The 2022 Tiger-Cats have proven themselves to be one of the most exciting teams in the CFL. On any given week Hamilton has the potential to be the best team in the CFL, but they have also at times had the ability to be one of the worst teams in the league.
Many times this contrast can be observed throughout a game with Hamilton jumping out to big leads a then blowing those leads, they have been down and come back, they have upset the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but also have lost at home to the Edmonton Elks. As a 4-10 team it seemed like Tiger-Cats were not going to have a chance to play for their 3rd consecutive appearance in the Grey Cup Championship game, but then they won 4 straight games and find themselves as the hottest team in the CFL.
Which Tiger-Cats team will we see in Montreal, it is hard to predict. But there are a few things that the Tiger-Cats need to do to ensure that they have a chance to upset the Alouettes and set up an East Finals match-up with the Toronto Argonauts.
In recent history, the Tiger-Cats have shown the ability to play their best football in the playoffs. So let’s take a look at what Hamilton must do to continue their exciting 2022 season deeper into the post-season.
Produce Explosive Plays on Offence
Offensively, the Tiger-Cats are at their best when they are setting up and taking shots. Hamilton tends to struggle on offence when they try to manage a game, especially with a lead. The offensive unit is much more comfortable with striving for big plays and limiting turnovers.
The Tiger-Cats have two of the most dynamic offensive players in Tim White and Steven Dunbar Jr. at receiver. Regardless of which quarterback is playing for Hamilton, they will need to get the ball to White and Dunbar and give them a chance to produce explosive plays. In the process of taking shots, the Tiger-Cats will make mistakes but if they can make more big plays than critical errors they will be playing for another week.
Pressure Trevor Harris and Shutdown William Stanback
The Tiger-Cats have one of the best defensive front seven in the CFL, and the Hamilton defence will need to step up and take control to get the Alouette’s offence out of their comfort zone.
Montreal quarterback Trevor Harris is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the CFL when given time. Alouettes running back William Stanback has shown the ability to take over games behind an effective offensive line. The Tiger-Cats defence will need to disrupt Stanback and Harris and force the Montreal offence into making key mistakes. If the Tiger-Cats can accomplish this goal, they may be able to win the turnover battle and give their offence a chance to steal this win in Montreal.
Special Teams Need To Be Special
The special team units for Montreal and Hamilton both have the opportunity to be a deciding factor in this game. The question is will that impact be positive or negative?
The Tiger-Cats need to have fundamentally sound special teams play. Blocked punts, missed kicks, and fumbled kick/punt returns will end the Tiger-Cats season if Hamilton does not take care of the small details in these areas. Successful playoffs team win games by finding ways to make game-breaking plays and avoid errors that cost a team field position and points.
The Tiger-Cats have some of the best special teams players in the CFL, those units need to play their best football game of the 2022 season this week in Montreal.
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