The Tiger-Cats have to work on that of­fence

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - STEVE MIL­TON

Not to pile on, but here are a few more re­marks, mostly neg­a­tive, from the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats’ 3720 loss in Saskatchewan on Satur­day:

In the two first quar­ters the Ti­cats have played, the of­fence has not man­aged to make even one first down. In the open­ing frames of their last 21 league and play­off games, dat­ing back to open­ing day 2016, the of­fence has now been held to zero points six times and three points or fewer an­other six times. They have not scored more than one ma­jor in any first quar­ter of 2016 or ’17.

A break­down of the Tiger-Cats’ three touch­downs so far this year: Of­fence (1), De­fence (1), Spe­cial Teams (1). Guess that’s bal­ance.

The Ti­cats are mak­ing plenty of sub­sti­tu­tions on de­fence, es­pe­cially on the line — partly for ra­tio rea­sons, partly for sit­u­a­tional play, partly for fa­tigue-man­age­ment — and per­haps that’ll smooth out, but it looks awk­ward and tir­ing at the moment. That’s par­tic­u­lar true deep in ei­ther end, when the play­ers have to run so far from their benches, and con­fu­sion was vis­i­bly ob­vi­ous on a cou­ple of Rider touch­downs.

No up­date Mon­day on in­juries which took key Hamil­ton play­ers cen­tre Mike Filer and line­backer Si­moni Lawrence out of the game. Both re­turned later. Nor had the league sent out any word on fur­ther dis­ci­pline to line­backer Will Hill, who grabbed an of­fi­cial’s sweater and was ejected.

This is not some­thing a quar­ter­back of Zach Col­laros’s strong his­tory would be ac­cus­tomed to. He’s last among the CFL’s nine start­ing quar­ter­backs in com­ple­tion per­cent­age, sec­ond down con­ver­sion per­cent­age and on the new quar­ter­back rat­ing scale (31.3, Mike Reilly lead­ing at 92.9), marked out of 100 and tak­ing into ac­count the team’s of­fen­sive per­for­mance.

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