In my opinion, there is no doubt that the loser of this game on Saturday, will hold the title of "Worst Football Team in the CFL" . . . at this point in the 2022 season.
But I am equally confident, that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will easily win this game, forcing the RedBlacks to return to Ottawa wearing that crown.
But that will not prove anything in terms of the 'Cats turning their prospects around this year, because they are playing against a "wounded" opponent. As Zach Collaros & others have pointed out, that dirty hit by that despicable human being Martino, has robbed the CFL of one of its star players, and has also robbed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' fans of a game that we have been anticipating since the CFL Free Agency frenzy in February, when many Tiger-Cat fans on this forum declared Shawn Burke & the Ottawa RedBlacks the undisputed winners of the FA period.
This was supposed to be the measuring stick . . . the barometer to determine if Shawn Burke had provided Paul LaPolice with the talent to vault them ahead of the Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Standings. And now this game represents none of that. In my opinion, that dirty hit has ruined the RedBlacks entire season . . . I hope that their Head Coach does not lose his job as a result of that dirty hit.
But the reality is, even if Jeremiah Masoli had not been injured in Regina, there is no doubt that Ottawa was going to lose that game regardless, which means this game was destined to be a matchup of 0 - 4 teams. No one would have predicted that in the aftermath of the CFL's FA period. And no one could have predicted that the entire Eastern division would be so drastically inferior to the Western division teams.
So in my opinion this game becomes a meaningless game . . . the Tiger-Cats will defeat a wounded RedBlacks team with a "junior varsity" QB at the helm, and then will promptly travel to Vancouver to get whipped by a far superior BC Lions team.
This means that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will start the 2022 season with a 1 - 5 record.
After that, we can only hope that the 'Cats 2022 journey will include a significant "feasting" period on the inferior competition in the East, while stacking some victories together against Toronto & Montreal. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will have a chance to improve their record during that stretch . . . it remains to be seen what our Coaching staff is able to do with that opportunity.
I don't think any football coach at any level would ever look at a schedule in this manner. They cannot afford to look beyond the next challenge on the schedule. But we as fans of the CFL do have that luxury . . .
Even if (this is a BIG "if") the 'Cats have regained some of their swagger heading into the Labour Day matchup against the Toronto Argonauts, in my opinion we have to wait until the September 17th matchup against the visiting Blue Bombers to have another true barometer game to determine whether or not this team is good enough to compete against good football teams.
In the meantime, they had better "feast" on the weak & plentiful "prey" in the East, and hopefully improve all aspects of their game at the same time. September 17th is still a long way away . . . there is still a lot of football to be played between then & now . . .
And injuries will continue to be a key factor . . . Ottawa's season is over with the key injury to Masoli. Hopefully we can avoid a similar fate.