Monday, September 21, 2015

Does Jeff Matthews Have What It Takes to Be A Successful Starter This Season for the Ticats?

Obviously Zach Collaros' knee injury on Saturday isn't good for the Cats. At best he is likely to be gone for a number of games. Jeff Matthews would seem to have a decent chance to start for the Cats, although his play on Saturday in relief wasn't good and it would not have taken much to defeat the Eskimos.

Matthews tossed three interceptions, two that were pick sixes and one in the Eskimo end zone. A couple of them seemed down right baffling. Matthews also fumbled and lost the ball on a running play. However, having seen bad Ticat backups forced into the game (Billy Dickens, Timmy Chang) Matthews wasn't terrible. He didn't have two and and out after two and out after getting blitzed repeatedly which is what happens to most CFL rookie backups. He went 7 for 10 with 90 yards and a TD before being yanked, which was more yards than Reilly had the entire game (49 yards on 7 for 22 attempts). This week is a bye week, and no doubt Matthews will get considerably more snaps. Plus the Cats will likely try to add more of a running game to help out Matthews, including using four receivers and a fullback more often (which the Cats have rarely done). Weirdly while Matthews was in on Saturday, he often played with six receiver sets, which Collaros doesn't do that often.

The Ticats defence is arguably the best in the league right now (i.e. giving up 49 passing yards) and their special teams are up there too. Besides Collaros though, the Cats have other injury problems, including Dyakowski, Bomben and Olson on the offensive line in the last game alone. Plus Gable and Fantuz are still out, who both would be especially useful on a Matthews led team.

Are the Cats the favourite to win the Grey Cup still? No. Can they still make the playoffs? I think they can, although losing this past game against Edmonton where they had chances to win is going to hurt. 

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