As I write this, the Eskimos are leading the Riders late in the fourth. Combined with Hamilton's loss last night to the Lions, the Ticats are pretty much out of the playoffs. Over the last three games, the Cats would need to win two more games than the Eskimos, which is looking exceedingly unlikely at this point.
Who would have thought the Cats before the season started would end up out the playoffs, via the cross-over? So much for going to the Grey Cup to cheer on the Cats.
At the end of the season there will be plenty of time for blame. Right now it is obvious the defence wasn't good enough to get it done, both because of personnel and injuries.
Why was the defence so bad? I would blame both the import non-import ratio and the ratio of money paid to offensive and defensive players. Starting two import tackles on the offensive line necessitated more non-imports on defence this year, specifically with the secondary. The Cats had no real options for a defensive starter on the line or at linebacker, so that meant the secondary with concomitant results.
Andy Fantuz is being paid an alleged $180,000 this year and Henry Burris isn't doing badly salary wise himself. This has to mean less money on the defensive side of the ball, and the no-names the Cats have on defence apart from the linebackers have played in a no-name manner.
What about next year? One assumes the Cats will invite a whole lot of import defensive line players to camp and hope a diamond in the rough emerges. I can't see the Cats giving up on their two import offensive tackles, especially with the paucity of Canadian talent on the line that was revealed in the later stage of this season. That's just a start. The Cats could end up a different looking team next year.