Saturday, 21 July 2012

Preview: Alouettes at Tiger-Cats

Despite a somewhat ugly 0-2 start, the Tiger-Cats have a chance to claim a share of top spot in the East Division when they collide with the Montreal Alouettes tonight.

Part of the gameplan must be to hit Anthony Calvillo early and often. The Montreal quarterback is dealing with an arm injury, so if the defense can get some pressure and smack him around a little bit, especially early, they should be able to rattle him.

The secondary will also have to do their job to ensure that Montreal receiver Jamel Richardson continues his slow start to the season. Last year's leading receiver has just 11 catches after three games, well off his pace from a year ago. Richardson is too talented to be held done for much longer, but if the Ti-Cats want to claim that share of first in the East, they will have to put the clamps down on big No. 18 this week.

On the offense side of the ball, the Tabbies will have to find a way to be more consistent. In every game, the offense has disappeared for long stretches on the game, with the third quarter being particularly troublesome. The Cats have scored just 10 points, and have yet to score an offensive touchdown, in the third quarter. It is a trend the team will have to reverse if they hope to get a win over the Als.

It wasn't too long ago that the Alouettes would dominate the Tiger-Cats, but those days are gone. At one point, Montreal won 21 of 22 games over the Ti-Cats, but Hamilton has won four of the last six against Montreal, and have not lost at home to the Alouettes since early September, 2010. The supposed hex that the Als had on the Ti-Cats has long since been broken, and now these are two very equally matched teams.

These are the types of games the Cats have been apt to lose the last few years. Every time this team has had a chance to make a move up the standings, they have usually blown it. With a host of new players and a completely different coaching staff, now is the time for the 2012 Tiger-Cats to show they are nothing like their predecessors. A win over the Als, despite only taking them to a 2-2 record, will show that this team is moving in the right direction and that the failures of the past will not haunt this team of the present.

The Cats get their chance to make a statement when the game kicks off at 7 p.m.

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