6 takeaways from the Eskimos surprising loss to Hamilton

The Eskimos dropped a disappointing 38-21 game to Hamilton on Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

Here’s what I took away from Edmonton’s showing:

1) Mike Reilly was all or nothing in the first half, save the final drive. Reilly consistently looked for a big play, coming up empty all but twice, when he found Duke Williams for 88-yards and Kenny Stafford for 55-yards respectively. The aggressive play calling led to four two-and-outs for Edmonton in the half.

2) The Eskimos had some gaping holes in their secondary. Seven times Hamilton recorded 20 or more yards on a play, both in the air and on the ground. Rarely does a defence give up such yardage and comes out with a win.

3) You can’t score if you don’t have the ball. The cliché proved itself worthy of being once more, as the Ticats had possession for 35:46, over 11 minutes longer than Edmonton. The dominant first half allowed Hamilton to control the pace of play in the final two quarters.

4) Not often did the Eskimos defensive line get the jump or time the snap, and it’s difficult recalling a moment where Masoli was truly under pressure. His uniform was kept relatively clean, as Nick Taylor got to the QB in the final frame for the Esks lone sack. The Tiger-Cats offensive line was superb. On the flipside, so was Edmonton’s. Allowing just one sack of their own, Reilly saw some pressure but not much.

5) When Reilly did find himself under the gun and forced out of the pocket, he wasn’t afraid to pull the ball down and run. He did so five times, including a 15-yarder midway through the fourth. Reilly trails running back C.J Gable by just seven yards in the ground game for tops on the team.

6) Hugh O’Neill, you were a busy man. The Eskimos kicker better put some ice on that leg, as O’Neill averaged 52.9 yards on punts and 62.8 yards on kickoffs. O’Neill booted the ball seven times, and hit off the tee four. He consistently put the Tiger-Cats deep in their own territory, but the Eskimos defence failed to capitalize.

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