Many times life people find themselves living the same routine every day, and when that routine is successful they usually see no reason to make a change. But when that routine is not leading to successful outcomes a change in routine is required, and that can be one of the hardest changes a person can make in their life.
The Tiger-Cats had been a team living in a routine that was not leading to successful outcomes, fast starts and slow finishes had led them to a 2-6 record riddled with heart-breaking losses. Hamilton needed to make a change, but it seemed like they were not willing to make the moves that would lead them to break their cycle of poor performances. In Week 10 the Tiger-Cats had to make adjustments due to a large number of injuries, and those injuries and adjustments may have been the catalyst to changes that may change the direction of the 2022 season.
The Tiger-Cats win against the Argonauts was a complete team effort. With several receivers, Dane Evans, and at times Matt Shiltz, being out of action with injuries the Tiger-Cats offence had to look for different avenues and those avenues were successful. The Hamilton offensive running game had their best game of the season, which allowed the Tiger-Cats to control the tempo of the game in the 2nd half. Defensively, the Tiger-Cats had major injury issues at the linebacker position and defensive line.
These issues allowed additional defensive players to have the opportunity to make an impact and they were able to seize the moment. This total team effort allowed the Tiger-Cats to finish strong in the 4th quarter with two touchdowns and resulted in a 34-27 home win against East Division rival the Toronto Argonauts. Let’s take a look and see how this Tiger-Cat’s performance measured up to our 5 Growling Questions for Week 10.
Growling Question #1 result
Can the Tiger-Cats defensive front pressure Toronto QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson by producing 4 or more quarterback sacks?
The answer is no, but for the 2nd week in a row, the Tiger-Cats did produce three quarterback sacks against Argonauts QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Those sacks were produced by Malik Carney with one sack, and Micah Johnson with two sacks. The ability to put pressure on Bethel-Thompson made the effort of defending the Argonauts much easier for the Tiger-Cats defensive secondary.
Bethel-Thompson has shown the ability to be a very efficient quarterback, but when he has to make quick decisions, he has made his share of mistakes. This is an area that the Tiger-Cats have been improving in each week. In Week 10 pressuring the Argonaut’s QB made a difference in their victorious effort.
Growling Question #2 result
Will the Tiger-Cats defence be able to contain the Argonaut’s running game and hold Toronto’s rushers to less than 4.0 yards/carry?
The answer to this question is also no, the Argonaut’s offence was able to rush for 69 yards on 16 carries. This resulted in a 4.3 yards/carry average. In Week 9 the Tiger-Cats were able to hold the Toronto offence to 3.9 yards/carry, so the run defence was not as effective. Luckily, for Hamilton, the effort they put into containing the run was good enough to get the win. This has been an area of strength for the Tiger-Cats in 2022, but with a large number of injuries in the front seven, Hamilton’s defence did play a solid game.
Growling Question #3 result
Can the Tiger-Cats offensive line protect quarterback Matt Shiltz in his first start of the 2022 season?
The answer is yes, and this is the most improved aspect of the Tiger-Cats offence. For the last several weeks, the Hamilton offensive line has had a consistent lineup and with that stability comes consistency. The Tiger-Cats did allow two quarterback sacks, and Matt Shiltz did get knocked out of the game for a stretch. But backup quarterback Jamie Newman was able to step in and lead the offence well. It was helpful that Newman did lead the offence in rushing. And overall the Tiger-Cats offence produced 149 rushing yards on 21 carries along with two touchdowns. This has been the best performance of the season for the Tiger-Cats running game.
Growling Question #4 result
Can the Tiger-Cats find a way to score 3 touchdowns?
The answer to this question is yes, the Tiger-Cats did score three touchdowns all on offence. In the 2nd quarter, Jamie Newman scored a 2-yard rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak. Matt Shiltz also converted on a 2-point conversion with a pass to Kiondre Smith. In the 4th quarter, running back Sean Thomas-Erlington had a 23-yard run for a touchdown. Later in the 4th quarter, Matt Shiltz scored the third touchdown with a 60-yard pass to Tim White. It was a team effort by the offence, and as a unit, they were able to produce enough points to get the win.
Growling Question #5 result
Will the Tiger-Cats find a way to win the +/- turnover battle?
Once again the answer to this question is no. The Tiger-Cats defence was unable to produce a takeaway. Matt Shiltz did throw an interception to Toronto defender Robbie Smith. While this is still an area the Tiger-Cats need to improve in, one turnover is not nearly as bad as a full-out offensive collapse. The Tiger-Cats defence needs to find ways to produce takeaways. Special teams did not make any game-breaking plays, but they also did not make any mistakes to cost the Tiger-Cats the game.
The progress that the Tiger-Cats made this week as a team was a result of their injury issues. Going forward many of the adjustments Hamilton had to make led to good results. So despite the issues, it is hopeful that the Tiger-Cats can build off of this success. As the Tiger-Cats start making preparations to face Montreal on the road next Saturday at 4 pm EDT, we will see if they will remember some of the lessons that they learned this week as they secured a win against Toronto.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7
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