Thursday 11 November 2010

How They Stack Up (Defense)

I kicked things off yesterday with the Offense, so now it's time to give those who stop them some time to shine.

Defensive Line: Ronald Flemons, Eric Taylor, Kevin Huntley, Ricky Foley (TOR) vs. Stevie Baggs, Garret McIntyre, Justin Hickman, Demonte' Bolden (HAM)

This one is actually very even. Flemons and Huntley have been very good this season, and Taylor has done a decent job of clogging the middle. Foley has been a disappointment since signing with the Argos at mid-season, however.

The Tiger-Cats' mid-season acquisition has been the anti-Ricky Foley. Stevie Baggs has been lights out for the Tabbies. Hickman and McIntyre were taking care of business for most of the season, but the addition of Baggs has made the D-Line downright lethal.

This one is close, but I give it to the Cats by a nose, thanks to Baggs.

Advantage: Tiger-Cats

Linebackers: Jordan Younger, Jason Pottinger, Kevin Eiben (TOR) vs. Markeith Knowlton, Otis Floyd, Jamall Johnson (HAM)

Hamilton fields the best set of Linebackers in the CFL, period. I said it at the beginning of the season, I said it at mid-season, and I'll say it again next season (provided these three guys stay in Hamilton).

Markeith Knowlton is the single best defensive player in the CFL. Jamall Johnson is not that far behind. While Otis may have lost a step, he's still one of the most feared hitters in the entire league.

That said, the Argos do field a nice trio of their own. Eiben is a lot like Johnson. Both are tackling machines. Pottinger is a nice player. Not too flashy, but he brings a workmanlike attitude to the field. Younger, who is a converted DB, has performed admirably this season.

But as I said, I believe that the Cats' LBs are better than any team's, so this one was easy for me.

Advantage: Tiger-Cats

Secondary: Byron Parker, Lin-J Shell, Evan McCollough, Willie Pile (TOR) vs. Geoff Tisdale, Jason Shivers, Ryan Hinds, Dylan Barker, Jerome Dennis (HAM)

To say that the Tiger-Cat Secondary has been a liability for most of the season might be an understatement. While there have been some great performances (the month of October was particularly good for the Tiger-Cats), the unit has been inconsistent. The guys play hard, but the unit as a whole has been lackluster. Geoff Tisdale has been good, but that depends on what position he plays. Dylan Barker has done a decent job since replacing the retired Sandy Beveridge, but he has had his mental lapses as well (most notably on interceptions). Jason Shivers mixes the good with the bad, while Ryan Hinds sometimes plays like the rookie he is.

The Argos haven't been world beaters either, but they have stayed relatively consistent throughout the 2010 campaign. Lin-J Shell picked up where he left off in 2009. Byron Parker has been very good in his return from Edmonton. Willie Pile has really taken to the Safety position since being moved there from Linebacker, and rookie Evan McCollough has been better than anticipated. Where the Argos are in trouble is with the recent injury to Willie Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks was one of the team's best defensive players, and his loss will hurt when facing the vaunted Tiger-Cat passing attack.

Advantage: Argonauts

The Defenses stack up very evenly with one another. Both have an experienced and tenacious front four, each team's Linebackers are very skilled and the Secondaries both have question marks. It's tough to give the advantage to either, but with the home crowd being able to make it LOUD for the Tiger-Cats, I will give them an ever-so-slight advantage on Sunday.

Advantage: Tiger-Cats

No comments:

Post a Comment