WINNIPEG - The man who’s thrown for more yards than any quarterback in pro football took more daggers than anyone in the Montreal Alouettes locker-room, Saturday.
And he aimed them all at himself.
Quarterback Anthony Calvillo says his three interceptions in a 26-25 Winnipeg Blue Bomber victory cost the Alouettes a chance to clinch first place in the CFL East.
“I’m just p---d off, that’s all,” Calvillo said in disgust. “That’s a good defence, we knew that coming in. But when it comes down to these games, you have to take care of the ball.”
The CFL leader in all passing categories, Calvillo went into the game having thrown just five interceptions in 557 attempts.
“I’m just so disappointed,” Calvillo said. “As the quarterback, you’re supposed to go out there and lead. I could have played like crap today, but taken care of the ball, and we probably could have squeaked it out.
“And that’s why I’m so sick. Because all these guys fought so hard, so dang hard. And to know you’re a big part of the loss, that’s what stings.”
Montreal head coach Marc Trestman called Calvillo’s play “an aberration,” crediting the Winnipeg defence while also blaming dropped passes.
While the Alouettes lamented blowing an opportunity to clinch a bye into the East Final, they aren’t conceding first place or even calling the Bombers the team to beat.
“You’re damn right,” receiver Jamel Richardson said. “We’re not gonna put it in nobody’s hands.
“It doesn’t say anything. You’re basing it on the regular season game? Nothin’. We’ve still got a couple of games left and we gotta go get those.”
Two Bomber wins would leave Montreal in second, regardless what the Alouettes do in their last two.
“It’s going to be real tough,” Als defensive end Anwar Stewart acknowledged. “My grandfather always said if you make your bed hard, you gotta lay in it. So we’re gonna have to lay in it.
“We like where we are right now, because this team has a lot of character. At the end of it we’re going to appreciate it a lot more.”
Even if Montreal, a first-place finisher nine of the last 12 years, has to return to Winnipeg for the East Final.
“I don’t mind coming back here for the playoffs,” Stewart said. “I don’t mind at all. I like the city of Winnipeg. I hope it’s minus-50 when we come back to play.”
The Bomber defence has dominated the season series with Montreal.
But Richardson, who added 102 yards to his league-leading receiving total, wasn’t ready to heap praise on that unit, either.
“They’re all right. I mean, it’s nothing special. It ain’t like we ain’t seen ’em before. They all right.”