I have no idea how to start this. I didn't expect in a million years to be writing about a Hamilton loss. On paper, Hamilton is superior to Winnipeg in every conceivable way. However, as this proves once again, the game is not played on paper.
It seemed as if only two offensive players realized it was game day today: Maurice Mann and Avon Cobourne. Mann played a great game, hauling in nine passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Mann caught everything thrown his way and was the go-to Receiver for the Cats today. Cobourne showed why he was brought in. He didn't dance around; he put his head down and plowed through the line. He ended with only 75 rushing yards, but he also chipped in with 36 receiving yards. Both Cobourne and Mann have nothing to be ashamed of.
The Defense, the one that many fans were worried about, did everything it needed to do to win the game. The 'D' gave up only one TD, early in the game to Terrence Edwards, and pretty much shut down Winnipeg's Offense. The highlight of the night for the Defense was Jamall Johnson's crunching hit on Buck Pierce. Johnson absolutely obliterated Pierce. The Defense played a great game, and if that is what we can expect from them, they will not be the weak link on the team.
It was also nice to not feel so anxious when the Kicker came out to attempt a field goal. After last year, it's just nice to have a guy go out there that you can trust.
Oh boy, where to start.
Aside from the above-mentioned players, the Offense was pathetic. Glenn sucked, end of story. Arland Bruce couldn't catch a cold. Dave Stala was virtually invisible. It was a putrid offensive performance.
Arland Bruce is a great player, and I am glad to have him in Hamilton, but him punting the ball after dropping a pass was inexcusable. Bruce dropped at least three very catchable passes, and a big-time Receiver doesn't drop those. Bruce has had inconsistent hands his whole career, but it seems as if when the game gets tough, Bruce shrinks.
I was not a fan of Marcel Bellefeuille's decision to bench Glenn in favour of Quinton Porter. I understand that it was to provide a spark, but now there is a completely unnecessary Quarterback controversy. Glenn had a bad game; he's been streaky in the past. But now he once again has to look over his shoulder. It's a move that I don't think had any upside.
I have seen a lot of games, but I can't think of a regular-season game that disappointed me more than this one. Winnipeg did not play well at all, and this game was Hamilton's for the taking. There is no way the Cats should have lost this one.
Yet they did. And now the pressure mounts way earlier than expected. Hamilton will have to significantly step it up if they are to go to Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton and take down the Eskimos.
This is only one of 18, so the team has plenty of time to make this loss but a footnote on a great season. But it sure does leave a sour taste that will only go away if the team can pull up their bootstraps and show Edmonton that Hamilton is the team everyone thinks they are.