Monday, October 13, 2014

Thoughts on the Ticats Loss in Toronto, Harold Ballard Cup All Tied Up

I attended the Ticats game at the Rogers Centre on Friday against the Argos, which the Ticats ended up blowing a big lead and losing 34 to 33. Being in the stadium was fun as a Ticat fan for majority of the game until the Argos managed to win with two late TDs. My section was mostly an Argo one, although there were plenty of Ticat fans overall and certainly by sound, Ticats plays were cheered loudly (my guess is that the average Ticat fan was at least thrice as loud as the average Argo fan).

The Argos outscored the Ticats 21 to 3 in the final quarter versus the Cats outscoring the Argos 30 to 13 through the first three quarters. Did the Argos make the biggest comeback in the CFL this year? One related point I've made about the Ticats is that the truly good teams in the CFL step on the throats of an opposing team when they get ahead and keep scoring points to absolutely guarantee victory. The Cats were almost there this game, but basically needed another field goal.

The Tiger-Cats did actually have a good chance to win at the end of the game when Sinkfield managed to return the Argos kickoff after the go ahead TD to the Ticats' 51 yard line with around a minute left (Sinkfield actually had a fabulous game returning kickoffs and punts). With the game indoors and having Medlock, that wouldn't have required many yards for a field goal. But the Ticats managed to totally screw up that possession, ending it with a bad snap on a long third down.

Stats wise, Collaros had a pretty good game, going 23 for 32 for 302 yards with two TDs throwing and no picks. Collaros also had seven runs for 65 yards and at TD which is impressive.

Madu had a great day catching the ball with 87 yards on six catches, but only 14 yards on three runs. The Cats don't use the running back to run much, but do use the position as almost the primary receiver. Fantuz had a good day with seven catches for 77 yards and a TD and Tasker had three catches for 71 yards and a TD. Tasker has emerged as the best import receiver.

One interesting reception, Matt Coates caught a single pass for fifteen yards. Who's Matt Coates? I had to look him up. He's a rookie non-import (23 years old, 6'3" 197 lbs.) who came from the Hamilton Hurricanes rather than the CIS or NCAA. I assume he was on the roster for special teams, but another no-import receiver making a catch besides Giguere and Fantuz is always news.

The Cats defence also had a good game until the fourth quarter. Lineback Taylor Reed led with seven tackles. Norwood is also having a great year a defensive end, with six tackles and three sacks, putting him at 11 sacks on the year. Hickman had a tackle. Non-import defensive tackle Ted Laurent had a sack, putting him at seven sacks, which is good for an interior defensive lineman.

Ricky Ray didn't look good for the first three quarters, but ended up with good stats, with 34 completions on a massive 48 attempts for 431 yards, three TDs and a pick. Ray has to be coming close to being a lock for the eastern nominee for most outstanding player, which he won last year (but not the overall award).

Chiles had a great day, with eight receptions for 123 yards. Chad Owens also had a great day with 109 yards from six catches and the game winning TD.

One last thing, the Harold Ballard trophy race (presented to which ever team wins the season series between Toronto and Hamilton) is tied, with each team having a win apiece and the total points scored also tied. If the Cats and Argos tie their next game, I'm not sure what the tie breaker is.

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