Saturday 6 November 2010

BC 23, Hamilton 21

All I can do is shake my head. This game was Hamilton's for the taking. They got off to a very hot start, but couldn't sustain it throughout the game. If this happens next week...

But in a game that meant nothing in the standings, there was some good to be taken away. There was some bad as well, but one thing that happened has me wondering if it was the best thing that could have happened one week prior to facing the Argos.

The talk going into the game was about revenge; the talk after the game might be about retribution.

First on the docket is Maurice Mann. With Arland Bruce out once again, someone had to step up. Today, it was Maurice Mann. He had six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. His first TD catch was an absolute thing of beauty. A spectacular one-handed catch that had many jumping out of their seats.

The other guy who had a nice game was Chris Bauman. That's two big games in a row at home for Bauman. Hopefully the team utilizes Bauman more next week against Toronto. Though with Arland Bruce back, Bauman won't see as much playing time.

Some year-end kudos are also in order.

Congrats to Kevin Glenn on surpassing 5,000 yards passing. It's the second time Glenn has surpassed that number (2007 with Winnipeg), and he's only the second Tiger-Cat to reach the 5,000-yard plateau (Danny McManus in 1999 and 2004). Glenn finished with exactly 5,100 yards on the season. He also extended his Tiger-Cat record for TD passes by throwing three more to take the mark to 33.

Congrats to Dave Stala for cracking the 1,000-yard receiving mark for only the second time in his career (2005 with Montreal), and he set a personal mark for catches, with 86 (his previous high was 83 in 2005), and touchdowns, with six (five in 2005). This was easily Stala's best season of his eight-year career.

I know it's small, but Marquay McDaniel falling six yards short of 1,000 is criminal. A lot of the blame can be placed squarely on McDaniel, as he dropped a number of catchable passes that would have put him over 1,000. The Cats did try to force the ball to McDaniel in the second half, but he finished just shy of the mark. Maybe next year.

The Offense seemed to lose all their mojo coming out after half time. They didn't score a single point and had a heck of a time sustaining a drive. Glenn did throw a brutal interception deep in BC territory (on a play where it looked like he was trying to force it to McDaniel), which could have been the difference between winning and losing.

Dropped passes were also a big problem, especially from DeAndra' Cobb and Marquay McDaniel. Those drops came at very inopportune times for the Cats.

The Defense was shredded numerous times when Jamal Robertson went out into the flat and to catch passes. The Cats did not pick up on that wrinkle in BC's game plan at all. However, this may be a blessing in disguise (what I was alluding to earlier) because this will very much be a part of Toronto's game plan next week, so BC may have done a disservice to the Argos by allowing the Cats to make the necessary changes after being beat time and time again on check downs to the Running Back.

Not that it had any real outcome on the game, but once again Andre Proulx showed why he and his crew are the worst in the CFL. Two calls on Otis Floyd were brutal: the "late hit" on Lulay that was nowhere near late, and the "unnecessary roughness" call when Lulay was still very much in bounds and Floyd grabbed Lulay by the shoulder pad and flung him out of bounds. However, the worst call was the "unnecessary roughness" call on Jamall Johnson when he tackled the BC player in bounds and rolled with him out of bounds. The fact that Proulx still continues to officiate games boggles my mind.

Final Thoughts
By no means is this an excuse, but this game meant nothing to the Cats. Win or lose, the Cats were still hosting the East Division Semi-Final against Toronto next week. BC needed this game and didn't play particularly well. Hamilton came out like a house on fire, scoring on their first possession, but seemed to get complacent and stopped giving a damn. If this was at mid-season, this type of performance would be troubling. However, with everything sewn up, it could just be a case of the team losing that edge that one needs to have in order to win a game. I'm sure some will say that you can't turn the switch on and off like that, but it doesn't seem to have hurt the Als in the past decade.

I don't like the fact that Hamilton did not go for the kill, but I'm not ready to jump off the ledge because of it. They played a much better game this week than they did last week, and Hamilton will play a team that is much more similar to BC than Calgary next week.

And that brings us to next week. I, like everyone I was with, cannot wait for next week's game. I expect that I will be without a voice for the better part of a week following next week's playoff game against the Argos. Even after this loss, my confidence in the Cats next week is unwavering.

Next week, everything gets.... TURNT UP! (Those who know, know what I'm talking about when I say, "TURNT UP!")

So let's put this one behind us all and focus everything we can on next week's tilt with the Argos, with a birth in the East Division Final on the line. Is there anything better than Argos-Ti-Cats at Ivor Wynne in the playoffs? I think not.

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