The success of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this season is in large part due to the contributions of Brandon Banks. In his seventh season in the CFL, all with the Tiger-Cats, Banks is on pace to break his single-season record for receiving yards.
Leading the league with 506 receiving yards and third in receiving touchdowns with three, Banks is showing no slowing down. If quarterback Jeremiah Masoli can stay consistent they will be one of the best quarterback-receiver combinations in the CFL.
What makes Banks such a critical member of the Tiger-Cats is not only his play on offence but special teams.
Special Teams Contributions
In the CFL, special teams are just as important as offence or defence. Unlike the NFL, Canadian football uses three downs instead of four. Therefore, special teams are on the field consistently throughout the game. Kickoff, kickoff return, punt, punt return, field goal and field goal return are all areas where teams can score.
Heroics Versus the Horsemen
This was evident in last week’s battle between the Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where three special teams touchdowns occurred.
The first score came from Ka’Deem Carey of the Stampeders who made an athletic play to block and scoop the ball on route to the end zone. On the ensuing kickoff, Will Likely scored on a 110-yard kickoff return touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, Banks showed why Ti-Cat fans call him Speedy B.
Banks returned Rene Paredes 51-yard missed field goal for a 105-yard touchdown. It was his fifth career field goal return touchdown, setting a CFL record. His elite playmaking ability makes it difficult for opponents to control.
They don’t call him @speedybanks87 for nothin’!
— CFL on TSN (@CFLonTSN) July 14, 2019
When Jeremiah Masoli is out of the pocket, Banks is most dangerous because of his allusive speed. Banks playmaking ability has teams keying on him with the attempt to control his offensive and special teams output. This ultimately helps the Tiger-Cats as it opens up other players to make plays.
The likes of Bralon Addison and Jaelon Acklin have played good football. Both are new to Tommy Condell’s offence and are showing growing confidence as the season progresses.
Is Banks in the running for the MOP award? No question, Banks performance on Saturday put the league on notice.
As the Tiger-Cats enjoy their bye week, they will have to have a good week of practice as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers come into town on July 26. Currently, both teams are at the top of their division and this game will not let the Tiger-Cat faithful down.
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