1st Place in Hand Before Hitting .500
It would be nice to see the 3rd and final meeting between these QEW rivals take place on the final weekend to add some intrigue but for fans of the Ticats the time is now for making a move as the team has scrapped its way to 3 wins in 4 games. So if you really subscribe to getting to something like 8 wins to finish in 2nd in the east its good timing to take on the Argos who you are chasing while the Tabbies are hot.
Ray Pocket Master
The offensive line has improved in the 2nd half of the season to the point that Ricky Ray is even hanging in on a few pass routes rather than tucking and ducking. Is it personnel? I really think its play-calling , improved play and the threat of a run game in James Wilder Jr.. One thing we just never focus on is the OL picking up stunts and blitzs. Watch a game for fun , the watch it again and strictly focus on the OL. You’ll see a whole new world you’ve never seen before.
Montreal’s QBs were sacked 4 times and picked off 3 times last game. Hamilton’s Jeremiah Massoli is stronger and quicker than the injury hampered Darian Durant but that still is an amazing stat line for the Argos D. I’m going to delve more into the D but games like this are a result of the entire 12-man crew, the LBs won’t get the sacks or interceptions but they were confusing Durant in looks all night long which lead to some coverage sacks.
James Wilder Sr. has broken some amazing runs over the last two weeks. He is built like Ray Elgaard but chose to play the RB position based on his Dad’s NFL success. Pulling off an 85 yard run helped him get to 141 yards on 10 carries last game which was a nice way to follow 11 carries for 191 years and longest run of 76 yards the week before against the Eskimos. With both Coombs and Whitaker still on the injured list it’s about the Florida State product carrying the workload.
Can June expose the Argos DBs?
The Argos were gifted a win by the Alouettes last game when their D picked off 3 passes. Those interceptions coupled with an average offensive game put the Argos at 6-7 heading into Saturday’s contest. Now let’s get back to the D and the secondary. There are 5 Boatman from the secondary on the Injured List but the team continues to gut it out and win those one on one battles. Don’t get me wrong there is some team skill involved but with so many new faces in the defensive backfield it really comes down to your old school football IQ to help win you the air battles. Alden Darby and Mitchell White have played the outside CB spots. Darby has been camping in the NFL while White has had successful stints in the CFL while also camping in the NFL. They’ve been strong and feisty and have helped the Argos D stay stingy. Brandon Harris joins Darby as first year CFLers and for now Matt Black and Rico Murray are acting like on field coaches.
Massoli to Fantuz
Andy Fantuz returns to the lineup and gives Jeremiah Massoli another great set of hands. Possession man Luke Tasker has been quiet against the Argos and Brandon Banks who was literally force fed the ball in the labour day classic(until he actually found success) is still trying to assert himself as a receiver. I still don’t get why his speed and hands can be so great on punt returns but his receiving skills can be diminished. Of course I’ve never been gang tackled by 5 football players and had my head knocked off so I better stay on the sidelines for this conversation.
Ricky Ray is an alum and his back-up on the depth chart is also an alum. McLeod Bethel-Thompson is listed in the two spot for this week’s game.
The Game Plan
|Kickoff:||6:30pm||Tim Horton’s Field|
|TV & Online:||TSN|
|Radio:||TSN 1050 & SirusXM 167|
By Peter T. Kourtis