In a year where Hamilton is hosting the Grey Cup, Tiger-Cats will need to beat Montreal and Toronto on the road just to get to the big game. Photo credit: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
After a long season, the fate of the 2023 Hamilton Tiger-Cats will all come down to two playoff games.
The team will play the Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Semi-Finals on Saturday, November 4 at 3PM in what is a rematch of last year’s playoffs.
If the Tiger-Cats win that one they will have to face the Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Final on Saturday, November 11 at 3PM.
The tough part? The Tiger-Cats have not managed to beat either team this season and will also have to play both games on the road.
Hamilton was unable to secure home-field advantage for either playoff game since they are set to finish third out of the four teams in their division.
The Tiger-Cats results against Montreal so far this season were a 38-12 loss and a 27-14 loss.
The two teams play a final regular season game against each other on Saturday, October 28, but, with the playoff places already decided, the final score is essentially meaningless.
It is likely that both teams will rest some players in that final game of the season, so it will not be an accurate representation of both teams’ abilities.
Luckily, as far as the playoffs are concerned, the Ticats appear to be on the way up.
After losing quarterbacks Bo Levi Mitchell and Matthew Shiltz to injury and dropping to a record of three wins and six losses in August, the Ticats have now won five of their last eight games.
Additionally, both Mitchell and Shiltz are back from injury and the Tiger-Cats have all-star running back James Butler on the squad.
But even if the Tiger-Cats are able to beat Montreal in the playoffs, which is very possible, the harder test would then be facing Toronto in the Eastern Final.
The Argonauts have 15 wins and only two losses this season. They beat Hamilton all four times the two teams met with a combined score of 133 to 71.
Individual Ti-Cats’ losses against the Argos were 32-14, 31-15, 41-28, and 29-14.
However, in the playoffs, anything can happen – achieving a big win against the Alouettes in the Eastern Semi-Finals might just give the Ticats the momentum they need to beat the Argos.
Additionally, the playoff game against Toronto would be held at BMO Field which is still close enough to Hamilton that fans would be sure to take the trip down the QEW to pack the stands.
So, while the Ticats’ situation could be better, it could also be worse.
At least the team managed to make the playoffs after losing key players due to injury and starting the season poorly.
Plus, Hamilton has been in this situation before and came through it successfully – they beat Montreal and then Toronto in the 2021 playoffs to clinch a spot in the Grey Cup Final the last time Hamilton hosted the big game.
And then, even if the Ticats get knocked out, at least Hamilton will still be hosting this year’s Grey Cup on Sunday, November 19, an event that is complete with concerts, festivals, and all kinds of other activities which will all provide a much-needed boost to the city.
Based in Hamilton, he reaches hundreds of thousands of people monthly on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. He has been published in The Hamilton Spectator, Stoney Creek News, and Bay Observer. He has also been a segment host with Cable 14 Hamilton. In 2017, he received the Chancellor Full Tuition Scholarship from the University of Ottawa (BA, 2022). He has also received the Governor General’s Academic Medal. He formerly worked in a non-partisan role on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.