Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Aftermath of the Battle of the Mediocre Football Teams, Part Two

Well another game, another Cats loss, surprise, surprise. Obviously the most important thing to take from the result, a 40 to 33 Montreal victory, is the fact that we covered the spread! So effectively we exceeded our expectations. I'll take my positives where I can.

I've waited a while to write up this postgame report, as I'm never enthused about righting up a loss. So here goes. I was a little concerned going in with Williams starting, however I felt that there really wasn't a big dropoff compared to Printers and it wasn't like we won more than one game with Printers in anyways. Richie went 18 for 24 for 260 yards with two interceptions. He also ran 13 times for 79 yards, including two TD runs. That 75 % completion rate isn't bad and was no doubt helped by the times that Richie ran, rather than make a poor passing attempt. His 6.1 yards per rush was a little disappointing, considering I felt that if the Cats were going to win, Williams was going to have to run. Tre Smith and Jesse Lumsden combined didn't do a lot rushing, with 77 yards on 12 attempts (with a respectable 6.4 yards per rush), although combined with Williams' total, not too bad. Lumsden being hurt surely didn't help, as he is a superior back to Smith. Lumsden has got to find a way to stay in the game and do some damage in the second half when the defences are tired (and as so many teams have done to the Cats this year).

Receiver wise, Mitchell managed to prove me wrong by making three grabs for 89 yards, including some yards after the catch. Rodriguez was solid with six receptions for 85 yards and even tigercatatonia favourite (and cut from the team a few weeks ago) JoJo Walker had five grabs for 52 yards. Woodcock and Bauman didn't do much, so our import receivers were our best receivers for once.

On the offensive line, Thomas was out at right tackle, Cavka shifted over to right tackle and Dyakowski in at left guard. So down to only two imports from the week before and their play was marginally better. Still five sacks were allowed and Williams didn't seem to have loads of time.

On defence, Calvillo went 26 for 36 for 326 yards for a 72 % completion rate. Likely Jykine Bradley being out didn't help this. Cobourne rushed 17 times for 119 yards, which is not good enough. The Cats forced some Montreal turnovers which probably helped keep the score somewhat close. The defensive line got a bit more pressure than last week, including a sack by Cornelius Anthony that I pretty much predicted in my last post by running down the slowfooted Cavillo, however not enough pressure to win a game. Four imports on the line now and really a mediocre group. We'll see what next week brings.

I thought what really killed us was the TD from Cavillo on the first play of the third quarter that went 81 yards. With the score close, you can't give those up. Especially since through the first and second quarters, the game was kept close, with a surprisingly reasonable Ticat start. The other killer was on special teams with a few long returns that gave Montreal great field position and some gimme points. The Cats defence is not good enough to survive short field position.

Not much more to say. The Cats weren't blown out, but they're going to have to play better in all facets of the game to win.

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