The Als ran their record to 6-0 last night with a 34-13 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The 6-0 start isn't quite as good as the eight-gamer the Als used to start the 2002 season. Still, you have to admit, it's not bad.
"I think an undefeated season is possible," said defensive back Reggie Durden, the author of a two-interception night, "but it's too soon to be talking about it. I'm just glad people are talking about us maybe being able to pull it off."
There hasn't been an undefeated CFL team since the Calgary Stampeders went 12-0 in 1948 en route to the Grey Cup. The last pro team to ring up an undefeated season was the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The Als have outscored their opponents 205-90.
Matthews, the CFL's reigning serial coach is 32-10 as the Als boss and as unrepentant a sinner and signal-stealer as you will find this side of hell. He is also a marvelous coach, head and shoulders the best in the Canadian game and his team carries the same swagger as the baldheaded guy in the baseball cap.
This is the Don Matthews year. He hasn't been around long enough as to be unbearable. He has every imaginable weapon, a special teams star in kick returner Ezra Landry, a talented, deep receiving corps and a sterling offensive line that limited the Tiger-Cats solid pass rush to two sacks last night. Even if he's right about the undefeated season, 16-2 probably looks about right.
Shreds Ticats defence
Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo passed Dieter Brock to move into ninth spot in yards gained last night. Calvillo, coming off his first MVP season, shredded the Ticats defence with 28 completions in 41 attempts -- good for 379 yards. He didn't throw an interception and ran for a major for good measure.
"I thought offensively we played just okay," Calvillo said. "We left too many points off the board in the first half."
The Als are like the big kid who keeps a windmilling kid at bay with a palm on his forehead. You can get only as close as the big kid wants you to get.
The Als surrendered 105 yards to Hamilton running back Troy Davis in the first half. He got one yard on four carries in the second.
The Als defence held McManus to just five completions in 17 second-half attempts and 16 of 39 overall.
"Teams come out against us with entirely different schemes," Matthews said, "and sometimes they have some early success while we're figuring out what they're trying to do. We're fine once we settle in and that's what happened tonight."
Going into the game, the Alouettes defence led the CFL in fewest first downs, fewest yards allowed in the air and most interceptions.
"This is the best team we've had in the four years I've been here," Durden said. "Our defence has been together a while and we are really familiar with each other."
The most telling moment came early in the second quarter, Calvillo's pass to Thyron Anderson was called back because Anderson stepped out of bounds before the catch. Undeterred, Jeremaine Copeland delivered a highlight-reel quality touchdown catch.
They are as good as they want to be and they seem to have plenty