Thursday 23 August 2012

Preview: Tiger-Cats at Alouettes


The last time these two teams met it was a battle for first in the division. While the stakes aren't the same for this one, the Tiger-Cats do have a chance to end a two-game losing streak and silence a lot of critics with a win over Montreal tonight.

There has been a lot of talk over the last few days about the defense and what to do to fix it. While fans are calling for the head of coordinator Casey Creehan, the players themselves had a players-only meeting to try to get things figured out. They know where they rank in many statistical categories and I expect that these prideful men will do their best to hold the vaunted Alouette offense in check.

Helping to do that may come on offense with the addition of Avon Cobourne to the lineup. Cobourne will be filling in for Chevon Walker, who is out with a hip injury. While Cobourne doesn't bring the same home-run ability to the team as Walker does (name me another running back who does), Coboure does bring a toughness that has so far been lacking from Walker's game. Where Cobourne will excel is in hitting the hole hard and picking up five or six yards at a time. He won't break one 80 yards, but he will keep the chains moving which will keep the Tiger-Cat defense off the field and allow them to rest. He is also a much better blocker than Walker, and that will allow Burris more time in the pocket to make reads and find the open man.

Another player who will be in the lineup is Andy Fantuz. Fantuz missed last week's game in Winnipeg after suffering a head injury the week before against Calgary. With Chris Williams looking like an early MOP candidate and teams keying in on him, Fantuz might find a little more room to operate in the middle of the field. He could be in line for a big game against the Als.

But this game will probably all come down to which team's defense can make more plays. The Ti-Cats had three near-interceptions last week and turning even one of those misses into a pick could have been the difference in the game. Hamilton's defense will be in tough against Anthony Calvillo, but the Cats have frustrated him in the past and they can do so again. Montreal has improved defensively since the last time these two teams met, but Hamilton did score 39 on them in their last meeting and the offense could just have Montreal's number.

Montreal will be looking to continue their win streak, while Hamilton will be looking to end their losing streak. The Ti-Cats visit Montreal for the only time this season and everything gets underway on TSN at 7:30PM.

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