CFL Preview - Hamilton (0-1) at Edmonton (1-0)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Friday, July 4, 10 p.m. (ET).
GAME NOTES: After winning a total of just four times all of last season, the
Edmonton Eskimos shoot for half that number in just the second week of the
2014 campaign as they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Commonwealth Stadium on
Edmonton, which won just once through the first 10 games of 2013, got off on
the right foot this time around thanks to a convincing 27-20 victory versus
British Columbia at BC Place last weekend.
Mike Reilly threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns for the Eskimos and new
head coach Chris Jones. The quarterback converted 22-of-35 pass attempts and
was intercepted once. Receiver Adarius Bowman finished with nine catches for
105 yards, one of his best performances in years. Calvin McCarty and Fred
Stamps also registered majors in the outing.
Edmonton scored points in every quarter, yet the squad generated a mere 295
yards of total offense on 84 snaps, partly due to the fact that the Eskimos
had to deal with 13 penalties for a loss of 93 yards on the evening.
Defensively, Edmonton held the Lions to just 283 yards on 65 plays, all
without the services of J.C. Sherritt who remained on the injured list. The
linebacker, who missed several games last season, set the CFL single-season
record for tackles two years ago with 130.
Sherritt should be back on the active roster this week, but that does not
guarantee that he will see game action.
While the Esks were setting in motion the start of what will hopefully be a
successful season, Hamilton was being beaten up by Saskatchewan in a rematch
of last year's Grey Cup.
In November of last year, the Roughriders dominated the Tiger-Cats at Mosaic
Stadium by a score of 45-23, and Sunday night saw a similar performance from
both sides as Hamilton took it on the chin once more in a 31-10 rain-soaked
In 2013, the 'Cats had the luxury of riding the arm of Henry Burris, the
league's top passer with close to 5,000 yards, but he has since been moved a
couple of times and now plays for the newest team to the league, the Ottawa
RedBlacks. Now they are relying on free agent Zach Collaros to provide some
stability at the position, something that was not found in the opener.
Granted, the poor weather conditions may have had something to do with the
lackluster play of Collaros, as he completed 19-of-33 passes for 159 yards and
a score, but considering the protection he was given along the offensive line,
you really can't put all the blame on him. Although, being sacked a mystifying
10 times does indicate that perhaps Collaros was holding onto the ball a bit
Unfortunately, it appears the sack issue may be a continuing trend from last
season when Hamilton was last in the league with 65 allowed, second-most on
that list was Edmonton with 60.
Producing only 201 yards of total offense in the opener, there were times when
the Tiger-Cats could not get out of their own way. The squad fumbled the ball
four times, losing possession twice, and was flagged for an incredible 17
penalties for a loss of 148 yards.
Sam Giguere stepped up and posted a game-high six receptions (a career high)
for 46 yards, while Luke Tasker reeled in a four-yard scoring pass for the
program midway through the final period.
One bright spot for the Hamilton defense was rookie tackle Bryan Hall who made
three tackles, registered one sack and forced a fumble during the setback.
Dating back to 1961 and taking into consideration only regular-season meetings
between these two clubs, Edmonton is ahead by a count of 54-30-1, winning two
of the last three and four of the last six matchups overall. However, Hamilton
is the one that came out on top in the most recent encounter last August, when
kicker Grant Shaw delivered a 45-yard single as time expired in a 30-29 road
The teams are also set to meet in Hamilton during Week 13 play this season.
If Sherritt is back in the lineup and the defense for the Eskimos watched
enough film on how to get after Collaros, this could be another very long
night for the new starting quarterback for Hamilton.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Edmonton 27, Hamilton 24
07/02 11:06:03 ET
powered by www.sportsnetwork.com.