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Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2023 Week 7: Game Preview, Predictions, and Depth Chart

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Week 7 Game Capsule

Visiting Team; Toronto Argonauts (4-0, 1st in the East Division)

Home Team: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-3, Tied-2nd in the East Division)

Location: Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario

Date and Time: Friday, July 21st at 7:30 pm EDT

Where to Watch: TSN in Canada, CFL+ in the US, and other international markets

Expected Weather: Partly Cloudy, 40% chance of rain, 20 – 40 km/h Winds

Draft Kings Betting Line: Toronto Argonauts -9, O/U 49.5 points

The Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats both come into the second of the Battle of the QEW with winning streaks. Toronto has won their first four games of the 2023 season after winning the Grey Cup in 2022, and they have established themselves as the best team in the CFL this season. Hamilton has a two-game winning streak with wins over the Ottawa Redblacks and Edmonton Elks.

While both teams are on winning streaks, how they have gotten to their current position contrasts greatly. The Argonauts are winning games behind a solid running game and the leadership of quarterback Chad Kelly. Toronto’s defence has also played well by pressuring quarterbacks and forcing teams to commit turnovers. Hamilton started the season 0-3 while being limited by turning the ball over and untimely penalties.

In the last two weeks, the Tiger-Cats have limited their turnovers, played more disciplined football, and forced their opponents to commit turnovers. If Hamilton can continue these trends, they will have a chance to upset the Argonauts and continue building momentum as they climb the standings. They will have to defeat the Argonauts with their third starting quarterback in six games.

Tiger-Cats Depth Chart on Offence

The Tiger-Cats offence comes into this week’s game with quarterback Taylor Powell getting his first start at quarterback in the CFL. During the week, Powell expressed his confidence in himself and said, “I am ready to play, have played, and I am excited.” Powell must use the Tiger-Cat’s elite group of offensive weapons and an offensive line rated as the top offensive line in the CFL last week.

In addition to the offensive line, running back James Butler is having an outstanding season, and last week in Edmonton, he was a critical factor in the second half for the Tiger-Cat’s offence. After practice this week, Butler credited his offensive line, “Whenever a running back has a big play, it is always because of an offensive line and receivers blocking downfield.” Explosive playmaker Tyreik McAllister will join Butler; McAllister has been producing big plays for the offence since getting his first start against Ottawa.

Hamilton also has a stellar group of wide receivers that can produce explosive plays if Powell consistently gets them the ball. After practice this week, wide receiver Tim White said, “We know as receivers that we have to show up for him.” Terry Godwin is another receiver that is getting a chance to make plays on offence. Head Coach Orlondo Steinauer mentioned Godwin this week, “Terry is growing; I think that he has made some spectacular catches, he has done some great things.” The key to the Tiger-Cat’s success on offence will be determined by how well Powell gets the ball to his weapons.

Tiger-Cats Depth Chart on Defence

The Tiger-Cat’s defence will face a big challenge as they work to stop the Argonaut’s offence. Toronto boasts a balanced offence that leans on a solid running game and then allows quarterback Chad Kelly to manage the game. Stopping the run will be an essential part of the Tiger-Cats game plan, and they will also need to pressure Kelly consistently.

Former Argonaut and current Tiger-Cats defender Chris Edwards are essential players for the Tiger-Cats defense. During the last few weeks, Edwards has produced takeaways and found ways to impact the game. Earlier this week, Edwards said, “I still got a lot I can improve on, that I will improve on, but I do plan on making plays in every aspect of the game.”

Hamilton’s defensive secondary has dealt with injury issues the last few weeks. Still, with veteran Tunde Adeleke back in the lineup as a defensive halfback, they should be able to play solid defence. Stavros Katsantonis will continue playing at free safety, which he did while Adeleke was injured; Katsantonis has played well. For Hamilton to have a chance to stop the Toronto offence they will need to play their best football of the season so far. Defensive back Javien Elliott said, “We have to take everything we have done in the past and exceed it.”

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Special Teams

The Tiger-Cats have played excellent football on special teams during their two wins. Kicker Marc Liegghio has been perfect on field goals and extra points since being signed by Hamilton. Punt and Kick Returner Tyreik McAllister has also been able to put points on the scoreboard for the Tiger-Cats. Earlier this week, McAllister said, “The more I can get the ball in my hands, the more confident I feel.” Steinauer also mentioned McAllister when he said, “he is a dynamic athlete; we need to find ways to get him the ball in different ways.”

Tiger-Cats Injury Report

This week’s big injury story has been quarterback Matthew Shiltz’s addition to the Six-Game Injured List with a leg injury. Shiltz joins Bo Levi Mitchell (adductor) and several other vital Tiger-Cats on the extended injury list, including defensive lineman Mason Bennett (hamstring), fullback Myles Manalo (knee), and linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder). Wide receiver Tyler Ternowski is also out this week with an ankle injury.

Several other injured Hamilton players returned to practice this week but are not ready to return to game action. Those players are offensive lineman Alex Fontana, running back Sean Thomas-Erlington, defensive linemen Cedric Wilcots and Dylan Wynn.

Tiger-Cats Personnel Adjustments This Week

As the Tiger-Cats place quarterbacks Shiltz and Mitchell on the long-term injured list, they must continue re-loading their depth chart at the quarterback position. This week veteran CFL quarterback Antonio Pipkin was signed to re-establish depth in the quarterback room. At quarterback, the Tiger-Cats now have Powell as the starter, and then Kai Locksley and Pipkin are prepared to have an opportunity to contribute to the Hamilton offence.

Game Prediction

In Week 2, Hamilton had a meltdown against the Argonauts on offence and defence. During that game, the Tiger-Cats lost quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and accumulated several other injuries. This week Hamilton is nearly full strength outside of the quarterback position. Powell will need to stay calm and confident; he will need to get the ball to his offensive weapons and not force plays.

The Hamilton defence has recently shown the ability to play physical football and produce turnovers. To succeed against Toronto, they must remain physical and stop the run. They must also be opportunistic and force the Argonauts to turn the ball over.

Game Prediction: Toronto Argonauts 32, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 21

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Aaron Sauter Reporter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.
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