By Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts
Saturday, October 24th – 4PM EST
Hamilton: 7-8, 1-game winning streak, 330 points for, 329 points against
Toronto: 6-9, 1-game losing streak, 387 points for, 410 points against
Previous results: Week 16 – TOR won 34-33, Week 9 – HAM won 13-12
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts have split the season-series thus far. Fittingly, each of those games has been decided by a single point. The Ticats are beginning to do what the best teams in the league do: win ugly. Early in the season, although Hamilton had not been beaten up, they had been handed a fair deal of losses in close games. Now, those close games have begun to tip in Hamilton’s favour as they have the pieces in place to topple a game up in the air. Hamilton’s defensive line has become dangerous with the emergence of Eric Norwood as an immensely dangerous defensive end. Against Ray, the secret will be pressure without blitzes. You cannot be successful against Toronto’s offence if you are clearing out your secondary, thus the importance will be in Hamilton’s defensive line and the pressure they produce on the pocket. Zach Collaros has done some great things this season, and will continue to do so on Saturday. Expect a minimum of 2 touchdown passes from quarterback as well as an excess of 50 rushing yards from him by game’s end.
This match-up might well be the most important game of the Argonauts’ 2014 campaign. After losing to Montreal last week, the Argos need to win against Hamilton in the hunt for the post-season. In their last meeting with the Ticats, Ricky Ray put together a historic come-back, showing that he has the capability to exploit their defensive secondary. This momentum needs to be present all game, as the Ticats will likely have offensive success of their own. With Nic Grigsby now in the Hamilton backfield, Toronto needs to get pressure deep, quickly. Swayze Waters may be an All-Star contender, but he will need to add every point to Toronto’s score sheet in this match-up. As we have seen, twice now, every point can and will make the difference between these two teams.
Should Hamilton win, they put themselves in a position of security 4-points ahead of Toronto in the standings, and 4-points away from elimination from the post-season. Toronto needs a victory to keep their dreams of a 2014 championship alive. Should Montreal lose to Ottawa though, an Argonaut victory would level the eastern standings once again with only 2 more weeks to play. These teams will be all-in, so expect one hell of a game!
Toronto will use the pressure on their backs to take away another close victory 30-28.