Fri 12/06/2015 - 09:13 EDT

2015 CFL Team Previews: Hamilton Tiger-Cats – Is the Third Time the Charm for the Cats?

2015 CFL Team Previews: Hamilton Tiger-Cats – Is the Third Time the Charm for the Cats?

Hamilton has lost in the Grey Cup finals for the last two seasons and last season’s loss was killer having a game-winning kick return called back because of a penalty. Is the third time the charm for the Cats? Hamilton Tiger-Cats FuturesOdds To Win Grey Cup: +660Regular Season Win Total: O/U 9 wins Most Significant […]

Hamilton has lost in the Grey Cup finals for the last two seasons and last season’s loss was killer having a game-winning kick return called back because of a penalty. Is the third time the charm for the Cats?

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Futures
Odds To Win Grey Cup: +660
Regular Season Win Total: O/U 9 wins

Most Significant Offseason Changes

They picked up offensive lineman Ryan Bomben in exchange for their first round pick and he will be counted on to protect up and coming star quarterback Zach Collaros. The signal caller was also given a new weapon in wide receiver Spencer Watt. One big loss for Hamilton is defensive leader Delvin Breaux, who left for the NFL.

They’ll Be Successful If…

Zach Collaros has another solid season, the defense performs well again, and they can run the ball in the second half of the season. The Tiger-Cats did win the East last season, but only with a 9-9 record. Collaros had a solid season ranking seventh in passing yards, but he did not get much help from the running back position, especially late in the season. C.J. Gable, Nic Grigsby and Mossis Madu will be the main guys in the backfield and last season Madu led the team in rushing yards, but only ranked 18th in the league overall.

Brandon Banks is another key for the Tiger-Cats this season, as the wide receiver had five receiving touchdowns, led the league in punt return yards, and was third in the league in kick return yards. If he can help out his quarterback with a shorter field with his return yards it will be a major plus for Hamilton this season. 

The defense will miss Delvin Breaux, but they are a young unit that should be solid again. Still, they ranked second in the East in points allowed and fifth overall in the league in that category. Four of their six draft picks were linebackers and that unit has a lot of promise this season.

One key aspect for the Tiger-Cats as well is winning on the road, which they did not do last season. While Hamilton was 7-2 and home they were only 2-7 on the road. Four of their first five games of the season are on the road including their first two.

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

There are injuries on the defensive side of the football and Collaros has to carry the team with his arm. While the linebacking corps has a big influx in talent they are very young, as only Marc Beswick and Simoni Lawrence have more than two seasons of experience and if either one of those guys go down, the young guys will have to step up. While Gable, Grigsby and Mossis Madu head into the season as a three-headed running back monster one of the guys will have to step up and be THE main guy, especially late in the season and in crunch time in games.

2015 Draft Tracker

2. Archambault, Byron LB Montreal
3. Langa, Jonathan LB Saint Mary’s    
4. Omara, Ron LB St. FX
6. Ellefsen, Everett DL McNeese State    
6. English, Daniel WR UBC    
7. Huggins, Preston     LB Western

Outlook

I really do not see much of a drop off or improvement for the Tiger-Cats, as I see around a .500 finish, but they will not win the East this season.

Prediction: Second in East Division

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