Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 9)

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The CFL season is quickly approaching the midway point and for sometimes the halfway point means the start to a new season.

For the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, that couldn’t be truer as they look to the second half to make their impression.

Over the last few years, the Ti-Cats have been one of the best teams in the league going to two Grey Cups and finishing at or near the top of the standings all in the last three seasons.

The first year was 2013 when they looked to Henry Burris to lead the team to the Grey Cup but fell just short against Saskatchewan.

Although Burris was playing well he was an ageing quarterback and in the off-season the Ti-Cats looked to get an insurance policy for their future.

That insurance policy came in the form of rival backup QB Zach Collaros who was looking for a place where he could make an impact as a starter, not a back-up.

It didn’t take long for him to take over for Burris as the younger and more athletic quarterback showed that he was the best option for the team.

The Ti-Cats went back to the Grey Cup that year with Collaros starting the big game in Vancouver.

The Ti-Cats fell short again losing to the Stampeders in their second straight Grey Cup.

It was a disappointment but for some looking forward it seemed like it was going to be the start of a new era in the CFL.

The Tiger-Cats were not just a good team but they had become utterly dominant with Collaros under centre.

That came through in his first full season as the team’s starter with the Ti-Cats as Hamilton looked close to unbeatable throughout the 2015 season.

They rose to the top of the east division and as the playoffs approached many wondered if the third time was going to be the charm for a team that hasn’t won the Grey Cup since 1999.

Then came disaster as Collaros tore his ACL in September ending his season and ending the hopes of the Tabbies.

They were still a good team but the fact was that they were not the same team without him under centre.football-sidebar

That proved to be true as the Ti-Cats struggled through the last few games allowing Ottawa to take over first place and then losing to Ottawa in the division finals.

They looked like the team to beat until Collaros was lost for the season and it was devastating for the team.

To start this year Collaros remained on the sidelines as he finished his recovery from his injury.

To so many, the Ti-Cats just needed to wait until he returned before they could meet their full potential.

If they could not get too far behind the other teams in the east they would be in a great spot when their superstar returned from his injury.

They did just that, as the Ti-Cats did not look great without Collaros but they did win games and stayed in the fight the entire time.

Then in Week 8 Collaros made his return to Hamilton giving new hope to the team and what they hoped to be new life to the team.

His first game back wasn’t necessarily the best as the Ti-Cats dropped the game to the BC Lions in a lacklustre return.

Then came Week 9 and the official return of Collaros as he guided the Ti-Cats to a convincing win in his second start of the season.

Although he was facing the struggling Roughriders the Ti-Cats looked very good and the biggest difference was having Collaros back and comfortable under centre.

The Ti-Cats put up 53-points including five touchdowns from Collaros himself while the defence got a boost for not having to win the game and only allowed seven points.

The Ti-Cats may not have been facing the best team in the league but they certainly had the best performance against that team.

If this is a sign of things to come the entire league better be on the lookout as Collaros and the Ti-Cats have some unfinished business.

If they look anything like they did last year with him under centre they are going to be awfully tough to beat which is even more important as they head to the playoffs and the Grey Cup.

Fourth Down:
(More news this week in the CFL)

Harris in Again
The Ottawa REDBLACKS have looked good all season until they got beat badly by the Montreal Alouettes in Week 9 and had to question their path which they did in deciding that Trevor Harris will return as the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future

Ref Sharing Continued
The CFL and NFL announced a partnership this year as the two agreed to share knowledge and training with each other regarding referees and that includes the inclusion of referees in games which has now begun in the NFL as CFL refs have begun taking the field south of the border

New Addition Gone
The off-season the Toronto Argonauts made some big moves on the defensive line including signing veteran Brian Bulcke from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but after only returning in the last few weeks he is already gone as the Argos released the tackle this week

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Week 9:
Montreal Alouettes 43-19 Ottawa REDBLACKS
– It was a shocker to open up the week in the CFL as the struggling Alouettes took on the division-leading REDBLACKS as Kevin Glenn threw five touchdowns and took out the REDBLACKS in a big way

Calgary Stampeders 37-9 BC Lions
– The Stampeders only continue their quiet season as the Lions were looking to make an impression in a great season so far but they couldn’t get by the Stamps who continued to win and stayed on top of the western division

Edmonton Eskimos 46-23 Toronto Argonauts
– The Argonauts started the game well enough as they earned a defensive touchdown on the first play from scrimmage but it was all Edmonton after that as they continued to struggle at their new home

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 53-7 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Roughriders have not had the greatest season but they had their lowest point of the season against the Tiger-Cats who welcomed back a familiar Zach Collaros after he threw five touchdowns to lead them to the win

Week 10:
BC Lions vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS (Thursday, August 25th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Lions and the REDBLACKS have launched themselves up the standings this year and now they face-off after two bad losses with plenty of motivation to get a win as the REDBLACKS look to Trevor Harris to lead them back to the win column

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Montreal Alouettes (Friday, August 26th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Blue Bombers and Alouettes have struggled most of the year but recently have found their way and now they both hope to continue on that path as they look to make the second half of the year much better than the first

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Friday, August 26th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Roughriders have reached their lowest point of the season after a tough loss and now they have to get back up to face a tough test in the Eskimos who are just trying to keep pace in a tough battle for the west

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Calgary Stampeders (Sunday, August 28th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Ti-Cats could be just getting into a groove with Collaros under centre but they will try to prove it as they take on the best team in the west, the Stampeders who look to continue their great year even if it is under the radar

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