After a tough loss against the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats sit right at .500 with a 4-4 record. Maybe expectations were higher, but the fact the team is even within reach of a successful season is an accomplishment of its own.
Consistency has been hard to find with Hamilton in 2021, as their three different quarterbacks have each had varying results. Dane Evans looked like he was capable of taking the team back to the Grey Cup, but an injury prevented that from happening. While the Grey Cup is still in reach, it’s not as close as it could’ve been.
On the topic of offense, the run game has also been a mixed bag. Sean Thomas-Erlington is the only true threat on the ground, and he hasn’t really broken out yet. The receivers have been carrying most of the offense, especially Tim White. With Bralon Addison recently added back to the lineup, there’s not a lot to worry about there. The only question mark is Brandon Banks, as he hasn’t looked 100% the whole season (injury might play a role in that).
The defense has stepped up when needed, but it’s hard to say if they’ve been better than the offense. Veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence has been a key piece for the team, with two interceptions and two touchdowns on the year so far. Lawrence also has three sacks, two of which have been in consecutive games. The defense looked particularly great after the injury to Dane Evans, as they likely wanted to take some pressure off of third-stringer David Watford (who started his first CFL game just a few weeks ago).
The Tiger-Cats have simply been mediocre, but most of that isn’t the team’s fault. Injuries are always a pain, especially at key positions. If Hamilton can just step up their production by the smallest amount in the second half of the season, then they should be fine. It’s unlikely that 2021 will be a repeat of what 2019 had to offer, but if the team is still within reach of playoffs given all the adjustments they’ve had to make, then almost nothing can stop them now.
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