Report Card at Hamilton
Quarterback – B-
Not to sound like an apologist but the problem is not the quarterback. MBT once again was efficient, throwing for 287 and a touchdown. He had no interceptions and generally did well to avoid sacks. He is still poor at the short yardage game, and this has to be improved or abandoned as part of his job. I don’t know what to make of the Banks miscommunications on routes but that also needs to be solved. A 65% completion rate is just ok but the injuries and turnover in the wide receiver room helped keep it less than stellar.
Wide Receivers – C-
Daniels continues to be a red zone weapon and my dream of him being the number one receiver still lives. But as a unit, it was a tough night. They had a lot of trouble getting off coverage and getting open and Banks was 2 for 8 on targets. A lack of health has prevented the unit from all playing their ideal roles at the same time. Someday. And Tommy Nield continues to have potential.
Running Backs – C
Harris was off to a terrific start and of course in this haunted house of a game, he tweaked his shoulder. I wish this could be a blessing in disguise with some time off for the vet and Ouellette getting some more game reps but I am not sold Ouellette can be a primary back in the league. He had some success in this game, and I will save judgement until after the Calgary game. The Argos need two backs so maybe they discover something here.
Offensive Line – C+
Three sacks given up and only 60ish odd yards on the ground is not a dominant performance, but the injured unit did enough to get the win tonight. I desperately wish they could get more push on short yardage plays and they will be tested without Harris behind them. This unit has shown the old o-line adage of “no donkeys’ is true. They have players out of position and their best five have had little time together, but they have no glaring weakness.
Defensive Line – C
Not the game we needed from a relatively healthy unit. One of the two sacks and two pass knockdowns was not the production needed. In fairness, having two different quarterbacks, neither of home was expected to be a starter for most of the week makes it hard to create a game plan but Hamilton had 149 yards on the ground, with a 7-yard average. 7! Need the big 3 up front to have a great game at the same time.
Linebackers – B-
Linebacker sack! McManis had his usual good game, with the sack, and leading the team in tackles. Muamba played ok but a step slow on some run plays. Edwards has not been the dominant force he was early in his comeback. He is an immensely talented guy who runs hot and cold and hopefully, we can get back the all-star quality Edwards soon. The 149 rushing yards lands on these guys along with the D line.
Defensive Backs – B-
Not a bad night in general from the banged up secondary unit. Hamilton only had 180 yards but the passing percentage of 75 was pretty high. For some reason Hamilton quarterbacks seem to find the “shine” when they play Toronto and just will play out of their minds for a quarter. Shaq’s absence is felt, and I hope they go back to the Peters blitz package more.
Special Teams – C-
Tough unit to grade as Bede was 4 for 4 with a long of 47 and Haggerty is punting well but he must keep the ball in play, as it is ruining his net average. Unfortunately, the kick coverage teams were not ready for the game tonight. A usually steady unit, the punt team had its butt handed to them by Hamilton. Lawrence Woods averaged 25 yards with a long of 47 on 6 punt returns. It was the difference in the game. I have no updates on the Argos punt return unit.
Coaching – C+
There has been a lot of social media and some media smoke about firing Dinwiddie, and I still don’t see the argument. Is he Wally Buono? I don’t think so. (Do you know who Wally Buono is? I hope so.) But he has the Argos competitive each week and the team has been really grinding with injuries. Much like the Jays, the Argos are in first and yet the subject of dismay and vitriol. They tried to piece together a team tonight that was smashed with injuries. It would have been an all-time coaching job if they had. C’est la vie.