Friday, 14 September 2012

Preview: Eskimos at Tiger-Cats


Last week was a must win, this week is a must win and if the Ti-Cats lose to the Eskimos, we'll be right back here talking about that game being a must win. The Ti-Cats are in the midst of their worst losing steak since 2008 and desperately need to beat the Eskimos in their final trip to to Ivor Wynne Stadium if they have any hope of climbing back into the playoff race.

The offense scored 31 points last week but that number is deceiving. Of those 31 points, 14 of them came in the final five minutes when the game was already decided. It was a sloppy performance with plenty of dropped passes and another Henry Burris pick six. The only positive last week was the running of Avon Cobourne, and with Chevon Walker out again, Cobourne will get the chance at a repeat performance. The Eskimos defense is one of the best in the league, so points could be at a premium.

Defensively, the Ti-Cats will be tasked with stopping the three-headed monster of Hugh Charles, Jerome Messam and Cory Boyd. Messam gashed the Tabbies last year at Ivor Wynne, rushing for 139 yards and two touchdowns in Edmonton's 38-23 romp over the Ti-Cats. Enter Torrey Davis. The run stuffer was acquired from Calgary for games just like this one and he gets thrown right into the fire against a fearsome threesome of Edmonton tailbacks.

The Cats will also have to keep an eye on Fred Stamps. Stamps is having a somewhat down year, but a lot of that could be attributed to Edmonton's unstable quarterbacking situation. Steven Jyles has been in and out of the lineup with various injuries and at 38, Kerry Joseph is not the player he was five years ago. Still, Stamps is a threat whenever he is on the field and the Ti-Cats will have to limit him if they hope to end their losing streak.

This is one the Ti-Cats have to win. Forget the Bombers, because they are done; the Cats will be chasing the Eskimos and Roughriders hoping to avoid missing the playoffs because of the crossover. To ensure the crossover doesn't happen, they need to beat the Eskimos. We'll find out if the Cats can end their brutal five-game losing streak when the two teams meet at 3:00PM tomorrow afternoon.

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