Milton Article Aug 27, 2022 14:13:43 GMT -5 via mobile
Post by Crash on Aug 27, 2022 14:13:43 GMT -5
TORONTO — Dane Evans was being treated for his sore-again shoulder, so didn’t have to come out of the locker-room, but he firmly insisted on talking to a couple of late-lingering media types so he could publicly acknowledge the painfully obvious.
“We’re such a good team and I keep screwing us, I totally know that, and I’m going to figure out a way to not do that,” said the distraught Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ quarterback after he had one of the Cats’ worst outings in recent years during a humiliating 37-20 loss to the Toronto Argonauts Friday night that has given Hamilton a first-class berth on a train heading apparently nowhere.
Evans served up three interceptions to Toronto cornerback Jamal Peters, one of which was returned for a game-sealing touchdown and he also fumbled the ball away early in the second quarter, and was immediately yanked from the game by head coach Orlondo Steinauer in favour of Matt Shiltz, who’d started the two previous games because of Evans’ injured throwing shoulder.
Shiltz played solidly, completing 13 of 15 passes, including one touchdown, but hurt his wrist late in the third quarter, bringing Evans, and his second and third interceptions, back into the game. If Shiltz is seriously hurt, the Ticats will be in deeper trouble than they’re already in and that trouble is pretty deep, and pretty widespread.
They crashed to 3-8, exactly the record they deserve. The Montreal Alouettes are at 4-6 with two wins in a row, and the 5-5 Argos are now four points ahead with a game in hand, control the season’s series, and clearly don’t think the Ticats don’t have the right stuff to stick with them: and they are not wrong, not based on the real evidence. The Ticats massive injury list keeps growing but their medical problems are no worse than the Argos’ crowded M.A.S.H. unit … yet it was not the Argos who barfed up the second half.
With Labour Day now a must win, it is entirely possible that the Ticats will have to go out and seek more quarterbacking help next week, depending upon Shiltz’s health and how Evans’ banged-up shoulder responds.
“If that’s a long-term deal,” Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer said of Shiltz’s wrist, “Obviously we’re going to have to take a look at all options.”
Evans has now been intercepted 14 times and has lost six of his seven fumbles. The interception and fumble in the first 18 minutes both stymied promising Hamilton drives, and his final two interceptions led to Toronto touchdowns, a pick- six and a quick four-play drive by Argo quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson who had a strong second half after a terrible first one.
“That (loss) was 100 per cent on myself,” Evans said. “I talked to all of (the players) in the room and I talked to all the coaches. It’s not a lack of preparation … I can’t pinpoint a thing, if I could it wouldn’t be happening. It’s never happened to me before at any level of football.
“I want to face it, because I think if I face it (in public), I think I can get over it. I don’t know what it is. I have no clue, but I promise no one is going to work harder than me to get over it.”
Since quarterbacking and turnovers generally decide CFL games, Evans’ wretched evening was the critical factor. But he wasn’t the only culprit. And that too is a recurring theme.
The Ticats were up 16-10 at halftime which meant, given the repetitive nature of this season’s gloomy history, that the Argos had the Cats exactly where they wanted them.
The Ticats had 15 first downs in the first half to the Argos’ six and 236 yards in offence to Toronto’s 99, and should have been up by even more than they were. But once again, they showed the killer instinct of a confirmed pacifist, couldn’t put the Argos away and allowed a late second-quarter touchdown that gave the Argos life that they shouldn’t have had.
Toronto responded by outscoring Hamilton 27-4 in the second half and the Ticats responded by once again having no answer for the adjustments that the opposing team made at the half. The pass plays into the flats were fooling no one. Their pressure — so strong early — was suddenly being picked up, and they failed to properly identify the pressure being exerted on them. Bethel-Thompson who had
been booed in the first half cut through the Ticat defence with ridiculous ease in quickly converting opportunities into touchdowns.
This was the entire Ticat coaching staff being out-maneuvred, once again, in the second half. It is a chronic problem.
The Ticats scored only one touchdown, a tremendous second-effort by Lemar Durant after he was slammed short of the goal-line but muscled the ball in. Tim White had a Shiltz pass go through his hands in the end zone that would have built on a Ticat lead, but forced them to settle for one of Seth Small’s four field goals, which included a 58-yarder with the aid of a strong (and rare) north wind which tied the Ticats’ franchise record set by Brett Maher in October of 2016.
It was a great moment, but was lost almost immediately in the Ticats taking yet another large step toward oblivion