The Cats are in Vancouver to face the of late hot Lions, who smashed the Cats at Ivor Wynne a few weeks ago. The Lions are 13 point favourites this game, which I think may be somewhat generous. All signs point to a blowout, but there is always a chance.
Casey Printers will aparently not face his former team, due to a wonky ankle. Quinton Porter will get the start over Richie Williams. Obviously the Ticat braintrust thinks Porter may be the real deal and if he can show he is over the next few games, Printers might be jettisoned over the offseason. Unfortunately for this game, I don't think the BC Lions are the best team for Porter to start against. The Lions front four on defence, led by Cameron Wake are a load. Porter is the least mobile of the Ticat QBs, when the recipe for success for the Lions is to constantly roll out of the pocket, preferably to the side of the field away from Wake. We'll see what Porter is made of this game.
The Lions were rather successful the last go around against the Cats running game. This time, the Cats may have to keep at the running game, even if they get stuffed a few times early. Certainly the biggest draw for this game is how Kenton Keith will do. Situations like this with limited practice for a player don't often generate successful outcomes, but Keith is an exciting player. Hopefully the Cats will be able to utilize his receiving abilities. With both Lumsden and Caulley injured, Tre Smith will get to show his stuff. For the receivers, the standard four are listed as starters on the depth chart, Rodriguez, Mitchell, Bauman and Miles. Tigercatatonia favourite JoJo Walker is on the practice roster. New signing and former Lion and apparent friend of crackheads Josh Boden is listed on the depth chart. Hopefully he doesn't get mixed up with some of the denizens around Ivor Wynne.
On defence, interior lineman Tory (don't call me Victoria) Collins has been released and imports Terrence Patrick and Darrell Adams occupy the middle of the line. At ends, newcomer Alain Kashama (who had a sack last week) and McKay-Loescher, both nonimports. Kania, another nonimport backs them up. In some ways, it is good the Cats can start two nonimport ends, but the fact the Cats have not found a decent import end by this point of the year is rather damning. I know the Cats traded for Kashama, who is probably better than the import stiffs we've had at end this year, but still.
For the rest of the defence, it is fairly standard. Anthony at middle linebacker, Robinson at safety and Tisdale in as a DB. For a 2 and 10 team, the linebackers and secondary have been somewhat stable. Of course, one would think they would have developed some synergy by this point in the season, but hey, it's the Ticats.
Talentwise, the Cats are overmatched, both imports and nonimports. Frankly I think the only strategy the Cats could follow to allow them to win is to get to noted glass man Buck Pierce, who makes Jesse Lumsden look like Cal Ripken. The Lions have sucked with Jarious Jackson in at QB, so blitz Pierce early and drive him into the turf any time you can, even if you take the odd borderline roughing the passer call. Otherwise, Pierce will just rip apart the Cats in the middle. Otherwise, a long tedious game...