Thursday, August 7, 2008

Double Blue Team Rematch

So here we are again against the Toronto Argonauts, having beaten them handily in the first meeting of the year and gotten the monkey of beating the double blue off our backs. Now the last time we won at home versus the Argos. I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look it up. The Argos are currently 2.5 point favourites, which means we have a chance, although we don't have our best quarterback, running back or receiver (arguably Tony Miles). However the Argos would seem to be equally beat up, with receivers down left and right, forcing the start of one of their backup quarterbacks at wideout. Erstwhile Argo hope wide receiver Bethel Johnson is still out after being injured in the first Ticat Argo tilt. Richie Williams doesn't seem to be much of a dropoff from Printers at this stage, so we will call the injury situation even.

For the Cat offense, the offensive line has been shuffled once more, with left tackle Jonta Wordard (who once lived in my apartment building, but I never recognized him or had the chance to berate him) being cast aside to be replaced by Charles Thomas who was benched last week. Mediocre import tackles are surely one of the banes of my existence. Cavka stays at right tackle and nonimport Dyakowski stays in at left guard. So who will be the better turnstile, Woodard or Thomas? I say it is a wash, but a better line than two weeks ago with three imports starting. The Argos seem to run a three four defence, succesfully against the pass and not so successfully against the run. Not sure how things will turn out with Terry Caulley starting at running back this week in place of the injured Lumsden (and the noninjured Tre Smith). I don't expect a lot out of him, although he wasn't bad last year (again replacing Lumsden, I sense a theme). What I am hoping for and may get is a lot of Richie Williams legging it himself, especially if the Argos have good coverage down field. Hopefully Williams will remember where the first down marker is this week and time his slides accordingly. Sometimes he may even have to take some punishment to move the ball. The Cats won't win otherwise and Richie, you're not Anthony Cavillo, you won't break if you get tackled.

For the Cat receivers, Bauman is listed ahead of Woodcock, with the usual imports Rodriguez, JoJo, and Scott (I like to drop one in the first quarter just to get loosened up) Mitchell. Somehow Mitchell now leads the Cats in receiving, so maybe we'll get something out of him and Rodriguez, as they appear so far to be favourite targets of Williams. Maybe even a TD pass! Ok lets not get ahead of ourselves. Rushing TDs are fine and worked against the Argos last time. Williams has to be careful of the Argos secondary, as they are noted ball hawks.

On defence, things may not be too bad. The Argos have no running game to speak of, as they always seem to half heartedly try a couple of runs in the first half that go nowhere and then give up on the running back for the rest of the game. This doesn't include Kerry Joseph, who I'm sure will run and the Cats better try and limit him from reaching the first down marker. Perhaps this is where Moreno will have a big game. The defensive line has reverted to using nonimport McKay-Loescher on the end, with Lewis starting at the other end in place of Cornelius Anthony who started last week. I'm guessing that Anthony will come in on second and long situations to try and chase Joseph down, like he did once last week for a Cavillo sack. With the Argos receivers in chaos, maybe the line won't be revealed for the mediocrity it is.

For the secondary, Bradley is out a second week, which isn't good since Tisdale is young and seems ready to be lit up. Hopefully the other cornerback Gordon will cover Arland Bruce and things won't go poorly.

One thing about this game is that with the feebleness of the Argos offense, the Cats are in less danger of falling way behind. If the Cats can keep it close, they can run on first or second down, make first downs, and eat up the clock and wear down the rather crotchety Argo defence (O'Shea). A sure recipe for a Cats victory? Perhaps not, but I like the Cats chances in this game.

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