Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hamilton Beats Montreal in Guelph, Locks Up A Home Playoff Game

Yesterday in Guelph was pretty satisfying. Things were looking grim and then Banks returns Whyte's missed field goal for a TD and suddenly the cold weather and rain didn't matter any more.

The Cats sucked pretty hard in the first half, only scoring three points and it looked like a repeat of last week. Fortunately the Cats got a couple of turnovers deep in their own territory to stop the Alouettes from totally running away from it in the first half.

In the second half, the Cats played way better than the Als, outscoring them 24 to 8 on the way to the victory.

One oddity in the game was the Cats use of all three quarterbacks throughout the game. Masoli got a lot of touches and had the only TD pass. All season the Cats have put in LeFevour for a few plays that are mostly runs and while he had a few touches, Masoli seems to have leapfrogged him. Burris didn't have a great day when he had the ball, just an OK one, going 16 for 23 for 163 yards with a pick. That's only 7.1 yards per attempt, which is bad, but in both games Cat receivers had very low YAC yards, whereas Montreal tended to have a ton of them.

The weird thing about the backup quarterback running plays was how effective they were versus how uneffective the regular running backs were rushing. The Cats seemed to have no problem with Masoli getting over five yards per rush, while Gable had 2 rushes for -1 yards. But it worked, so I'm not complaining. I'm not a television commentator who is tied into conventional wisdom. Try new things on offence, if they work great.

Troy Smith had a better game in some ways this week than last week and ended up losing. He did have two picks versus 2 TDs, but he had 340 yards passing. His passing percentage was better than last week's at 59%, but that's still pretty mediocre. Over two games, that's around 55% which is pretty much Michael Bishop territory. I saw on Sportscentre that Chris Schultz was complaining about how Smith's last five passes were all incompletes, so maybe the media love in is over.

Most importantly, the Cats got their home playoff game in Guelph (and the Guelph and Guelph University get the publicity for a home playoff game) and proved last week was somewhat of an aberration. I'll be most curious next week to see what the Cats do quarterback wise. I assume Burris will get some significant reps in the first half and then the backups will play a lot. Winnipeg played Toronto relatively tough for the last two weeks so who knows how that game will go. I would like a regular season winning record, but not at the cost of injuries.

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