CFL Football Preview: Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Saskatchewan Roughriders

CFL Football Preview:  Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Canadian Football League is in the fourth week of their season and we’ll be providing analysis and selections the rest of the way. In Sunday’s matchup, the 1-2 Hamilton Tiger-Cats make the trip westward to the Canadian prairies to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Roughriders have looked very good in the early going and are the league’s only remaining undefeated team. Hamilton managed to salvage a 25-20 home victory over Winnipeg for their first win of the year last week. This game will conclude the Week 4 CFL schedule and will be played Sunday afternoon in Regina.

The big question heading into this matchup concerns the health of Riders’ starting quarterback Darian Durant. He left Saskatchewan’s game against Toronto last week with a right foot injury. Fortunately, a MRI test was negative and he could play here (currently listed as ‘questionable’). His backup, Drew Willy, is capable and has a wealth of skill position players around him to make his job easier should he be forced into action. Saskatchewan’s running game revolves around Kory Sheets who has been by far the most effective rushing threat in the league this season. The Riders also have a strong receiver corps led by big play specialist Taj Smith. Willy isn’t a bad quarterback and if he has to play in this game there’s a very good chance his teammates will make him look even better.

On the other side of the ball, Hamilton is something of a mess. Aging Henry Burris is coming off a strong season as the Ti-Cats quarterback and has put up decent passing numbers so far but isn’t getting a lot of help from his teammates–or pass protection. Burris was sacked 7 times last week and an aggressive Roughrider defensive front should give him headaches this week as well. It’s a good thing that Burris is putting up good numbers through the air since the Ti-Cats have been a horrible rushing team to date. At this point Burris is the team’s leading rusher which is bad for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it puts his health in even greater risk when he’s the best short yardage option.

If Durant does play this line will move upward but we look for the Ti-Cats to have their hands full with a Roughriders team that could be the best all around squad in the league.