LIVESTREAM CFL: Montreal Alouettes @ Calgary Stampeders, Sept. 23, 22:00 CET (10 pm, 4 pm EDT)

CALGARY — With an extra week of preparation thanks to a Week 15 bye, the Calgary Stampeders are eyeing a crucial victory when they host the Montreal Alouettes at McMahon Stadium on Saturday.

The Alouettes on the other hand are hoping to take the positives from their 23-20 loss to the Toronto Argonauts with them when they travel west as they try to snap a four-game slide.

Stampeders’ head coach Dave Dickenson has repeatedly looked for consistency from quarterback Jake Maier and he may be starting to get it after strong play against the Edmonton Elks in the team’s past two games.

Maier sits with 3,310 passing yards on the season, which ranks him second in the league, behind Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros. His issue hasn’t been in accumulating yardage but rather with turnovers as he has 13 interceptions. He’s been better at taking care of the ball of late, throwing just one in his last three games.

When he sets his sights downfield against the Als on Saturday, he’ll be on the lookout for veteran Reggie Begelton, who is 81 yards shy of 1,000 on the season. The Stamps’ second leading receiver is Luther Hakunavanhu with 243 yards.

» Depth Chart: MTL | CGY

Needless to say, it’s no secret who defensive backs Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Wesley Sutton will key in on. If Ciante Evans can regain his pre-injury form, it becomes a secondary that can shut down anyone.

More of a focus for the Als’ defence should be on the run game, as Dedrick Mills and Ka’Deem Carey have game-breaking ability. When the two teams met back in Week 8, Mills was held to 16 yards and Carey was out with an injury.

The Als’ defensive front has changed quite a bit since then and for the better, meaning Mills and Carey will need to bring their best performances.

Watch live. Montreal Alouettes @ Calgary Stampeders, Sept. 23, 22:00 CET (10 pm, 4 pm EDT)

Along with the recent addition of Shawn Lemon to solidify the defensive line, they’ve also added linebacker Darnell Sankey to a corps that already has the skillful Tyrice Beverette. Sankey made an immediate impact in his first game in new colours with five defensive tackles against the Argos.

Having lost four in a row, Montreal’s offence will lean on veteran quarterback Cody Fajardo to turn things around.

Head coach Jason Maas wants his quarterback and team to keep fighting to find their way out of their current slump.

“Ultimately, he (Fajardo) needs to keep his head up like everybody else in that locker room,” Maas told reporters this week. “There’s obviously lessons to learn or something we need to learn to win. We need to learn those lessons and get better. If you win four in a row, you forget the four wins and keep going on to the next one, same thing with losing. It’s the next game that matters the most. We’re going to stick together in that locker room, I can assure you that.”

With receiver Austin Mack one of only two players in the league that has surpassed 1,000 yards on the season, he’ll surely see his fair share of targets against a secondary allowing 233.4 per game.

Facing a talented defensive back group, the continual emergence of Tyson PhilpotTyler Snead and Cole Spieker is important to the success of the offence. Philpot caught nine of 11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in their game last week.

Forcing turnovers hasn’t been the strong suit of the Stamps’ defence but limiting yards — especially in the air — has been thanks to defensive backs Jonathan Moxey, Kobe Williams and an active linebacker in Cameron Judge.

On the ground, it’s been a run game by committee for Maas’ club. With William Stanback showing glimpses of excellence but also battling injuries throughout the season, Maas has turned to Jeshrun Antwi, as well. The two have combined for 735 yards on the ground.

Watch for Fajardo to use his legs if the situations call for it, as he has 247 yards on 46 carries.

With multiple looks, it’ll certainly provide a challenge to a Stamps’ front allowing the second-most rushing yards at an average of 126.9 a game. Mike Rose and Micah Awe need to lead in stopping the run game and putting pressure on Fajardo as the Als’ offensive line has allowed a league-worst 44 sacks.

Dickenson is sticking by the same message he’s preached all season long with five games to go.

“As cliche as it always is, we have to find a way to win this week’s game,” Dickenson told “Take it from there. We’re definitely behind, we get it. You can’t just keep potentially losing games you feel you can win. You have to win those games and let it happen. We’re playing some opponents that are ahead of us and right ahead of us. We have to find a way to win.”

The Stampeders and Elks continue to battle it out for fourth in the West Division.

The Als may not be able to catch division champion Toronto, but second is still up for grabs as they’re deadlocked with Hamilton at 12 points each. The Als have won the season series against the Tiger-Cats, giving them a sliver of control in that tight race.

Watch live. Montreal Alouettes @ Calgary Stampeders, Sept. 23, 22:00 CET (10 pm, 4 pm EDT)

Today's CFL is more than just our great game of football. It's fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at