Playoff game in TigerTown? No Excuse otherwise
The beauty of the Canadian Football League is that any team, any season can go from futile to utile. But, if I would have suggested a month ago that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would sit in second place overall and be a front runner for a home playoff game after week six, I would’ve had my blog vanquished by week one.
But here we are. The season is 33% complete and unless something unforeseeable occurs, not only should Hamilton be playing football in to the second week of November but they should be doing so at home and there’s no excuse otherwise. This is not a knee jerk reaction to what has been a rare scene in Hamilton either. It’s simply reasonable logic.
The Ticats sit in second place in the East, two-points behind Montreal and the only two teams standing in the way of a playoff game at Ivor Wynne is are the 2-4 Bluebombers and Argos.
While Winnipeg’s defense is among the better units in the league, the offense has been inept. Michael Bishop has taken over the helm and he’s had some success but in true Bishop fashion, even when he wins he looks mediocre doing so. I can appreciate what he did in 2007 with Toronto, compiling an 11-1 record but there is certainly some grey area in the bigger picture. He is in his ninth CFL season, which is more then enough time to evaluate the 33-year old quarterback, and he as completed 51% of his passes to this point and thrown 58 interceptions to his 52 touchdown passes. His hit or miss style is difficult to predict, even for his own teammates. The Bombers have averaged 18.8 points per game to his point (18 points/game in Bishops two starts), which is surprisingly not the worst offensive output this season.
Is there anything more demeaning to an offense then getting shut out in the CFL? Well, the Argos offense did in week six in Montreal and Toronto owns the worst points per game output at 17.6 points per game. It’s easy to blame the quarterback but I don’t think Kerry Joseph has been bad this season. He’s taking a lot of shots from opposing defenses and the receivers can’t seem to get separation. After last season, you had to wonder how much of this was going to be a rebuilding year and so far we’ve gotten the answer. Toronto better just hope their quarterback doesn’t get killed in the process.
The title of this blog is related to not only their early season success but the struggles faced by the Bombers and Boatmen. The Tiger-Cat wins are not just impressive in the score but in how they’ve been winning. It’s been a while since the TigerTown faithful have been able to feel confident in their team emerging in the final minutes of a game and with adversity staring them in the face — but this team has done it, and done it more then once. Expectations change as the season progresses and there is no reason that Hamilton should not be hosting a first round postseason game at Ivor Wynne.