While watching the pre-season game between the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts on Friday evening, several observations stood out during the game. Jamie Newman had an efficient game at quarterback going 8 for 8 and throwing for 88 yds and a passing TD to Anthony Johnson, the impressive punt return for a touchdown be Lawrence Wood III that went for 99 yards, and the outstanding effort being displayed by the Tiger-Cats.
Head Coach Orlondo Steinauer touched on some of that key points in his post-game interview. Coach Steinauer mentioned the overall effort displayed by the Tiger-Cats, the efficient play of Jamie Newman, the potential of Jalen Morton also at QB, but also mentioning that multiples times the Tiger-Cats had issues with discipline.
The primary objective coming into the game was to evaluate those players who are on the edge of making the team for the 2022 Tiger-Cats and determine which players will be released from the roster. To help with the assessment of the Tiger-Cats performance on Friday night it is important to reflect on the 5 GROWLING questions that spotlight the areas that Hamilton need to win in to have a successful performance on a week to week basis for the 2022 season.
Growling Question #1 result
Can the Tiger-Cats defense hold the Argonauts to 5.0 yards/pass attempt?
The short answer is NO. The Tiger-Cats allowed the Argonauts to pass for 304 yards on 46 pass attempts. This resulted in a 6.6 yards/pass attempt average. The keys to success in this area are related to pressuring the quarterback (ideally getting more QB sacks), getting in position to make more pass breakups, and working to force more turnovers in the opponents passing game.
Growling Question #2 result
Can the Tiger-Cats defense hold the Argonauts to under 3.0 yards/carry?
Once again the Tiger-Cats were unable to control the Argonauts rushing offense to this degree. On 23 carries the Argonauts obtained 93 yards resulting is 4.3 yards/carry. This allowed the Argonauts to control the tempo of the game especially in the 2nd half. It will be important for the Tiger-Cats to improve their rush defense to allow them to get stops and control field position.
Growling Question #3 result
Can the Tiger-Cats average 7.8 yards/pass attempt while attempting 30+ passes?
Overall, the Tiger-Cats offense only attempted 19 passes. On those 19 attempts they did average 6.95 yards/pass attempt, but it will important to maintain passing efficiency while also increasing passing volume to win games on a consistent basis.
Growling Question #4 result
Can the Tiger-Cats running backs produce more rushing yards that the Ti-Cats quarterbacks?
On this metric the Tiger-Cats were successful. The offense attempted 20 rushes and earned 81 yards on those rushes. 16 of those carries were by the running backs of the Tiger-Cats and they were able to gain 52 yards. This gave the Tiger-Cats running backs and average of 3.25 yards/carry.
Growling Question #5 result
Will the Tiger-Cats successful produce at turnover ratio (+/-) of +3 or greater?
This week the Tiger-Cats were not able to produce and turnover ratio of +3, and actually lost the turnover batter with a ratio of -1. This result is due to the interceptions thrown by the Tiger-Cats quarterbacks. The defense did have 1 takeaway, an interception, but it is imperative that the Tiger-Cats improve their ability to protect the ball.
Overall, the Tiger-Cats were 1 for 5 in these key areas of offensive and defensive performance which resulted in a 18 to 17 loss. But for the 2nd week the Tiger-Cats special teams did successfully score critical points. The punt return for a touchdown and going 1 for 1 on field goals were bright spots in this pre-season game. This weekend cuts will be made from the Tiger-Cats roster, and this may give the coaching staff the ability to streamline the game plan and give the Tiger-Cats a better chance to be more successful. We will find out these outcomes and more as the Tiger-Cats prepare to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in week 1 of the CFL regular season this week.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7
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