Playoff picture before week 11

Playoff picture before week 11

9 August 2023

Bye week is over and we start in the final four weeks of the regular season. Here is a breakdown of the playoff picture. Let’s start with the battle for conference titles.

Eastern conference

Vienna Vikings travel to Wroclaw on Sunday. If the Vikings win, they are the first team to clinge a conference title!

If Vikings loose however, they only need two more wins. With games vs Enthroners and in Prague in weeks 13 and 14, that shouldn’t be a big problem.

Panthers and Thunder are still in the hunt if the Vikings fail.

Western conference

The Western conference could see the decisive game in week 14. That is, if 7-1 Frankfurt Galaxy manages to win at least as many games in weeks 11 to 13 as 8-0 Rhein Fire. If both teams have an equal number of wins in these weeks, Galaxy needs a win with more than 24 points to have the head-to-head advantage.

Hamburg Sea Devils are in the hunt. They need to win all remaining games (including games vs Fire and Galaxy), Rhein Fire to lose all games, and Galaxy to lose all but the Rhein Fire game.

Central Conference

Three teams are in the run in the Central Conference. Stuttgart Surge can clinge the title by winning two games: the upcoming home game vs Munich Ravens and the week 13 game in Tirol.

The latter game is probably the more important one for the conference title. Raiders need to win the game by three or more, and at least as many wins as Surge in the other three games – which includes the Austrian battle in Vienna.

Chances for the Ravens are slim. If they win at Stuttgart (they are out if they lose), it might however be enough to win two out of the three other games if Surge and Raiders perform badly.

Bye week

8-0 Fire and 8-0 Vikings are in the front for the playoff bye. Realistically, only 7-1 Surge and 7-1 Galaxy might interfere. As none of these teams played each other, it is up to the point differential to decide for ranks 1, 2 and 3. Fire with +237 and Vikings with +177 are comfortably in front. So, unless Galaxy wins the Western conference, the wild card byes seem pretty safe

Wild card picture

Three wild card spots are up for grabs. Whoever gains nine wins, is already in the playoffs. Theoretically, it is still possible to reach the playoffs with a 6-6 record, so only Enthroners, Seamen and Lions (and Kings) are out. However, it is safe to assume that you need at least an 8-4 record for the playoffs.

So the following teams can qualify on their own:

Rhein Fire (8-0)

need one win. Remaining games:

  • vs Hamburg Sea Devils
  • at Munich Ravens
  • at Helvetiv Guards
  • at Frankfurt Galaxy

Vienna Vikings (8-0)

need one win. Remaining games:

  • at Wroclaw Panthers
  • vs Raiders Tirol
  • vs Fehervar Enthroners
  • at Prague Lions

Stuttgart Surge (7-1)

need two wins. Remaining games:

  • vs Munich Ravens
  • at Barcelona Dragons
  • at Raiders Tirol
  • vs Helvetic Guards

Frankfurt Galaxy (7-1)

need two wins. Remaining games:

  • at Cologne Centurions
  • vs Milano Seamen
  • at Hamburg Sea Devils
  • vs Rhein Fire

In the following we will assume that these four teams will comfortably gain a 9-3 record and will play no role in deciding the last wild card spots.

Raiders Tirol (6-2)

Remaining games:

  • vs Helvetic Guards
  • at Vienna Vikings
  • vs Stuttgart Surge
  • at Milano Seamen

Raiders can qualify with three wins. But if they fail to gain these three wins, their playoff qualification is on the line.

Berlin Thunder/Panther Wroclaw (6-3)

Remaining games:

  • Week 11: Vikings at Panthers
  • Week 11: Lions at Thunder
  • Week 12: Thunder at Panthers
  • Week 14: Sea Devils at Thunder
  • Week 14: Panthers at Enthroners

Berlin will be awarded a walkover vs Kings in week 13, so we can see them with a 6-3 record already. Both Thunder and Panthers have three additional games (Panthers have a bye in week 13). Barring an upset, we can assume wins for Thunder vs Lions and for Panthers at Enthroners.

So, it all comes down to direct encounter in week 12. If the Panthers win vs Thunder by more than nine points, they have the head-to-head advantage. That means, they could lose one other game (e.g. week 11 vs Vikings) and would still qualify. Unless,…

… if both Panthers and Thunder end up with a 8-4 record and any other team (besides Sea Devils or Vikings) also has 8-4, the head-to-head would not count, but the point differential. Here, Thunder (+153) is in front of Panthers (+136), and both are comfortably in front of any team from any other conference (besides Rhein Fire). If e.g., the Raiders (+68) end up with 8-4, both Thunder and Panthers could advance to the wild card week.

However, in the scenario where the Munich Ravens win all remaining games, Panthers win vs Thunder but loose vs Vikings, and the Raiders have at least a 9-3 record, the point differential would decide about the last wild card spot. As of now, that would prefer Thunder. However, the decision might up to the Enthroners defense in the final game vs Panthers…

Hamburg Sea Devils (4-4)

Remaining games:

  • at Rhein Fire
  • vs Paris Musketeers
  • vs Frankfurt Galaxy
  • at Berlin Thunder

The best way for the Sea Devils to qualify would be the following scenario:

  • Sea Devils win all remaining games (including the final game at Thunder)
  • Thunder win vs Panthers

In that scenario, Sea Devils and Thunder (and maybe Panthers) would end the regular season with 8 wins. However, the head-to-head would see the Sea Devils in front of Thunder (and Panthers). Unless there is another team with an 8-4 record, and it would come down to the point differential again. The Sea Devils lost the head-to-head vs Panthers, so it would be essential that Thunder is in the picture.

Munich Ravens (4-4)

Given the situation in the Eastern conference, the Ravens need

  • win all remaining games
  • Raiders win not more than one game
  • whoever loses Thunder at Panthers loses another game

Remaining games:

  • at Stuttgart Surge
  • vs Rhein Fire
  • at Milano Seamen
  • vs Barcelona Dragons

Paris Musketeers (3-6), Cologne Centurions (3-6), Helvetic Guards (3-6), Barcelona Dragons (2-6)

These teams still have theoretical chances to qualify for the wild card round, but every scenario involves many blowout upsets. So we will not look into these further.