The reality of the rest of this season

We are 3-5. To finish with a winning record and make all these offseason changes justifiable we would have to finish 7-3. And that is only 10-8 -- barely winning. A 6-4 finish would place us right back where we've been for the past three years, albeit one regular season win better than last season.

5-5 finish: 8-10 losing season
4-6 or even worse 3-7 finish -- in between which is what we are on pace for right now: dreadful 7-11 or 6-12 finish

My prediction for the rest of the season:

  • split home and home with Argos: 1-1
  • lose to Edmonton, win against Winnipeg, 2-2
  • another game against Montreal, this time at home. A win 3-2. We are now 6-7
  • another loss to Edmonton, then in BC. 3-4, 6-9 overall
  • win against Calgary, lose to a desperate Winnipeg team, and again against the Argos. 7-11 overall

I hate to spread the negativity but until our defence steps up we won't be winning to many games. I don't mean just "play better" either. We need sacks, turnovers, and less than 25 points scored. There are games coming up that will be played in cold, possibly bad weather, and we have seen that our offence has not been able to produce enough to bail the team out every week. In the playoffs it's the same story, but one or two defensive miscues could mean the game, even if the offence performs well. I really hope I'm wrong, and I very well could be, because we've lost some very close games. A field goal to BC, two blown second halves to Calgary and Winnipeg, a last second field goal to Montreal. A few more points scored and we could be 7-1. But that's all would've, could've, should've. You just can't expect your offence to bail you out on every close high-scoring affair. And that's why we are where we are. If the defence could just place decently, and keep a few games low scoring, we could be a great team. But at this point in the season we're in the bottom three. 3-5. Just struggling to make it to .500 -- once again.

You put some thought into your post....nice.
I can't argue with most of what you said.....but it might be strongly influenced by the pattern of outcomes of our previous Teams' accomplishments. Right now our D scheme isn't working as effectively as it could. Neither is our MLB in several areas. It needs fixing! !
I have hope that all will end well.
That's all.

Here's how I see it:
Sweep the Argos: 5-5
Beat Edmonton at Ivor Wynne: 6-5
Lose to Winnipeg in Winnipeg: 6-6
Beat Montreal at Ivor Wynne: 7-6
Lose to Edmonton in Edmonton, BC at Ivor Wynne and Calgary in Calgary: 7-9
Beat Winnipeg at Ivor Wynne: 8-9
Beat Toronto in Toronto: 9-9

Everyone will be hoping back on the bandwagon after they sweep TO and beat Edmonton, but they will jump off after the three straight losses that drop them to 7-9. There is NO CHANCE that the Cats will lose the final regular season game at Ivor Wynne Stadium, especially to a Winnipeg team that I think will pretty much be out of it by that point (I expect the Bombers to finish no better than 6-12 now that they've changed coaches). I think the Cats will beat the Argos because Toronto just isn't that good. Their o-line might be the worst in the league and I don't know if Ricky Ray is going to make it through the year. So I say this is another 9-9, second place finish. They'll beat the Argos in the East Semi and lose to Montreal in the East Final. That's how I see the rest of the season playing out.

You make some great points. A sweep in the home and home would definitely be a momentum swing and if we're lucky the defence might improve in the course of those few weeks (NFL free agent signings, possibly? But you can't count on those). If we just played average football from there that would feel a bit better than what I had mapped out, but that three game losing streak near the end would really irk me. I've already suffered a huge shift in momentum late in a season like that with the Leafs this year. But if the defence becomes half decent and just prevents those few extra points a game, and we have our luck in finishing games (and hopefully Cortez will throw a few challenge flags), the season might not be so bad. Toronto didn't look so good tonight so a sweep is definitely possible but we have a tough schedule ahead...

Whenever you blow up the team, (which is all too often in Hamilton) I'm not so much concerned with the team's season record as I am with their ability to ramp it up and improve by gelling and getting better in the last 5 or 6 games of the season, heading into the playoffs.

9 - 9? I hope they finish 11 - 9 or the worst would be 12 - 9

I would love if they went 12-9

I'm with you. The teams are so closely matched that it will be very difficult for a team to "run the table" and with this defense it's almost impossible but they are only four points back and play the tie breaker at home against that team being spotted a 14 point lead. I think this division will likely be won with 11 games this year. So Hamilton would need to go 8-2 to win the division. Unlikely.

blog:

   I see your reasoning but I think you have left something out......that is the likelihood of the other teams improving more than us as the season goes on. I don't see that much improvement here mainly because of our defence. We can put lots of points on the board but can't turn that into a win because of our ineffective D.

I hate to say it but the Blue team is pretty good and will get better through the fall. So I can't agree that we will beat them in every game in the regular season. I agree with our losses to BC and Edmonton...but I'm not sure we can beat Montreal again.
Winnipeg is an unknown quantity for the rest of the season. I think they will get better.
If something major happens to our defence from here on like signing some more talent and changing our co-ordinator then I think we can become more competitive. But given the slowness of management to correct things quickly in past years, we will be lucky to end the season any better than 7-11. What a terrible legacy for the final season at IWS that will be.
As usual...I hope I am wrong.

I haven't been impressed with Toronto at all. They look like no better than a nine-win team. Much like the Ti-Cat team we've been watching the last three-plus years, the Argos look good week and then terrible the next. They have no offensive line to speak of, which is going to get Ricky Ray killed. They have a first-year head coach, like Hamilton, that will make his fair share of mistakes that will cost his team some games (he did it last night against Edmonton). I see no reason why the Tabbies can't sweep the Argos this season.

Why? Hamilton crushed the Als when they played here in July and just barely lost to them in Montreal last week. The Als haven't won in Hamilton in two years, so I don't see any reason why the Cats can't continue their home dominance over Montreal when the two teams meet here next month.

I'm curious as to why you think this also. They just fired their head coach and teams that fire their head coach at mid-season don't tend to get better. I have not been able to think of one team that has fired their coach at mid-season and turned things around.

Don't hope for a coordinator change because that's not happening. Perhaps the Cats lose the last week of the season in Toronto and finish 8-10, but that's about as low as I am willing to project.

July good

August bad

September ... ?

Yes unfortunately the Tiger-Cats get an "unfair" advantage with the extra home game against the Als for the second time in 3 years. This happened in 2010 as well, in 2011 the schedule was balanced. We just have to make sure to keep ahead of you guys. Would be nice for the league to alternate these things...

We can put up the points so it basically comes down to our D and can they improve to start stopping other teams. I'm hoping this is a yes but even with the D playing like it is we have a pretty easy second half.

Toronto back to back: we should win both these games and that will be a huge boost if we do.
Edmonton: they look horrible, I don't care how many running backs they have they cant pass the ball should be a win.
@ Winnipeg: Its in the Peg so thats going to make it hard and only time will tell what the new coach can do but we should still beat them.
Montreal: we have already beaten them at home and came real close on the road, should be a win.
@ Edmonton: into October so it will be getting cool but they don't scare me at all, we should be able to beat them again even if it is on the road.
BC: I think we can beat them but if we win the 6 games before this like im predicting and BC stays in shape ill say we lose here.
@ Calgary: This one is a toss up, Burris is going to want this one real bad and I think he can pull it out on the road.
Winnipeg: Last home game at Ivor Wynne I think he take this large, the peg should be out of it at this point and we want to send a message.
@ Toronto: Probably a loss, I think Toronto will be fighting for something here and we should have first place locked up.

People might think an 8 - 2 second half is crazy but if you look at the scheduled I really don't think its that far fetched.

roronto: Very difficult to sweep b2b. I think around 80 percent or more end up in spilts
Edmonton: Great at running the ball and have good ball hawks. Hamilton can't stop the run to save their life and Burris has cramps...

No cake walk anywhere in this schedule IMO

I think that's insanely far fetched, specifically the 6-0 start after labour day. You really think we're gonna win against every team we look better than? I don't mean to knock your opinion by the way, in fact I appreciate your optimism.

I agree. With eight teams, the schedule could have been done rather easily (I’m only including games against the East; the West games always stay the same, two against each). I could have been a repeating three-year cycle.

Year One:
Four vs. Toronto (two in TO, two in Hamilton)
Three vs. Winnipeg (two in Winnipeg, one in Hamilton)
Three vs. Montreal (one in Montreal, two in Hamilton)

Year Two:
Four vs. Winnipeg (two in Winnipeg, two in Hamilton)
Three vs. Montreal (two in Montreal, one in Hamilton)
Three vs. Toronto (one in Toronto, two in Hamilton)

Year Three:
Four vs. Montreal (two in Montreal, two in Hamilton)
Three vs. Toronto (two in Toronto, one in Hamilton)
Three vs. Winnipeg (one in Winnipeg, two in Hamilton)

Then you just repeat Year One in Year Four, Year Two in Year Five, Year Three in Year Six and so on. That’s how I would have done it and I don’t know why the CFL never implemented a cycle like this. It makes so much sense, in my opinion. But this is moot now because once Ottawa comes back, everything will change.

Given league parity any team in the playoffs has a legitimate shot at the championship. Considering half the team is new along with the HC and DC it was the height of optimism to have predicted a first place standing at Labour Day. This season will be all about the second half.

It's all about the defense they only need to be mediocre, and the offense and special teams can do the rest.

While I liked the changes on offense, I waited the whole off season for some defensive improvements, never mind replacements for Hickman and Baggs.

Going into this season, the defense was the only real question mark for me.

I still think there's time for this defense to improve. They shown more than once that they can play. Time to become consistent and clutch.

I agree, even a mediocre defence will allow us to be very successful in the second half.

I have no doubt that canning Creehan was considered, likely to qualified candidates available at this time and no sense replacing a rookie DC with another rookie. Cannot really blame Cortez for the hiring, by the time he was free of his NFL obligations and signed with the Cats, the choice DC candidates were long gone, so he made the most of it.

Creehan has cut a break, and if he can turn the defence around in the second half, he may have a job next year, and if not, then he had a full year to show his stuff and he will go into obscurity and the Cats get a real DC next year. I would guess that the riot act has been read to Creehan and the press box coaches, perform or be gone. If Creehan has half a noodle, he will tweak his weak and predictable defence and show results. Bonus if he is able to get an NFL cut or two to help out.

Personally, I would have preferred Marshall taking over for Creehan, but if that does not happen, then we have no choice to let Creehan make his own bed, as there is no one on the current coaching staff that can step up, and this includes Jim Daley.

So I hope for the best, but am very very concerned that in terms of our defence, what you see is what you get.

I honestly do not understand this way of thinking. One year certainly isn't enough time to judge whether a player will be any good, so why is it that fans are so quick to toss out a rookie coach so quickly? And if the defense doesn't get any better, chances are the team's record won't be very good; does that mean Cortez should be fired?

We truly do not know if Creehan is to blame or if he is just not working with talented enough players. Everyone seems to want players brought in to fix the defense, which means most people believe that the talent level on the defense isn't high enough. If that is the case, why is Creehan to blame? Why should Creehan be fired because he is working with inferior talent? Seems to me like people can't make up their minds when it comes to placing the blame for the problems on defense and just want someone, anyone, to pay for their, so far, terrible performance.