2022-11-06 Game Tracker - Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Montreal Alouettes (6292)

Hamilton Tiger-Cats


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/games/6292/hamilton-tiger-cats-vs-montreal-alouettes/

is it game time yet?

Oskee Wee Wee!!!

Here we go. Playoffs time. Can the Als fend off the surging Cats?

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Nope! :smiley:

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Quarterbacks

For most other positional groups I like to dive in on some statistics and make sure I’m giving an honest appraisal of the matchup. When it comes to quarterbacks, I’m 10,000 snaps into tracking their every move so shooting from the hip with an opinion feels acceptable.

Shooting from the hip, making it up on the fly, figuring it out as it happens, all things that are the antithesis of Alouettes quarterback Trevor Harris. It’s not that Harris can’t ad lib, he showed that just a few weeks ago in Ottawa with a handful of elusive scrambles after shimmying around the pocket, but his game is predicated on precision, patience and accuracy which is why I give the early advantage here to Montreal’s leading man.

On the other side Dane Evans is as good as any quarterback in this league (Nathan Rourke and Zach Collaros included) when he is on. But what does it mean for Evans to be on? Watch back the Tiger-Cats win over Winnipeg this year when he threw for a career-high five touchdown passes while completing 25 of his 32 passing attempts for 327 yards. Downfield aggression on first down, smart decision making and avoiding the big mistake could all be part of Hamilton’s path back to the Eastern Final.

Come to think of it, all of those characteristics sound a lot like Evans’ 2019 Eastern Final victory over Harris who was quarterbacking the Edmonton Elks at the time. Makes you think.

ADVANTAGE: MONTREAL


Running Backs

I believe the running back question on both sides is the most interesting challenge to analyze heading into the Eastern Semi-Final.

For Montreal it’s a three headed monster of Canadian Jeshrun Antwi, explosive addition Walter Fletcher and some guy named William Stanback, who has been at or near the CFL standard for excellence when on the field.

As Montreal transitioned from being a high fullback usage team this season, offensive coordinator Anthony Calvillo has employed more two-back sets with any mixture of the Antwi-Fletcher-Stanback trio. If Stanback has a vintage performance the lean here is easily Montreal, even without a one man show the three Montreal backs could be the deal breaker.

In Hamilton, Wes Hills has been attempting to do his best Stanback impersonation as a power runner, while Don Jackson remains one of the CFL’s more dangerous play-to-play threats and Sean Thomas-Erlington continues to play the long held role of under appreciated and under utilized Canadian back.

Hamilton’s disinterest in running the rock consistently and Montreal’s three man flexibility is the difference for me here.

ADVANTAGE: MONTREAL


Receivers

This is the David versus Goliath matchup, or perhaps better put Davids versus Goliath.

Eugene Lewis is a monster, he could get 15 targets in this game and it still might not feel like enough. The more he gets the ball, the better off Montreal is. The problem is, Hamilton defensive coordinator Mark Washington knows that and will have a plan. Meaning that Jake Wieneke needs to step up, especially in the score zone while Kaion Julien-Grant looms as the x-factor in combination with standout rookie Tyson Philpot.

Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Player nominee is receiver Tim White who has 17 catches for 250 yards in his two most recent matchups against Montreal. If he can play the role of, ‘Hamilton’s Geno’ and Hamilton gets a couple big plays from Steven Dunbar Jr. the Black and Gold supporting cast could be enough to topple the league’s best receiver in 2022, but I don’t see it.

ADVANTAGE: MONTREAL


Offensive Line

The loss of Sean Jamieson at centre stings for an Alouettes crew that was gelling nicely, but having David Brown is quality depth and adding Pier-Olivier Lestage after an NFL opportunity has been big. Kristian Matte continues to hold down the fort and former Ticats tackle Landon Rice was named Montreal’s outstanding lineman.

In Hamilton, Brandon Revenberg is still the anchor, but he’s been surrounded by a plethora of acquired pieces this season from Colin Kelly to Kyle Saxelid and David Beard.

This is closer than most will realize based on Hamilton giving up substantially fewer sacks, but I think the Alouettes front is in tough against Ticats defensive lineman Micah Johnson and crew.

ADVANTAGE: HAMILTON


Defensive Line

The difference in sacks-made between the two teams is minimal, but with Hamilton leading the CFL in rushing yards against per game (83.5), and knowing that Montreal needs to find their ground game, which they couldn’t last year in the same game against Hamilton. A motivated Micah Johnson waiting on the other side gives Hamilton the advantage.

The great equalizer in all of this is whether or not Montreal defensive end Jamal Adams can completely control the game as he did in Week 19 against Ottawa.

ADVANTAGE: HAMILTON


Linebackers

Earlier this season I asked Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer which players have been flying below the radar for his club. As he shook his head the name that came out with force was Jovan Santos-Knox.

The Ticats leading tackler, who boasted 113 total tackles heading into the final week of the regular season, is not only a great player, he also knows what it takes to get a road playoff win in Montreal as he did with Edmonton in 2019.

Adarius Pickett and Micah Awe, alongside Tyrice Beverette have played well with Pickett being the headliner, but Simoni Lawrence and Kameron Kelly and more than enough to buoy Santos-Knox’s excellent play in the middle.

ADVANTAGE: HAMILTON


Defensive Backs

Marc-Antoine Dequoy has come as advertised from his draft year as a long, lean playmaking machine who is constantly around the football, but I like the totality of Hamilton’s unit.

Led by Jumal Rolle at boundary corner paired with the physicality of Cariel Brooks who is always involved in the run game, mixed with safety Tunde Adeleke always lurking near the box, while Richard Leonard and Ciante Evans handle their business on the wide side.

ADVANTAGE: HAMILTON


Return Game

I love Lawrence Woods’ quick decision making in the hole on punt returns, but Chandler Worthy is the difference maker in this matchup for me.

That’s due to Worthy’s ability to take any kickoff, missed field goal or punt to the house. At the very least he has the ability to make an explosive play creating a short field for Harris and the offence, which could be killer for Hamilton.

ADVANTAGE: MONTREAL


Kicking Game

Hamilton kicker Seth Small is second only to BC’s Sean Whyte in field goal percentage (90 per cent) and has a CFL-long make of 58-yards in what has been a tremendous rookie season.

However, the difference here should be Montreal punter Joseph Zema who has lingered near or atop the CFL net punting ranks all year long. Hamilton’s punting game has been an uphill battle since the preseason when these two clubs met.

ADVANTAGE: MONTREAL

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EASTERN SEMI-FINAL SPOTLIGHT

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Montreal Alouettes
Percival Molson Stadium
Sunday, November 6 at 1 p.m. ET

At a glance:

  • Montreal is hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2019
  • Montreal owns a 26-10 (.722) home playoff record.
  • Hamilton is 16-30-1 (.351) as the road playoff team.
  • The two teams met last year in the Eastern Semi-Final with the Tiger-Cats winning at home, 23-12.
  • Montreal won the season-series 2-1 over Hamilton:
  • As head coaches in the playoffs, Danny Maciocia 3-1 and Orlondo Steinauer is 3-0.
  • In three games against Hamilton this season, Eugene Lewis recorded 22 catches for 305 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Tiger-Cats receiver Tim White notched 19 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns in three games against the Alouettes.

A little smack talk from the Caretaker. Pfft . . . who needs the Rock when we have Bob Young?

:smile:

https://twitter.com/CaretakerBob/status/1587212705567473666?s=20&t=BKctgzhhFrpd9ClA4I-_5w

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HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes begin preparing for their Eastern Semi-Final meeting on Sunday having turned their respective seasons around.

The Alouettes went through a turbulent start to their season, posting a 2-6 record that saw then-starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. benched for Trevor Harris and later saw then-head coach Khari Jones and defensive coordinator Barron Miles replaced by Danny Maciocia and Noel Thorpe, respectively. The Als went 7-3 in their final 10 games, securing a home playoff date for the third consecutive season.

On Labour Day, an injured Tiger-Cats team took a resounding loss to the Toronto Argonauts and fell to 3-9. The two-time reigning East Division champs looked to be a shell of themselves through their first 12 games. They were a group riddled by late-game mistakes and letdowns, despite having many of the key pieces of the group that had appeared in consecutive Grey Cup games back on the field for another season.

Then, finally, the breakthrough that many were waiting for with this team came. With a healthy Dane Evans back in the lineup, the Ticats hosted and housed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Week 15, handing them a resounding 48-31 loss. Counting that game, the Ticats won five of their final six, fought off a crossover attempt from the Saskatchewan Roughriders and enter the post-season on a season-high four-game win streak.

These teams met three times in the regular season, with the Alouettes winning twice. Montreal was also the only team to beat Hamilton in the final third of the season. Here are three storylines to follow as the Als get set to host the Tiger-Cats with their seasons on the line on Sunday.

2022 CFL PLAYOFFS
» Matchups Set: 109th Grey Cup playoffs ready for kickoff
» Steinberg’s MMQB: A question for each non-playoff team
» Landry’s five takeaways from Week 21

HARRIS VS. EVANS

The question that fans of both teams might be asking this week is which version of their starting quarterback will show up on Sunday?

Last year, we saw Evans step in for Jeremiah Masoli in the Eastern Final and deliver a near flawless performance that propelled his team to the Grey Cup game. He looked like that quarterback in a career-best performance against the Bombers in Week 15, but in the many weeks before that, it wasn’t the same story. Evans’ biggest issue has been hanging on to the ball. Teams have been able to strip it out of his hands, knock it away from him or intercept him, making game-changing plays. To Evans’ credit, he’s cleaned up his game. After a season-worst three-INT showing against Toronto in Week 12, he’s only thrown three picks in his last seven games.

Harris, meanwhile, has put together a very steady 2022 campaign. He finished third in passing yards (4,157) and threw 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions through 16 games. Harris has had his share of big playoff moments — he led the Ottawa REDBLACKS to a Grey Cup appearance in 2018 — but has been stumped on the playoff stage as well. In last year’s Eastern Semi-Final, he ran into a stout Ticats defence that forced a total of five turnovers off of his team in a tough 23-12 loss. Harris was 28-of-44 for 364 yards with a touchdown in that game, but also threw an interception and lost three fumbles along the way.

Both Evans and Harris have shown that they can be play-making quarterbacks that thrive on that big stage. The one that likely takes better care of the ball on Sunday should be on their way to the Eastern Final in Toronto next week.

SMALL ONLY IN NAME

KICKER SETH SMALL’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE TICATS’ PLAYOFF PUSH CAN’T BE OVERSTATED. THE ROOKIE ENSURED HIS TEAM PICKED UP FOUR CRUCIAL WINS TO CLOSE OUT THE REGULAR SEASON (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Tiger-Cats likely wouldn’t be prepping for this week’s game were it not for the contributions of rookie kicker Seth Small. The Texas A&M alum has been automatic for the Ticats this season, coming into the mix for the team in Week 6 and raising his game through the final month when his team needed points and wins to secure their playoff spot.

In must-win games against Saskatchewan and Calgary, Small was a combined 8-8 on field goals. He was 5-6 in his team’s Week 20, playoff-clinching win over Ottawa and has gone 21-22 through the last six games. His 90.7 per cent accuracy is second in the league behind BC Lions’ kicker Sean Whyte and his 58-yarder against Toronto in Week 12 stands as the league’s longest field goal this year. Oh, and he added a 57-yarder against Calgary in Week 19.

The Ticats should feel fully confident in their kicker this week, in what could turn out to be a defensive battle.

SPOILER: THEY’LL LOOK TO GENO

EUGENE LEWIS HAD A CAREER YEAR IN MONTREAL, HELPING THEM TO THEIR THIRD CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF APPEARANCE (PETER MCCABE/CFL.CA)

A look at the Alouettes’ team stats tells you everything you need to know about their offence: Eugene Lewis is the key. The receiver racked up a career-best 1,303 yards through 17 games, making him the league’s third-most productive receiver.

Looking further down that list tells you more of the story. The next closest receiver the Als have to Lewis is Reggie White Jr., who had 722 yards this season. That’s not to say there isn’t depth and talent behind Lewis. In addition to White, there’s Jake Weieneke, Kaion Julien-Grant, rookie Tyson Philpot and Hergy Mayala. All of them are capable of making big plays; it’s just that Lewis has had the vast majority of them this season.

The Ticats will no doubt zero in on Lewis and try to make life difficult for him on Sunday. They won’t be the first team to make that attempt this season. Slowing him in some way will be a key this week for the Ticats, while Maciocia, Harris and the Als’ offence will look to keep their special magic with him going into the playoffs.

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I wish I could say differently, but the only stat that matters to me is Montreal being literally winless against Hamilton in the playoffs since returning to the league. Nothing about our 2022 season makes me think this is the year we break the curse.

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The Tiger-Cats and Alouettes open up Division Semis weekend, and both teams are looking the clinch a matchup with the Argonauts next weekend. QB Dane Evans hopes to give his team the edge against the Alouettes secondary, which allowed the league-median passing yards per game (262.6). While the points allowed per game through the air isn’t ideal for Evans, he should make a fair option in a week where options are limited. Evans’ top options at receiver this week will be Tim White and Steven Dunbar. The former will be an excellent option this week, but his price tag is a little out of hand for the decreased budgets. Nonetheless, he’ll make a top WR1 choice this week. Predicting the Tiger-Cats’ starting running back has always been an issue; expect either RB Don Jackson or RB Wes Hills to get the start, depending on who’s healthy, with a supplementary appearance from RB Sean Thomas Erlington. I’ll be avoiding this backfield; your pick at running back absolutely must hit, and I don’t think anyone in this backfield will provide 20-plus Fantasy points.

QB Trevor Harris will look to give his Alouettes the win versus the Tabbies. He’s up against the worst secondary of the teams playing this week, and with one of the league’s most electric targets in Eugene Lewis at his disposal, I think Harris is worthy of strong Fantasy consideration. If you do roll with him, Lewis is an excellent choice at wide receiver. Expect RB William Stanback to get the start; be weary, however, of how the Alouettes supplement their rushing attack with RB Walter Fletcher and QB Dominique Davis.

BetRegal has the Als as slight favourites.

Here are some numbers from BetVictor. Tbh, I'm not sure what all of them mean, but I think they have the Als as favourites too.

Jamie Nye is picking Hamilton:

Hamilton at Montreal
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET

THROUGH THE FINAL FIVE WEEKS OF THE REGULAR SEASON DANE EVANS PASSED FOR 1,293 YARDS, THROWING SIX TOUCHDOWN PASSES (KEVIN SOUSA/CFL.CA).

The hottest team going into the playoffs are easily the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton has won five of the final six games and stormed past the stagnant Saskatchewan Roughriders to find themselves heading on the road to Montreal.

Two of their wins were particularly impressive as they knocked off the Bombers and then four weeks later went into Calgary and escaped McMahon Stadium with a 35-32 win as the Tiger-Cats defence was able to force Calgary turnovers.

Any concern over Dane Evans‘ health after a hand injury knocked him out of the game late in Week 20 was eased when he threw for over 100 yards and was seven of nine passing in the regular season finale.

After a dreadful 0-4 start to the season that was full of turnovers, Evans has regained control of the Tiger-Cats offence and as they head into the semi-final as the underdog, I’d fear an underdog who knows what it takes to win at this time of year.

The Alouettes have also turned around a dreadful start and with head coach Danny Maciocia at the helm, the Alouettes were above .500 and have a home playoff game with a rematch of last year’s semi-final.

However, coughing up the ball has been the bigger issue for the Tiger-Cats this year. It was a main reason for that loss to Montreal a few weeks ago.

But I’m going with momentum, the Tiger-Cats are flying into the post-season with confidence and a healthy defence that is one of the best in the Canadian Football League.

What makes me nervous with the pick is the aforementioned turnover issue, but they’ve been much better lately.

PICK: HAMILTON (25 confidence bonus)

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I'm not familiar with these performers, but good on the Als for booking some.

1 – It’s playoff time!

Does this really need any more explanation? It’s that time of year where you either win or you go home. For the first time since 2019, the Alouettes will be hosting a playoff game at Percival Molson Stadium. The Als won two of three matchups against the Ticats in 2022. They lost in Hamilton, 24-17, on July 28th, but they came back to win the final two meetings of the season in Montreal on Aug. 20 and Sep. 23.

All three games were decided by one possession, including the Aug. 20 game which featured a game-winning field goal by Alouettes kicker David Cote with no time left on the clock.

No matter what happens, this will be the last game in Montreal in 2022. So make sure you don’t miss it!

2 – In-game entertainment:

DM Nation will be performing at half-time of this Sunday’s game. They’re a hip-hop dance crew that consists of 14 female dancers from Levis, Quebec.

If you’re not familiar with their work, you can check them out right here:

Also, Claudia Bouvette will be singing the national anthem prior to the game. Bouvette is a singer/songwriter from Montreal. She combines an electro-pop style to elements of analog instrumentals.

3 – Arrive Early and take advantage of our specials:

On Sunday, we’ll be opening the gates a little earlier than normal. You’ll be able to get into the stadium as of 11 am, and there are plenty of reasons to show up bright and early!

Do you need some décor for your house or office? Well, we’ve got the solution for you. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will get an official photo of the 2022 Alouettes!

Also, there will be a great special on beer in the Budweiser Biergarden for the 30 minutes following the opening of the stadium.

4 – Brunch at the Tailgate!

We thought we’d take advantage of the date and time of our playoff game (Sunday at 1pm) to offer our fans an awesome brunch at the pre-game tailgate as of 10:30 am. There will be games for kids, concession stands, a bar, a team store, and more. We’ll also have a special breakfast available on site so that you can start your day right!

5 – Beautiful Weather:

Don’t be fooled by the date, the weather is going to PERFECT! Expect temperatures to get as high as 22 degrees. So, ditch your jackets, hats, gloves and scarves, and just come to the stadium ready to make some noise!

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