The Montreal Alouettes want to leave the negativity behind when they fly to Vancouver to face the B.C. Lions this week.
That includes their 2-5 record, a three-game losing streak, criticism of offensive co-ordinator Turk Schonert over play calling, the departure of celebrity rush end Michael Sam to deal with mental issues and the benching of popular defensive end John Bowman.
"About negativity, we actually talked about it," coach Tom Higgins said Tuesday. "You have the opportunity to read or listen to it and allow it to affect you or not affect you.
"All we have to do is get a victory and all of sudden things turn around and everything's good again."
Pulling out a victory at B.C. Place, where the Alouettes face the Lions on Thursday night, would be a rare feat indeed.
Montreal has one victory since 2000 in Vancouver, and that was in 2010 when the Lions played at Empire Field because B.C. Place was being renovated. They are 0-13 in that span in the Lions' regular home, including a 41-5 defeat last season.
The Lions will be testy coming off a 55-22 blowout loss in Hamilton in which linebacker Solomon Elimimian, last season's CFL outstanding player and outstanding defensive player, injured an Achilles tendon and was put on the six-game injured list.
Frustration has been building among the Alouettes, who could easily be 5-2 if not for some disastrous errors at key times.
"The feeling on the team is that it's a new week," said offensive tackle Josh Bourke. "We know we've got to start winning ball games is what it boils down to.
"You can sit there and say we've been in every game and we've only lost by a combined 15 points, but at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. We're trying to put those behind us and focus on getting a win."
Only the score was close in their last defeat, a 15-12 setback at home to Edmonton in which their lone touchdown was on a fumble return. The Eskimos' league-best defence smothered Montreal, sacking rookie quarterback Rakeem Cato eight times.
That the Alouettes had no answer to the Eskimos' rush or pass coverage had fans and media fingers pointing in many directions, including at Schonert, their first year co-ordinator.
Higgins and the players feel it is a question of bearing down and playing smarter and tougher when they get in scoring range. In one loss, Cato threw two interceptions in the red zone. In another instance, since-cut receiver Dobson Collins was stripped of the ball from behind a yard from the end zone.
"It just seems we're shooting ourselves in the foot," said Bourke. "We need to execute our plays and score points and keep our defence off the field."
The Alouettes defence has been solid as ever, but their offence is last in the nine-team league in touchdowns (11), passing touchdowns (7), first downs (127) and passes completed (129). They are second to last in points scored (142), ahead of Ottawa (134).
If they need a spark, it may come from kick returner Stefan Logan, who was released by the Lions and signed as a free agent with Montreal this season.
The 34-year-old ranks third in the league with 880 combined yards, and one punt return touchdown.
"It's always a great feeling going back to the team that released you, so I want to go out and do everything I can to get this win for the Montreal Alouettes," said Logan. "I'm not a part of B.C. any more, so I'm all excited about it."