By Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts
Friday October 10th – 7PM EST
Hamilton: 6-7, 4-game winning streak, 281 points for, 289 points against
Toronto: 5-8, 2-game winning streak, 341 points for, 357 points against
Previous results: Week 9 Hamilton beat Toronto 13-12.
The Toronto Argonauts, like its 2 biggest competitors right now, are on an upward trajectory. It took a while for the eastern teams of the CFL to catch up, but it appears that the ships have been righted in time for the playoff race. For the Argo’s to take the victory in this rematch with Hamilton, the rookie-laden defensive line will need to press Hamilton’s pocket and force the one-time Boatman – Zach Collaros out of his comfort zone. The key to Toronto’s offence starts with Ricky Ray’s pass efficiency, which under the right circumstances, is unrivaled in the CFL. Hamilton’s latest iteration of their own defensive line has recently become quite effective, so the Toronto o-line will need to read each and every; stunt, gap, blitz and drop that is thrown at them. Chad Owens is also back in the fold, and if last week is any indication, he will could well tame the tabbies on Friday. Should the Argos offence stutter though, they always have one of the soundest contingency plans in Swayze Waters’ boot.
Hamilton is currently holding the longest win-streak in the CFL, which places them atop the Eastern standings. While the early stages of the season saw the Ticats’ offence lead the way, Hamilton’s defensive play has become much more complimentary as of late. Last week the Tiger-Cat defence put on one of their best performances as they held BC off the board in the dying minutes of the game to retain the lead, and ultimately win the game. Against Ricky Ray, as has always been the case, Hamilton needs to force premature decision-making, which will result in 2-and-outs to put the productive young-gun Collaros back on the field. Hamilton struggled in the red-zone against BC last week. Look for Kent Austin to mix up the run-game and offer some sweeps to catch Toronto off-guard. Should that fail though, Hamilton has a very solid contingency plan of its own in field-goal technician; Justin Medlock.
One can’t understate the importance of a victory for either side in this match-up. With 1 game separating the 3 teams atop the east, an inter-divisional match amongst 2 of them could either stratify, or nullify the standings. Should Hamilton win, they put themselves 4-points ahead of Toronto (albeit with a game in hand). Compound that with a Montreal win on Monday, and Toronto falls back to 3rd, which spells disaster with the prospect of a western crossover. Should Toronto win, they would place themselves in an advantageous position tied with an additional game to pull ahead of the Tiger-Cats before season’s end.
Toronto and Hamilton trade offensive blows to a close Argonaut victory 27-24.