Saturday, 6 October 2012

Edmonton 35, Hamilton 20

Up, down, up, down. I guess we should know the pattern by now. After a week after the team was up and beat the Als, the follow it up by being down and losing to the Eskimos. It's another road loss, their sixth of the season, and the team now sits one game behind Edmonton for the final playoff spot.

I honestly have none. Avon Cobourne was very good, Chris Williams had a decent game and Henry Burris set a new Tiger-Cat single-season record for touchdown passes, but that's about all the positives I can pull from tonight's game. Some players, like Burris and Dee Webb, had decent outings, but also made costly mistakes that lead to the team suffering their ninth defeat of the season.

The pass defense was brutal. Kerry Joseph threw for over 350 yards; Fred Stamps had over 200 yards receiving; and the secondary dropped potential interceptions, the worst being Dee Webb's drop that led to an Edmonton touchdown. Matt Carter's touchdown, where two DBs line up on three receivers, was the apex of their ineptitude this week. A rough, rough outing from the back five.

We can fawn over his 34 touchdown passes and his 4,000 passing yards, but the amount of turnovers Henry Burris commits, four in this game, are a real liability. I don't care if he throws for 500 touchdowns, if he can't protect the football, it won't matter.

Not so much a negative for this game, but I can't be alone in thinking that dealing Chris Thompson for Maurice Mann was one of the worst moves this franchise has ever made. Thompson picked off Henry Burris twice last night and now has 15 since being dealt prior to the 2010 season. Mann, for those that don't remember, did nothing while he was here and was dealt to Toronto last October. There was little justification for the trade then and it looks even worse now.

And perhaps the biggest negative of all, and maybe the biggest negative all season, was the questionable decisions made by head coach George Cortez. It started before the game even began when the team made Brandon Peguese, he of two sacks in three games and the man that has created nothing but havoc in opposing backfields since arriving last month, a healthy scratch. Then during the game, Cortez challenged a three-yard Matt Carter catch. Not a three-yard touchdown catch, just a three-yard catch. It made no sense because the gain wasn't worth the risk (the Cats lost the challenge and their timeout). And then there was the third-and-one play where the team lined up in the shotgun and handed the ball off five yards deep in the backfield. In a game the Ti-Cats needed to win, the coach put them in bad situations with terrible decision making.

Final Thoughts
Alright, so, now the team is behind the eight ball once again. One game out with four left to play and a team that can't win on the road. So even if they sneak in the playoffs, what hope is there that they can win in the playoffs? They will have to win twice on the road to get to the Grey Cup and they haven't won twice on the road in seven road games this season. I don't like their chances.

But with the way this team has played over the last month, we should probably expect them to come out hard and defeat the BC Lions next week. That's just how nutty this season, and this team, has been in 2012.

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