Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hamilton 33, Saskatchewan 3

That, my loyal readers, was a butt whooping of epic proportions. As I sat in my seat I turned to the folks I was with and I said, "This is the Steeltown Beatdown. (Patent Pending!)" Cliched? Yup. Hackneyed? Of course. True? One hundred percent! That is the way people thought this team would play. They demolished the Riders, pure and simple.


Where to begin. I guess it's with the Defense. That has to be one of the most dominant defensive performances I have ever witnessed. First offensive play for Saskatchewan: interception. Total yards at halftime: 41. Total number of plays in the first half: 16. Number of first downs in the first half: 2. If the Defense continues to play like this, the Offense will only have to manage games. Tremendous performance from the men in Black & Gold.

Last week I took Chris Williams to task for some key mistakes he made. This week he was one of the best offensive players on the field. He didn't make a lot of plays – only five catches for 38 yards – but he caught his two career touchdowns as a last-minute replacement for Maurice Mann. It looks like the Cats have some serious depth at Receiver.

By far the team's best weapon this week was Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen didn't break one for a TD, but he did have a number of excellent returns. Thigpen also filled in admirably when Avon Cobourne left the game with an injury, scoring a rushing touchdown and making key plays on more than a few drives.

This is more a positive for the season than just this one game, but I will say that it is really comforting having a Kicker like Justin Medlock on the team. Whenever he goes out there to kick a field goal, I have full faith that he will nail it. That really puts the mind at ease. It's great to have Medlock in Black & Gold.

I think the Tiger-Cats coaching staff needs to be given some kudos, in particular Khari Jones. Jones has taken a beating the first two weeks, with some even calling for his dismissal, but I think he called a heckuva game today.

One final shout out goes to the Secondary. Two interceptions today by DBs – one each by Bo Smith and Marcel Young – and blanket coverage for most of the day. The Secondary did their job, so the front seven could do theirs. It was a total team effort, but I felt specific praise needed to be heaped on the Secondary.


There wasn't a whole lot to say negatively about the game, and everything I will point out is really just nit-picking.

I didn't like that the Cats settled for a field goal after the Rey Williams interception. When you get the ball inside the 10 yard line, you should score touchdowns.

The rookie Receivers that played today made a couple of errors that rookies tend to make. Both Bakari Grant and Chris Williams ran routes that saw both of them in the same area. That shouldn't happen. But I chalk that up as a rookie mistake, which isn't a big deal.

Final Thoughts

That's the type of performance that Hamilton fans, and national pundits, believed the Tiger-Cats were capable of back in June. They took it to the Riders and beat them in every conceivable way. This wasn't a game so much as it was massacre.

Now hopefully this will quiet all the talk around town about how bad this team is. Yes, they beat a winless team that looks to be nowhere near figuring things out, but a win is a win is a win, and wins like this have a way of motivating a team to achieve much greater things. The Cats can take this win and build on it.

On a personal note, I was thrilled and excited to have been named the Wiser's Uncompromising Fan for today's contest. For anyone not in attendance, I was brought on the field in the second quarter and looked like a complete goober as PA announcer Mike Nabuurs talked about me and this site over the loudspeaker. Regardless of anything, it was an awesome experience and made the day even more special.

Anyway, for one day, Hamilton looked just like the team they were built up to be back in the off-season, Training Camp and preseason. A great win, and a great day.

1 comment:

  1. Yes - the offense deserves praise no matter that the defense they played against was full of holes. The coaches called a balanced attack that moved the chains (25 first downs) even if they didn't eat up tonnes of yards.

    It's a huge positive step they can use to build from.

    When Mann and Bruce are ready to come back the team will have to make some tough decisions about who sits. Grant played well, though he also failed to hold onto two TDs he should have caught. McDaniel had a good game. And Williams turned things around (I was seriously not sure they would give him another chance, but you can't teach speed)

    The D was amazing. No complaints, though there were a few times I wished they'd rushed more people. Those pass interference calls were debatable, and what I expect from a Proulx-called game. ;-)

    For you Josh, welcome to the Wiserhood [slow clap]