Alouettes' Maas: 'There's no moral victories in professional sports'
Montreal Alouettes head coach Jason Maas is taking no moral victories out of his team's loss to the Toronto Argonauts.
The team suffered a heartbreaking 23-20 defeat to the Argos on Friday night after losing a late seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter as Toronto clinched the East Division.
Despite seeing a lot of positives in the Alouettes' play in the loss, Maas isn't satisfied with the small victories.
"There's no moral victories in professional sports and you want to win those games," Maas told TSN690 on Wednesday. "You were up against the best team in the East and the league record-wise and anytime you can give yourself a chance to win against a team like that, you have to feel good about it. I know we can [win these games] and we're right there on the cusp of it. We just have to find a way to get over the top against opponents like that."
Entering Week 16's game against the Calgary Stampeders, the Alouettes (6-7) sit tied for second place with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East with five games remaining in the regular season.
All of the Alouettes victories this season have come against teams that have the same or worse records than they do, including two victories over the Tiger-Cats to win the season series.
Montreal's seven losses have come against the Argonauts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and BC Lions, hold the CFL's top three records.
Still, Maas believes the Als are more than capable of beating any team in the league.
"The big difference in [our wins] aren't our opponents, it's what we're doing in these games," Maas said. "We're protecting the football, we're taking it away, and making plays in crucial moments. If you look at our six losses, yes their records are better, but all of our turnovers are against these teams. We're not taking the ball away and we've only created eight turnovers in our six losses as opposed to 20 turnovers in our six wins."
"We talk a lot in our room about how the turnover margin dictates whether you win or lose a lot of games in this league. So, when you play the best teams, you got to be at your best in that category and we haven't been."
The Alouettes face teams chasing them in the standings for a possible playoff spot in their five remaining games. Montreal isn't worried about what these games mean to their opponents, but are rather focusing on themselves.
"All the teams we're playing are fighting for their playoff lives," said Maas. "I think any time you're going against teams like that, you better be prepared to bring it. You can't focus on outcomes and what ifs, because once you start thinking about those things, it distracts you from what you ought to be doing."
"I think everyone is fully aware of where we are in the standings, and we need to take care of business for ourselves. I told our players that you put yourselves in a position to have big games down the stretch, so you got to get up for every week and be motivated to be here."