So Hamilton the team with the second worst record, plays the team with the worst record. Hamilton is coming off a convincing win, Winnipeg off a convincing loss. A chance for Hamilton to somewhat move back into contention and continue to build momentum with two straight victories. Uh, no. Hamilton lost 37 to 24.
I think the key to this game was the inability to convert on two third and ones (actually one was second and one) via quarterback sneak in the first half. As Ron Lancaster says (and I'm paraphrasing), if you can't gain a yard, you don't deserve to win. Richie fumbled on one and the right side of the line appeared to be blown off the line for the other. For most of the first half, Winnipeg looked like the worse team and making these first downs likely would have led to scores (or in the case of fumble, not allow Winnipeg an easy way to the one yard line). Obviously in the CFL, teams that are ahead generally play a bit better than teams that are behind. Winnipeg was in a bit of turmoil this season with Glenn coming back. Getting ahead solidly in the first half could have easily led to a Hamilton win. Instead Hamilton was always just a bit behind and couldn't make the winning drive in the fourth quarter, when Williams' pass was tipped and then run in for a TD.
Williams play was decent, he ran for 99 yards, although he only passed for 14 completions out of 27 attempts for 204 yards. Still those failures to execute on those third and ones can at least in part be hung on Richie. Caulley was decent running for 99 yards on ten attempts for two TDs. JoJo Walker was again the top receiver with five grabs for 73 yards. Apparently he's good. Who knew? Both Bauman and Mitchell had no catches. Thanks. The three import offensive line? Mediocre at best and poorly matched against the Winnipeg front four. We're probably stuck with this variant for a while, despite the need for imports elsewhere. Hopefully George Hudson can come back for Labour Day.
On defence, good early, mediocre later. Moreno had a big game with eight tackles and an interception ran back for a TD early in the game. The defensive line? No pressure. Glenn had tons of time to throw and the Cats got burned. Hell Glenn managed to track down a botched snap and make a throw to prevent intentional grounding without being sacked by our sorry line. The Cats have released so many people on the defensive line, that the only one I really know is McKay-Loescher and I only know him because he is Canadian. Maybe some NFL cuts will help out, although I have a feeling they will do a little, get invited to camp, suck early in the regular season and then be booted in July. Maybe we can clone Joe Montford. I thought the secondary didn't play bad considering.
I don't have really a lot to say about the game. They certainly didn't get blown out, but the Cats just don't seem to be able to get their offense and defence synced to win games. Probably why they are two and six. At least Toronto lost against Montreal last week, so if we win on Labour Day, we're tied for second, with a sweep of the season series. Still good, hell decent teams find ways of beating the Winnipegs of this world. The Cats still have a ways to go.