Ticats go from Jekyll to Hyde, falling 28-3 to Lions

Ticats go from Jekyll to Hyde, falling 28-3 to Lions

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats delivered one of the CFL's best performances in Week One, knocking off the Toronto Argonauts 42-20 and spoiling their home opener, but they then delivered perhaps the worst showing in the league so far in Week Two, getting stomped 28-3 by the B.C. Lions at home Friday. The Ticats' offence couldn't execute at all Friday, and there were also issues with their play on defence and special teams.The key question is which of their first two results is more indicative of where this team actually is: are they Dr. Jekyll, or are they Mr. Hyde?

Friday's game was certainly a full-Hyde performance, especially on offence. Jeremiah Masoli had a great game at quarterback against Toronto last week, throwing for 318 yards and three touchdowns with a 67 per cent completion rate, but against B.C. Friday, he maintained that completion rate but threw for just 248 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Tiger-Cats also fumbled three times, and they weren't able to move the chains much. It's scoring just three points that's the most problematic, though.

The Hamilton defence and special teams weren't much better. The defence gave up 115 rushing yards, including 76 to Jeremiah Johnson on 12 carries, and although they held Jon Jennings to 228 passing yards and a 59.3 per cent completion rate, their vulnerability on the ground made things pretty easy for the Lions. On special teams, Brett Maher missed all three of his field goal attempts and averaged just 37.7 yards on punts, and B.C.'s Chris Rainey collected 149 total return yards on four attempts. There were other factors involved for these units, as the defence was left on the field for a long while and Maher had to deal with intense wind (Lions' punter/kicker RIchie Leone averaged just 38.2 yards on his punts, a performance more ugly than good or bad, and while he made three field goals, he missed two as well), but these units will have to better as well.

Overall, though, the Tiger-Cats likely aren't as bad as they looked here. They still have an impressive roster, and one that should be solid in all three phases of the game. They did still come up with last week's 42-20 road win against a Toronto team that's pretty talented, and that win isn't fully invalidated by this loss. They may not be as dominant as they looked in the first week, but there's still plenty to like here, and there are reasons to believe they'll be able to rebound and move back towards a more Jekyllesque existence. Friday's game was all Hyde, though, an ugly one they'd probably like to pretend wasn't part of them.