Time To Get Down To It! Time To Get It On!
1st Place in The East is on the line. A spot in the playoffs ON THE LINE!
I don’t care what happens on Friday night between The REDBLACKS & Argos … it’s ALL about Saturday @ 4pm @ Tim Horton’s Field!
Hamilton Vs. Montreal … TiCats & Als … #1 against #2 …
So with that being said, what are “The Keys To The Game? and more importantly what are “The Keys To Beating Montreal??
I thought we’d analyze this with a good ol’ fashioned SWOT Analysis.
Let’s start with Montreal …
They blitz. Coach Thorpe loves to blitz in various ways & means. Run blitz. Pass blitz. Blitz on 1st down. Blitz on 2nd. Bring pressure from all sorts of angles. Fill every gap. Exploit every hole.
Montreal takes the ball away. Especially forcing & recovering fumbles & then scoring points immediately or on the drive in which they take possession.
It’s almost as if DC Greg Marshall has re-emerged in La Belle Provence since the “Bend - Don’t Break Defence? is alive & well with the Alouettes!
They protect their Quarterback fairly well comparatively.
Montreal converts Red Zone opportunities at a higher rate than their opponents.
They give up a lot of yardage against offensively.
Special Teams aren’t so special. They give up quite a bit of yardage in differential in both punt & kick returns.
YAC is Yucky. Once again, they give up quite a bit of YAC versus their opponents than they gain.
Montreal is behind their opponents is most every measurable of passing success possible. Opponent Pass Yards, Completion %, QB Rating, Yards Per Attempt … Pass Defence is Not Montreal’s strong suit.
The Als are bad on 1st down but slightly better on 2nd down but still worse than their opponents.
Special Teams. Field position as well as scoring is an opportunity for Hamilton to exploit. Special teams are a TiCats’ strength & that advantage must be capitalized upon.
YAC. Hamilton has to earn & make their Yards After Catch. Turning 7 yards receptions into 1st downs and 10 yard receptions into Big Plays!
Passing Offence. Hamilton has to be efficient in their passing game. They can throw on Montreal.
Keeping Montreal’s 1st Downs gains to a minimum is of course important, but not allowing 2nd & long conversions is much more important.
Montreal’s take-aways. Especially fumbles. They strip and recover the ball extremely well.
Their Blitz package … Plain & Simple.
Allowing The Als to slow the game down & keep it close … Experience will prevail & they’ll finish.
Team losses. Hamilton incurs much more in team losses versus their opponents than Montreal incurs.
Keys To The Game ...
In my opinion, this game, with all things considered equal, will come down to Hamilton’s Offense & their ability to handle Montreal’s Blitz.
Use traps & pulls & counters. The risk is that when you pull a guard or tackle, the blitzer comes right through the vacated ago & disrupts the play before it begins. The reward is that he doesn’t &/or the back runs right by for big yardage.
Use screens & shovel passes & fly sweeps & reverses etc. Once again, longer developing plays that a blitzing Defender can end before it starts. But if you catch them at the right time … Big yardage can be made & points earned!
Protect the ball. A young team versus a veteran team. A team who knows how to strip & recover versus a team who isn’t that savvy.
Special Teams. Hamilton can swing the field position battle at any time & take one to the house at any time with their Special Teams players & packages.
So that’s it from me for now. I’m sure there'll be lots more conversation & preparation in anticipation of the game Saturday.
But I thought this would provide a good place to start …
Have at it Ladies & Gents!