45-31 drubbing at the hands of the Argos. Say goodbye to any hopes of a home playoff game, say goodbye to a first-place finish and say goodbye to any hopes of a Grey Cup appearance. Following this loss, the season is pretty much over. Sure, the Cats might sneak into the playoffs and maybe they stun Toronto or Montreal to reach the East Final, but at 3-7, this season is unlikely to end with a championship. Such is the sad state of the Tiger-Cats right now.
One player who refused to give up, and this should come as no surprise, was Avon Cobourne. Cobourne had his best rushing day in his two years with the Tiger-Cats, picking up 119 yards on 13 carries. He ran like a man possessed and was the only good thing about the Tiger-Cat for most of the day.
Not much to rave about defensively, but Jermaine McElveen was a force out there, at least in the first half. He had two sacks and made a great read on a screen pass to break it up in the backfield. McElveen was probably the best player on the defense today, not that that is really saying all that much.
Don't let those two garbage-time touchdowns fool you, Henry Burris was terrible today. In fact, Burris has been pretty terrible since his great July. Sure, his numbers look good, but he hasn't been reliable at all. He's thrown two pick sixes in the last two games and that just can't happen. I held back on issuing my mea culpa on Burris until later in the season. I didn't want to jump to any conclusions until I saw what he had left around Labour Day. Well, Labour Day has come and gone, and I will not be writing any sort of apology to Burris for what I said when he was brought in. I'm starting to wonder if it might be time for Smilin' Hank to be put out to pasture.
Another big-name acquisition who has been invisible is Andy Fantuz. Like Burris, his final stats mask what has been a disappointing first season in Hamilton for Fantuz. Perhaps it is lingering effects from the injury he suffered against Calgary, because ever since he took that hit, he hasn't been the same player. The team signed him expecting to get the 2010 version of Fantuz and instead they have been treated to the 2011 version.
Dropped pass absolutely killed the team against the Argos. Bakari Grant, who I am a fan of, was the worst offender, dropping, by my count, four catchable passes. But he was far from the only player that let the ball hit the turf. Everyone, with the exception of Dave Stala, let a ball or two go through their hands.
Missed tackles were a killer on defense. Time and time again, Argo players shook off the first tackle and picked up additional yards, with Chad Kackert becoming an expert in the field in one afternoon. I lost count of how many times Kackert simply swatted off the first defender to touch him. It was an atrocious display of tackling out there.
I have to think that there is going to be changes of some sort coming this week. We already know that the team has brought in Torrey Davis, so one of the usually active defensive linemen are out. But more changes that than need to be made.
At 3-7, it sure looks like a lot of moves the club made since the end of last season wee the wrong ones. Some bigger than others, but at this point is there anyone out there that wouldn't be happy with the Bellefeuille-Glenn tandem?
There isn't a whole lot to be optimistic about right now and it sure does look like this season will end like every other since 1999: in disappointment. A Greu Cup berth, let alone a win, seems almost impossible to fathom at this point. I'm not even sure this team will win enough games to qualify for the playoffs.
But despite all that, I'll still keep hoping that next week is the week everything starts to turn around. I still hold out hope, because I always hold out hope, that the team will turn the season around and make a run at the Grey Cup. That's probably not realistic, but at heart I am a fan and a fan will always keep hope alive.