NPGL Eastern Conference Playoff Scenarios

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New York Rhinos talking strategy
August 22, 2016: New York Rhinoss take on the Baltimore Anthem at the Utah Valley Convention Center. Copyright Melissa Majchrzak

With only three matches in the regular season, there is little room for error. There are several different scenarios that could play out as the four Eastern conference teams take on their final match.

Here are the standings right now:
1. DC Brawlers (2-0)
T2. New York Rhinos (1-1)
T2. Baltimore Anthem (1-1)
4. Boston Iron (0-2)

On Friday, the Brawlers face the Rhinos while the Anthem take on the Iron. Let’s take a look at the possible scenarios and who could get in.

Scenario #1 (Brawlers and Anthem Win)

It’s obvious, but if the Brawlers win, they’re in. With a Rhinos loss and an Anthem win, the Baltimore Anthem would be headed to the playoffs. This would be a heck of a turnaround after being swept by the Brawlers in Week 1.

Scenario #2 (Brawlers and Iron Win)

Just like Scenario #1, Brawlers are in the playoffs with a win…no surprise there. But with an Iron win, this is where things get interesting. The Rhinos, Anthem and Iron would all have 1-2 records in this scenario. In this instance, the final playoff spot would be awarded by tiebreaker points calculated by a team’s relative performance during each race.

Surprisingly, after two matches the Boston Iron hold the tiebreaker between these three teams, even with an 0-2 record. With a match win, it is very likely the Iron would retain this tiebreaker and would be headed to the playoffs once again.

Scenario #3 (Rhinos and Anthem Win)

In this scenario, the Iron would be 0-3 and out of the conversation. The Brawlers, Rhinos and Anthem would all be 2-1. Both playoff spots would be decided by tiebreaker points. The Brawlers hold a pretty significant lead in the tiebreaker standings after two matches and would almost certainly stay in the top 2 of those rankings. So the Brawlers are almost certainly in.

The Rhinos hold a sizable advantage in the tiebreaker standings over the Anthem. While it’s unlikely that the Anthem could make up the 16 point deficit in the final week, it’s possible. But with the Rhinos also winning, it’s unlikely that gap is closed and the Rhinos would be heading to the playoffs.

Scenario #4 (Rhinos and Iron Win)

This scenario is straightforward. The Brawlers and Rhinos would both be 2-1 and headed to the playoffs over the 1-2 Anthem and Iron.

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