Keys To The Game - Hamilton vs. Montreal - Nov 8th, 2014

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!

Score more points :wink:

Remember that the game is 60 minutes long

Remember that the game starts at 4:00pm, NOT 4:25pm…

May I add remember that the game is 4 quarters,not 3 quarters,and that every quarter is 15 minutes long not 12 or 13 minutes long but 15 minutes long. If this team had used this mantra this season they wouldn't be in the situation they are currently in. This team this season realistically should have at the very least 3 to 4 more wins and should've wrapped up the East Division crown a long time ago. I think that we should win this game.....but we could just as easily lose it as we have proven to do on more than one occasion this season if we don't play a FULL 60 minutes of football. I'm kind of hoping and praying that the RB's pull the rabbit out of their hat tonight and send that team from Toronto packing for the season. If this does indeed happen then I would just tell the players to play like the score is 7-0 Alouettes to start the game and hope for the best,but if the team from Toronto does happen to win tonight then throw that out and just get the "W" at all costs and if there is a chance to win by 8 then consider it a bonus,but either way you look at it ..........................JUST WIN BABY !!!GO CATS GO !!! GO REDBLACKS GO !!! :rockin:

Haha. Im with you.

If I had to boil it down to one factor, it’s this:

Do we have an answer to their blitz?

Very nice Fender.

Id be more inclined to use the KISS approach. No fancy crap, no east west runs, all between the tackles. Playaction/naked bootlegs off of that.

I can appreciate Zachs pass first mentality but he needs to run with the damn ball. When the pocket collapses and he escapes. Dont look for that open wr just run! Or at the very least throw it away for the love of god man.

Defence/ST is good. Im not worried. Montreal doesnt score a lot of points on the road.

Money Medlock will win this game for us. 4 or 5 fgs

I predict basically the same score as when EDM was here. Throw in a few BS penalties on Hamilton, cuz thats how the Refs role in the cfl, to keep it nerve racking.

Remember this defence has only allowed 9.something points per game in our house!!


No, unless we can establish a run game. I guess 'establish' isnt the right word here. ''Stay committed' to the run game would be better.

Exactly,......Zac has been beat up too much this year.
If it continues ,our future and his are in doubt.

As to Shultzy picking us to not make it?
Thanks Chris,we need the extra motivation, as Austin says though," anyone who is not motivated for a game like this needs to check for a pulse" ( close nuff)

Oskee Wee Wee rings out through Tim Horton Field with a playoff game attmosphere ,can't wait!!

Win the coin toss and defer! SW winds forecast to be over 30 km/hr throughout the game.

Short crisp passes against the wind,move the ball against the wind ,score against the wind and you win.
Oh and Zugeresque punts against the wind helps.....( low spirals)

In my opinion, the main key to the game is for the O-line to open up some holes so we can get the running game in gear. If that happens, the rest will take care of itself.


And for the love of god protect the QB.

Oh yeah, Carter was about 80% of the passing yards in the last Montreal game. He requires double coverage. And, Crompton will throw to receivers in coverage and he expects them to make the play by fighting for the ball. They do a great job of fighting and winning. DBs better get their game faces on and fight for that ball... and win.

Its insane that he gets 80 percent when you have an AJ on the team as well....

With no offense to Fender, whose football knowledge I very much admire, I have to take issue with his analysis of Montreal's strengths and weaknesses. For one thing, we don't blitz nearly as much as we used to. We play a lot of zone behind our defensive fronts and we drop off into coverage from a show blitz look pretty frequently.

For another, if you think it's easy to pass on us, our recent record suggests otherwise. The problem with looking at season-wide stats for a unit is that early-season struggles can skew one's sense of their effectiveness right now, in the given week (and FWIW, the league stats I grabbed just now don't even list Jonathan Crompton as our starter; he only appears as a rusher playing, apparently, for Edmonton, oy). At this point in the season, we allow 21.5 points per game to Hamilton's 22.4, so I'd say it's a pretty even contest. Yes, we do allow a relatively high percentage of passes as a defense, but we also don't give up the big play and it is difficult to move the ball on us through the air by dinking and dunking.

which is what we do best.
if i may though. we allow just over 9 points a game at home.

Playing Milanovich and Ray 3 times kind of skew's the completions numbers :lol:

I think this will be a classic line of scrimmage battle. with Penalties and ST deciding the outcome.

It's difficult to do that without a viable ground game, which is why I think Austin will really commit to running the ball tomorrow. Without a ground game or deep-ball threat, Collaros is going to struggle to complete anything underneath.

if i may though. we allow just over 9 points a game at home.
Very true. I am not particularly hopeful that my team will win tomorrow. Having said that, you also haven't played us at THF yet this year. Anything can happen.