TORONTO – After a huge win on Labour Day, the Argos will be looking to make it two straight against the TiCats and take the lead in the season series in the process. Both sides will be looking to contain the big play threats of their opponents, so we here at Argonauts.ca will take a look to see if thats even possible…
On Labour Day Williams broke records of his own, becoming the first player in CFL history to record six return touchdowns in a single season. Williams returned a punt 89 yards to pay-dirt in the first half.
The Argos were able to limit Williams in the return game to an average of 17 yards on his other four returns if you take away the 89 yarder. That didn’t hurt his overall numbers against the Argos though, as he has amassed 490 all-purpose yards against the Double Blue on just 14 touches over two games; good for an average of 35 yards per touch.
Williams was relatively quiet in the receiving game on Labour Day, making only one catch for 52 yards. It was Williams’ lowest receiving total in three weeks of CFL action and the Double Blue are surely hoping they can limit his big play ability on Saturday again.
Williams was even victimized on Ahmad Carroll’s pick-six as the ball that was intercepted was intended for him. Carroll stiff armed Williams from making a tackle and ran into the end zone.
But, Just like Owens, Williams is no one-trick pony, or Cat if you will. He currently sits in third in the CFL with 704 yards receiving, just 60 yards behind the “Flyin’ Hawaiian”.
With the Argos looking to secure back-to-back wins against their provincial rivals finding a way to shutdown, statistically speaking, the best kick returner ever will be a tough task for Mike O’Shea and Co. He has done it in the past limiting Larry Taylor in their second meeting with him, and aside from Williams’ touchdowns against his unit, O’Shea’s boys have kept #80 in black and gold relatively in check.
What else is there to say about The “Flyin’ Hawaiian”? After a record setting day on Labour Day saw Owens go off for 402 all-purpose yards, the Ticats are surely licking their wounds.
Owens would finish the day with 176 yards receiving, 136 yards on kick returns and 90 yards on punt returns, killing the ‘Cats in all facets of the game.
However, it was not one big play that helped Owens break the record, but a continual assault of 10, 20 and 30 yard pickups that got Chad to his 402 total. A new Argos record.
There is no real way to stop Owens, what the Ticats will look to do is limit his productivity. First, in the return game expect the Ticats to take a few “no yards” penalties in an attempt to stunt Owens’ impact when he catches the ball for a returrn. As a result, the Ticats should, in theory, be giving the Argos some less than stellar field position and forcing the offence as a whole to beat them instead of just the guy wearing # 2.
Second, Owens 176 yard, 11 reception effort will assuredly garner more attention from the TiCats secondary. Depending on where Owens lines up on offence, expect Ticat defenders to be rolling over to help and sandwich coverage. This will most likely fall on safety Matt Bucknor who will have to either roll over to Owens if lined up on the outside, or pinch down if he lines up out of the slot. This is turn could give ample opportunity for other receivers to get open frequently.
In the end, there will be no simple answer for how to shut down Chad Owens. He is going to find a way to make an impact. All the Ticats can hope to do is limit the damage.