It all comes down to this. The final Ticats game of 2019 and it’s the biggest one of all, 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Alberta. This has been one of the most successful seasons in Hamilton Tiger- Cats history. 15 wins, 9-0 home record, a record 13 division all-stars and four individual award winners, including the team’s first MOP in 20 years.
There’s only one thing missing.
These are the 3keys to the 107th Grey Cup.
MOP vs MODP
Brandon Banks and Willie Jefferson both received recognition and Thursday’s Shaw CFL Awards’ ceremony. Banks took home the MOP honours with Jefferson taking home the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award. Coincidentally their teams are going head to head for the most historic trophy in the country.
Banks had an incredible season, leading the CFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He came to play in the East Final too, catching five passes for 100 yards including a highlight reel touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Jefferson has been a terror all season, setting career-high with 12 sacks while also breaking the CFL record for pass knockdowns with 16. He will have his hands full though, he’s going up against one of the top offensive lines in the CFL. He’ll also spend most of the game lined up against the CFL’s Most Outstanding Lineman, Chris Van Zeyl.
Bring the heat
The Ticats have one of the best defensive lines in the CFL. They’ll be going up against somewhat of a two-pronged attack at quarterback and the more they can get pivot moving, the better.
Zach Collaros has a long history with the Ticats franchise and has had one of the best redemption stories in the CFL this season. He took the majority of the snaps in the West Final, throwing for 267 yards on 68% passing and a touchdown.
Chris Streveler is battling through an injury but did play in West Final, rushing four times for ten yards and attempting one pass
If the Ticats can generate pressure and prevent Collaros from setting his feet, that’ll bode well for their success. For what it’s worth, the Ticats had six sacks in their two meetings with the Bombers this season.
O vs. O’Shea
The CFL has seen a shift in recent years to younger, former players and it just so happens we’ve got a matchup between two of them Sunday night. The narrative is a dream for the media. Two up-and-coming coaches who have won together both as players and as coaches. Oh, and did you know they were traded for each other?
Between the whistles they will be competitors but outside of them they are great friends with nothing but respect for each other.
Head Coach Orlondo Steinauer took home Coach of the Year honours and matched a CFL record for wins by a rookie head coach. O’Shea on the other hand, has the Bombers in their first Grey Cup in eight years.
At the end of the day, they’re both terrific coaches and one of them going to win their first Grey Cup as a head coach. It all gets underway and 6 p.m. on Sunday.