Given that Toronto lost both games to the Eskimos this season and won both games Ricky Ray was playing against Hamilton, do you think that Toronto will take it easy on the Puttytats in the hopes of avoiding Edmonton in the East Semis?
I would if I were Toronto. They've clinched 2nd place and will host the semis regardless of what happens next Thursday (short week for both teams).
Does Toronto hate Hamilton enough to bury them?
Nope, the Argos lost 36-27 to Hamilton in July with Ray under centre.
As for your question, I don't think the Argos will "roll over," but they will play the game as if it is meaningless for them (which it pretty much is). They can't improve their position, and while I think it is a bad idea for numerous reasons not to bury the Cats -- Hamilton fans will storm the Dome for the playoff game; Hamilton is as dangerous a team as any when things are clicking -- but the Argos will rest players to preserve them for the following week. Their goal is to win the Grey Cup, not worry about who they will play in the East Semi. Rightly or wrongly, that is how they are going to play things.
RickT Ray and the Toronto offense has been on a role the last two games since Ray has returned after enduring two disasterous games with Jarius Jackson at QB. Jackson is not quite what they expected when signing him. Unlike Kevin Glenn who has been in the starters mix through much of his career with his biggest knock being inconsistant. The Argos really have no need to rest since he has already missed several games in which the Argos fell to pieces. Ray will start and play as Jason Barnes and Muarice Mann have both began to connect with Ray as expected and are peaking at the right time. Add the much improved play of non imports Bradwell and Watt since Ranbo was inserted into the line up as a veteran presence Rambo may end up being the odd man out especially with Inmann being one of Rays deep threats during the learning curve and both Owens and Durie both looking at 1,000 yard seasons. Chad Kackert, who has been banged up of late may get a game off if needed where Emmanual Marc and/or Gerald Riggs could be inserted. The weak O Line are cause for concern but with Ray in a groove anc Kackert able to provide protection. On defense the D line was dominated by Winnipeg and Korey sheets and the Rider running attack also had much success so getting some reserves into the game for some extra rotation time may freshen up that D line that has some very good players on it but could need a break. The DBs and LB core seem to be healthy and playing well and will need to to stop the Hamilton passing attack. over all tough with so many loses over the past several games the Argos would love to go into the playoffs on a roll. Edmonton was not the same defense that Toronto had faced earlier in the year in a negative way and Toronto's Offense is now peaking where it was struggling when playing Edmonton. Hamilton has played some pretty good football over the past two games the loss to Calagry and controling a winnipeg team in which Toronto has recently lost to.
Toronto is at the point where they want to be playing on a high note going into the rnd one playoff game and their opponent will need to stop their offense regardless of who it is.
The rosters are not very large to rest too many players so many starters will play. Also unless a player is really banged up teams are leaning toward the trend of playing your players to keep the momentum going into the playoffs. Resting Glenn may be a good idea for two reasons one he has played a lot of games in a row with the starters and has already formed the Chemistry so a week off would not affect anything. Two Drew Tate will need some playing time in case he is needed in the playoffs or even start if nesseccary. Glenn did not exactly play a great game in the snow against Hamilton when he went the distance throwing 4 picks. Even in Cornish does get some rest rookie back up Matt Walter has fresh legs and has played the last four season with the Dinos so he knows how to play in the wind and cold weather in the prairies. Often times when a starting running back is rested especially when he has taken most of the snaps all season the back up comes in with fresh legs and pumped about playing and often has a really good game.
From a CFL fan's perspective, it's too bad that the Lions clinched 1st place weeks ago. Calgary, like Toronto, has nothing to play for except momentum, as someone already mentioned. With Tate being out of action for most of the season, they're going to want him to shake off the rust, as he will definitely be the starter in the playoffs. I don't think anyone in Hamilton has to worry about Calgary rolling over.
It's B.C. that needs to worry after being mauled by Calgary this weekend. If you think the cold weather was the determining factor in the loss, you should recall a game between Calgary and Montreal early in the season when Tate was the starting QB. They crushed the Als 38-10 on Canada Day.
The West Final won't be a cake walk. It should be a hard fought game with the winner claiming the Grey Cup in Toronto, no matter who the East representative is.
Well since it's now official that Ricky Ray won't be starting, I think it's a given that the Cats are simply going to be rolling over the Argonauts on Thursday. So yes, clearly the Argos will Hamilton win this week with the hope they will be able to beat them next week.
Need a third poll option: Toronto will rest their starters but don't really give a damn what Calgary and Edmonton do.
The idea that Toronto is afraid of Edmonton is silly. Burris is a lot more dangerous then anybody Edmonton has, because you never know when Good Hank is going to show up and completely dominate a game.
They'll rest guys to make sure they're as prepared as possible for the East Semi, because that's the game that matters.
Toronto may very well treat this like a pre season game and do some fine tuning in areas that need to be and they are going to need to set their lineup and 42 man roster for the playoffs. Mann and Barnes have seemed to hit their stride with Ray at the right time and Barnes is well rested. This may leave Inman out of the starting line up as well as Rambo with one most likely to not dress on game day for the semis. Owens and Ray have been in sync all season so giving Owens a break from returning at the very least with the short week he could use a game off which may be a possibility. kackert may also get the game off during the short week with the possibility of Marc and Riggs dressing. Other than that there is not a whole lot that needs to be rested. The LBs may give way to their back ups in a rotation possibily. The Argos do not want to find themselves in the same position that BC was against Calgary, meaningless game or not you never want to play that bad but with the possibility of playing Hamilton in the east semis the play calling will be business as usual most likely just not showing anything new.
Can't imagine Toronto will be resting Owens. Not when he and Toronto management is so desperate to hit 4,000 "all purpose" yards and be the league leader in receiving yards. If anything, they'll be forcing the ball to him even MORE against Hamilton to try and get 250 or so total yards.
You could very well be right they may indeed go with business as usual for this game as there is a possibility they may play Hamilton again next week and there are records and milestones to be reached. Toronto has been rolling and they will want to keep rolling. Owens may very well just continue to do everything in week 19. I think for next season however once he has hit these milestones taking the Kick Off return duties off his plate may be in the teams and his best interest. Since he has become the top rec and a 1,000 yard rec doing just one rather than both would make sense. The same may be true in Calgary and BC with Cornish and Harris looking to surpass records still i think going into the last week of the season. None of these players is injured and the stragegies have become to play your regular players going into the playoffs being fine tuned and playing weel. With the exception of some players who are really banged up and really need a week off.
Anyone who thinks a professional sports team would tank a game doesn't understand the competitive nature of sports. Yes, the Argos will rest some players especially Ray, but that doesn't mean they'll throw the game to get a "better" opponent. :roll:
• the Toronto Sun reported Sunday that Argo quarterback Ricky Ray wasn't playing Thursday, but in his press availability today, coach Scott Milanovich said a decision hasn't yet been made.
“He's not 100 per cent and that's something we'll take into consideration on whether to play him or how much to play him. We haven't made any decisions yet.?
“My responsibility is to the Argonauts, not to some other team in this league. A lot of this week is just getting guys rested and as fresh as they can get.?
Toronto doesn't really care who they face, but their playoff game is their first priority. They are not going risk less than healthy guys for what is a meaningless game from an Argonaut perspective. It's clear from Milanovich's comments that he couldn't care less what the Edmonton might say on the matter.
As Toronto has found out back up QB Jarius Jackson was not up to the task to lead the Argos through games in which Ricky Ray may be out. Sitting Ray who appears to be in top form and not risk an injury would ridiculous if they did not. Jackson was brought on to at least be able to spot Ray for short periods of time during the season if injury should occur. Next season an Argos priority will be to bring in a better back up as Jarius Jackson is unable to do the job. They may also give the talented Trevor harris a chance to take the back up role. It may be Harris' 1st CFL season but he is in his 3rd or 4th pro season and has been in NFL camps as well as the UFL and the Arena league to hone his skills and be on tract to the speed of the pro game because of this.
Jackson may start thur but he has proven ot to be up to the job so Harris may be a better choice. he has been with the team for the entire season and knows the offense.