Friday, 4 November 2011

Toronto 33, Hamilton 16

There is not much to say about this game. This was a meaningless game for the Cats and it showed. They didn't play with any fire or with any sense of urgency. It seemed like they didn't even want to be there.


I won't go so far as to say Markieth Knowlton had a disappointing season, but as the reigning Most Outstanding Defensive Player, his play was off his usual standard. But he played his tail off against the Argos. A sack, a forced fumble and an interception is a nice defensive hat trick. He played probably his best game of the season.

Dave Stala saw his most action in weeks, leading the team with nine catches and 84 receiving yards. He was hurt on the penultimate play of the game, but it doesn't appear to be too serious. Stala played well tonight, and hopefully he can carry that over into the playoffs.

A player who will not get much notice, but who I think played well was Canadian Receiver Liam Mahoney. He didn't have big numbers – only two catches for 27 yards – but I saw some nice blocks out of him and he played with a lot of hustle. I was impressed by his performance tonight, and he could have a very bright future.

One last player who I think deserves some praise but will also likely go unnoticed is Receiver Jeremy Kelley. Kelley did not record a catch, but he played excellently on Special Teams. I don't know what his future holds, but hopefully he finds a way to stay with this team. If he plays Receiver as hard as he plays Special Teams, he could be something special.


The first place to start is with the Offensive Line. They did not play a good game at all. The Quarterbacks were given no time at all, and the running lanes were not there either. I know that Jason Jimenez was benched because he takes the occasional stupid penalty, but I think the five yards he gives up once a game may be worth what he adds to the O-Line. His nastiness is something that this team could use right now. At worst, he does a better job blocking than his replacement did tonight.

Marcel Young had one of the worst days I have seen. In defense of Young, he was victimized by one of the worst pass interference calls I have ever seen. But Young also allowed the Argo Receivers to beat him in coverage on a number of occasions, and he took some deserved pass interference calls as well. It was not a good game from Mr. Young.

Final Thoughts

While it would have been nice to get a win, the final score was meaningless. The only game that matters is next Sunday at 1PM EST. I'm sure if the Tiger-Cats could have forfeited this game prior to kickoff, they would have considered it. You could tell from the very beginning that they did not want to be there.

The Cats now finish the regular season at a disappointing 8-10. This is the first time under Head Coach Marcel Bellefeuille that they have finished anything but 9-9. But that record will not matter if they win next week in the East Division Semi-Final.

And that is where the focus turns next, because no matter what transpired on the turf at the Rogers Centre SkyDome, the Tiger-Cats main concerned is preparing for the playoffs. With this game being played on Thursday, it gives Hamilton two full days of rest over whoever their opponent winds up being (both Winnipeg and Montreal play on Saturday). Both the players and coaches get extra time to prepare. That could end up being a major factor.

And in the end, this team will ultimately be judged by how they do in the playoffs. Is it another one and done or does this team do what no Tiger-Cat team since 2001 has been able to do, get to the East Division Final? We'll all find out in 10 days.


  1. Putting this rivalry aside, no team under .500 should be in the playoffs, period. I felt the same way for the Seahawks last season, and I feel the same now about the Cats. Yes, they will finish 2 games better than the Argos, but please answer: does an 8-10 team deserve a place in the Eastern semi-final?

  2. The history of the CFL it littered with teams that finished below .500 and made the playoffs. In the very recent past, two teams have won the Grey Cup finishing under .500: the 8-10 Lions in 2000 and the 8-10 Stamps in 2001. I remember a 6-9-1 Tiger-Cat team that made it to the Grey Cup.

    Six teams make it in, and when Hamilton's spot at third was locked in, they started trying things out and resting players. Jamall Johnson hasn't played in the last three games; Chris Williams missed the BC game and the Saskatchewan game; a slew of players sat out last night (Cobourne, Dyaowski, Rey Williams, etc.) that would have played if the game actually mattered. Last night was a preseason game that counted in the standings. Their record will not matter if they do well in the playoffs, and no one will care if they finished 8-10 or 10-8 or 14-4. All that will matter is that they won it all. They were the sixth-best team, and regardless of records that means they get in.