The 108th Grey Cup will take place on Sunday evening in Hamilton with the Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers going at it for the second consecutive season, but things are far from settled with the Tiger-Cats backfield. Typically when you get to the Grey Cup, you have a well-established starter, but in Hamilton’s case, who starts on Sunday is still a question.
The team has run with Jeremiah Masoli for nearly the entire season and has given him what seemed at times like an endlessly long leash. It didn’t matter how many close games they lost or how many mistakes he made, Orlondo Steinauer never looked interested in making the move to Dane Evans. That was until last week in the East Final against the Argonauts.
With Masoli struggling, Evans was allowed to do his thing again and took over. He moved the ball down the field and eventually helped win the game for Hamilton. For the second straight season, Evans had helped get the Cats to the Grey Cup.
Still early in the week, we don’t have word on who the starter will be for Hamilton, but there should only be one answer to this question. Evans should be starting when the ball is kicked off from its tee at roughly six p.m. eastern time on Sunday.
The Tiger-Cats have stumbled their way through the 2021 season with Masoli at the helm, finishing with an 8-6 record, but that record doesn’t describe who they are as a football team. It’s unfair to say that Masoli is holding them back, but in a sense, he doesn’t give them the best chance to win a football game when you have Evans on the roster.
After being put into the game last week, Evans got the offence going after a couple of stagnant drives with Masoli. Evans went a mind-melting 16/16 passing with 249 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, leading Hamilton back to the Grey Cup with a 27-19 win over the Argonauts.
Statistically, Masoli has been the better of Evans this season. Masoli has thrown for 2,445 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in nine games. Evans threw for 787 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in six games. This is more about the feel of the offence in this situation. The Ti-Cats feel more dangerous and explosive when Evans is taking snaps.
There are pros and cons for both quarterbacks, of course, but the pros far outweigh the cons with Evans. If the Tiger-Cats want their best chance to win, they should be starting number nine, the man who won them the East Final and the man who brought them to the Grey Cup in 2019.