This is the first game in a very important four-game stretch for the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton will play nothing but their East Division rivals over the next four weeks. Game No. 1 is against a desperate Winnipeg Blue Bomber team that can ill afford a sixth loss in seven games.
Offensively, the Ti-Cats will have to make do without the services of receiver Andy Fantuz. Fantuz suffered a head injury in last week's game against Calgary and will not play this week against Winnipeg. First-year receiver Sam Giguère will slide into Fantuz's role and could be on the verge of a breakout performance.
Defensively, improving their run defense will be key. With Winnipeg starting Joey Elliott getting his first start in almost two years, expect a heavy dose of running back Chad Simpson. Simpson has improved every week and a solid running game will help Elliott out.
Winnipeg are almost in a must-win situation. Dropping to 1-6, with four losses inside the division, would be as close to a death knell as there is in Week 8. Joey Elliott will be trying to convince the Bomber coaching staff that he deserves to be the starter, so expect the Bombers to play their best game of the season.
This could also be a good game for Hamilton. Winnipeg has scored the least amount of points, while also giving up the most points. The Ti-Cat offense will score points, but this could be the game the defense uses to turn things around. Facing the league's worst offense and worst defense could be just what the doctor ordered.
A desperate Bomber team and a Ti-Cat team looking to make amends for last week's loss is the recipe for a highly entertaining ball game. The game starts at 8:00PM and can be seen on TSN.