." sign:
It's interesting that following a week where the major storyline was quarterback Rakeem Cato's confrontation with Carter and receiver Kenny Stafford at practice, Cato didn't do much to help his cause or solidify his place as the Alouettes' starter. He threw for just 168 yards Friday night with no touchdowns and an interception, and while his 70.4 per cent completion rate was decent, those aren't the kind of numbers that are going to win many games in this league. You have to wonder if Montreal will consider handing the starting job to Vernon Adams Jr., the hot NCAA prospect they traded a first-round pick for earlier this season who's mostly ridden the bench so far.
Meanwhile, while Carter (who did notably fail to come back for one short pass) and his fellow receivers (including B.J. Cunningham, who had a catchable pass glance off his hands for Cato's only interception of the night) weren't perfect, they looked better than the guy throwing the ball to them. Running back Tyrell Sutton (11 carries for 71 yards, a 6.5 yards-per-carry average) was also good, but the Alouettes' overall offence was putrid. Much of that is on Cato.
The Tiger-Cats didn't look much better Friday, especially on offence. Quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 291 yards and a touchdown with a 69.4 per cent completion rate, but he also tossed two interceptions. Rookie running back Ross Scheurman (replacing the injured C.J. Gable) had 79 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards, but it took him 16 carries to get those rushing yards (a 4.9 yards-per-carry average). Some of that was about a banged-up offensive line with several new starters, but Collaros also didn't look like his typically-dominant self. They'll have to be much better if they want to keep improving and heading towards the playoffs. They're in much better shape than Montreal, though, and it's clear that the Alouettes can't simply blame all their problems on Carter, "Worst. Teammate. Ever." or not.