If Hamilton was ever an underdog going into a game, it'd be in tomorrow's game against Montreal.
The Als are starting to roll at just the right time. Normally they are gearing down right about now, having already clinched the division. But this year, they are fighting tooth and nail with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for that coveted first-round bye.
The distractions that the Als dealt with on Thanksgiving – that being Anthony Calvillo's chase for the all-time passing record – are behind them. Now the Als can focus on their ultimate goal, which is winning the Grey Cup.
For Hamilton, the problems that have plagued them all season long are still present. The Secondary will once again undergo an overhaul, which doesn't help when facing the best Receiver in football, Jamel Richardson. The Cats will have their hands full on Defense.
On Offense, the talk all week has been about the "significant playing time" that Quinton Porter is going to see at Quarterback. The only way he gets on the field is if Kevin Glenn struggles like he did last week. Replacing Maurice Mann – who was shipped to Toronto earlier this week – will also be important. It will be interesting to see which Receiver steps up with Mann gone.
The Cats need to win this game to have any hope of finishing higher than third in the East. A loss by more than one point will mean that Montreal will have the tiebreaker, and coupled with a Blue Bomber victory, would mean the Tiger-Cats are on the road for as long as their playoff journey lasts.
A win, however, would give them the season series over the Alouettes and put them one game back of them. With a somewhat favourable schedule coming up for the Cats, a victory over Montreal makes second in the East entirely possible.
The game, as always, can be seen on TSN or heard on AM900 CHML. And for all the Tweeters out there, don't forget to following Dief on Cats as he "commen-tweets" during the game.