(Photo credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports)
The Montreal Alouettes have a straightforward mission Saturday at Ottawa: Win and they're in the playoffs.
The Alouettes (7-7) swept the first two dates with the Redblacks (4-10) by a combined margin of just eight points.
Montreal won 19-12 in the June 10 season opener at home and 25-24 in the nation's capital on Aug. 19.
The East Division rivals will complete a home-and-home set and wrap up their season series in Montreal on Oct. 9.
Montreal halted a four-game skid and improved to 4-3 on the road with a 28-11 win at Calgary last Saturday.
Cody Fajardo passed for 252 yards and a touchdown and Caleb Evans ran for two TDs to lead the Alouettes.
"When you don't (win) for four weeks in football, it weighs on you mentally and physically," Montreal head coach Jason Maas told TSN690 on Wednesday. "It sure feels good to win after you go through something like that."
Tyson Philpot has recorded 13 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown over his past two games. He had 19 grabs for 155 yards in his first seven contests.
"Philpot's been making the most of his opportunities," Maas said. "This is the Tyson that I remember watching film of all offseason. The last two weeks, he's been spectacular for us."
Ottawa also ended a long slide last weekend, beating Saskatchewan 36-28 on Sept. 22 to snap a seven-game losing streak that began on July 28.
The Redblacks led 36-14 with 8:28 remaining and held off a late charge by the Roughriders. Dustin Crum passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns and Devonte Williams ran for 136 yards to lead Ottawa.
"It's a team that's in our division," Redblacks head coach Bob Dyce said of Saturday's game with Montreal, per TSN. "We've got to build off what we accomplished the other night and move forward to get the win back here on our field once again."
Ottawa has ruled five players out for Saturday, including defensive back Sherrod Baltimore (arm) and wide receiver Nate Behar (ankle).
Montreal receiver Austin Mack (thigh) is doubtful. Defensive lineman Marcus Valdez (ankle), defensive back Kordell Rodgers (foot) and wideout Chandler Worthy (ankle) are out.
--Field Level Media