Hamilton Tiger-Cats Week 6 Game Capsule
Visiting Team: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-3, T-3rd in the East Division)
Home Team: Edmonton Elks (0-5, 5th in the West Division)
Location: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta
Date and Time: Thursday, July 13th at 9:00 pm EDT
Where to Watch: TSN in Canada, CFL+ in the US
Expected Weather: 40% chance of rain with a risk of strong thunderstorms, 15-30 km/h winds
Draft King Betting Line: Hamilton Tiger-Cats -2.5, O/U 42.5 points
Last week the Tiger-Cats had a breakthrough against the Ottawa Redblacks and picked up their first win of the 2023 season. This week, Hamilton has a chance to put together back-to-back wins and continue climbing up the East Division standings. For Hamilton to build on last week’s momentum, they will be coming off of a short week of practice and have to go on the road to face the Edmonton Elks at Commonwealth Stadium. Head Coach Orlondo Steinauer talked about focusing on the Tiger-Cats this week as they travel to Edmonton “We are focused on ourselves; it’s gonna be a tough opponent in their house.”
The Elks come into the game with 19 consecutive losses at home and nine straight losses, including five to start this season. Edmonton have had opportunities to get wins earlier this season, but they have made critical mistakes each way that have led to close losses. On defence, the Elks have played well at times and have kept their team in games each week this season. Offensively, Edmonton has had a revolving door at quarterback, including Kai Locksley, now Hamilton’s third-string quarterback.
If Hamilton is going to get their second win in a row, they will need to play a complete team game and limit their mistakes. Hamilton’s performance against the Redblacks was the closest they have come to playing well as a team. The Tiger-Cats will need to repeat that performance and improve on offence if they want to follow up their first win with a crucial win on the road against a West Division opponent.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Depth Chart for Offence
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats offence had a solid performance on offence, but they consistently have struggled to get the ball in the endzone every game this season. Orlondo Steinauer emphasized after practice this week, “We want to get six points and not get three points every time.” That means that the Tiger-Cats will need to continue to produce the explosive plays they have had each game, but they need to be able to follow those plays up with the ability to put the ball in the endzone. Offensive lineman David Beard mentioned the need to build off the offense’s success: “We need to keep working on what we have done so far and stack it up.”
The Tiger-Cats offensive line is the most healthy it has been so far this season. Running back James Butler has shown the ability to be a consistent playmaker, and with a solid offensive line, could take over the game on the ground. Hamilton’s receiving unit is loaded and healthy, with Tim White, Duke Williams, and newcomer Tyreik McAllister producing explosive plays for the offence. Earlier this week, Steinauer mentioned McAllister when he said, “He just needs to ball in his hands, and he is a threat at any time.”
Hamilton will need to move the ball and pick up first downs consistently. Matthew Shiltz has managed the Tiger-Cats offence well, but he has sometimes thrown untimely interceptions. The Tiger-Cats offensive line needs to protect Shiltz, and he needs to get the ball to his weapons. If the Tiger-Cats can avoid turnovers and penalties, they will have a chance to focus on consistently putting the ball in the end zone.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Depth Chart for Defence
The veteran leaders for the Tiger-Cat’s defence stepped up against the Redblacks, allowing the defence to force Ottawa to make significant mistakes. Edmonton’s quarterback Taylor Cornelius has shown the ability to be an effective quarterback, but he still needs to consistently get the Elk’s offence into the end zone. A combination of a short week and a similar opponent has Hamilton attempting to use a game plan similar to what they used against the Redblacks offence. Sam linebacker Chris Edwards talked about going on the road against the Elks “It’s a business trip; we are going out there to get a 2nd win and get it rolling.”
An essential part of that game plan was containing and pressuring the opposing quarterback. Defensive end Malik Carney talked about the key to that game plan for the defensive line “Build a cage, build a wall, and stop the run.” Another aspect of the Tiger-Cats defence was the outstanding plays made by linebackers Simoni Lawrence and Jameer Thurman, including Thurman’s nine tackles and two quarterback sacks.
Earlier this week, defensive back Richard Leonard talked about the key to picking up more wins for the Tiger-Cats. He said, “Be physical, stay physical, do our jobs, and take the ball away.” Due to the short week, the Tiger-Cats only had two days to practice for this week’s game, making film study more significant in this preparation for Edmonton. Linebacker Jameer Thurman discussed that aspect after practice this week “Film study will have to be upped up a notch to be ready.”
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Special Teams
Kick and punt returner Tyreik McAllister will get several more chances this week to impact the game against the Elks. Kicker Marc Liegghio has been very successful for the Tiger-Cats. The special teams will need to find ways to make big plays to control field position and avoid making critical mistakes. It will be necessary for the Tiger-Cats coverage teams to contain Elks returner Kyran Moore and work to set their defence by keeping the Elks offence starting drives on their end of the field.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Injury Report
Since the Tiger-Cats bye week in Week 4, the Tiger-Cats have been a healthy team. They have overcome a large number of offensive line injuries and have been able to keep many of their support weapons on the field. The Tiger-Cats injury report on CFL.ca shows that Hamilton will miss defensive lineman Mason Bennett (hamstring). Fullback Myles Manalo (knee) is out, along with defensive back Dexter Lawson Jr. and offensive lineman Kendrick Sartor.
Tiger-Cats Personnel Moves This Week
Earlier this week, the Tiger-Cats announced that they signed Global defensive lineman Valentin Gnahoua. Gnahoua started the 2023 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but the native of Le Mans, France, has returned to the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton drafted the 6’2″, 235-pound defensive lineman in the 2019 CFL Global Draft, and from 2019 until 2022, he appeared in 38 games. While playing for the Tiger-Cats, he has accumulated 12 tackles with of those tackles on special teams, and he has blocked one punt.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are traveling to Edmonton with an opportunity to move up the East Division standings if they can get a second win in two weeks. Hamilton expects the Elks to come ready to compete as they are trying to pick up their first home win after losing 19 straight home games. For the Tiger-Cats to win, the Hamilton offence must avoid turning the ball over and get the ball in the end zone.
Defensively, the Tiger-Cats will need to contain and terrorize Elks quarterback Taylor Cornelius and force the Elks into making mistakes. Each week of the 2023 season, the Elks have had a chance to get a win late in games, but they make big mistakes that cost them the game. To avoid a big letdown from last week, the Tiger-Cats will need to force Edmonton into making mistakes while not making them themselves.
Prediction: Hamilton Tiger-Cats 25, Edmonton Elks 21
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