With Jeremiah Masoli fully recovered from a torn ACL, can the Ti-Cats finish what they started in 2019 and end the longest Grey Cup drought in the CFL?
The Tiger-Cats are back and looking to improve on a franchise-best 15-3 season in 2019. After winning the East in 2019, they’ve had almost two full years to stew on their Grey Cup loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Ti-Cats get an immediate chance at revenge, however, when they head to Winnipeg to open the season. Now holding the CFL’s longest Grey Cup drought, can the Tiger-Cats get over the hump in 2021?
Hamilton likely has the strongest quarterback duo in the league in Jeremiah Masoli and Dane Evans. Head coach Orlando Steinauer has made it clear the No. 1 QB job is wide open now that Masoli is healthy, but it would be tough to see the veteran not starting under centre to open the season. Whichever quarterback ends up as the starter, he’ll have plenty of weapons. Brandon Banks, the 2019 MOP winner, will form a dangerous receiving attack with David Ungerer, Jaelon Acklin and Devier Posey.
Three Canadians lead the backfield, with running backs Sean Thomas-Erlington, Jackson Bennett and Maleek Irons returning from the 2019 team. Don Jackson, who has played his entire CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders, was also added to provide some flexibility to the run-game. Four Canadian offensive linemen are back, including Chris Van Zeyl, Mike Filer, Darius Ciraco and Brandon Revenberg.
On the defensive side, Hamilton will feel the losses of shutdown corner Delvin Breaux Sr. (retirement) and Richard Leonard (signed in Calgary). The defensive line is completely intact, with Ja’Gared Davis, Ted Laurent, Dylan Wynn and Julian Howsare all returning. After Rico Murray‘s retirement, it looks like Tyrice Beverette will take his place.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2021 Season Schedule
The Ti-Cats get a shot at revenge to open the season, with the only CFL game on Thursday being a Grey Cup rematch against the Blue Bombers. Hamilton won’t play at home until September 6, but that gives them a nice stretch to end the season only playing two road games over the final eight weeks.
Thursday, August 5 @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Saturday, August 14 @ Saskatchewan Roughriders
Friday, August 27 @ Montreal Alouettes
Monday, September 6 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Friday, September 10 @ Toronto Argonauts
Friday, September 17 vs. Calgary Stampeders
Wednesday, September 22 @ Ottawa Redblacks
Saturday, October 2 vs. Montreal Alouettes
Monday, October 11 vs. Toronto Argonauts
Saturday, October 23 vs. Ottawa Redblacks
Friday, October 29 @ Edmonton Elks
Friday, November 5 vs. BC Lions
Friday, November 12 @ Toronto Argonauts
Saturday, November 20 vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2021 Season Prediction
The Tiger-Cats are the favourites to win the Grey Cup at +293 at Sports Interaction. This is essentially the same team from 2019, so with the roster fully healthy they should be able to win the East again, although their 9.5 win total is the highest in the league. Regardless of who starts at quarterback to open the season, Masoli or Evans, teams will struggle to contain this offence.
2021 Projection: 10-4