At some point this season, we were updating the playoff match ups after each weekend and projecting who would win those match ups. We are no longer in a fairy tale world.
The playoffs have finally arrived. Three clubs will go home tomorrow.
#2 Chrome vs. #7 Chaos
All bets are off in the playoffs, but the chances the Chaos withheld everything like they did in the Utah bubble are slim to none. The Chrome have personnel advantages all over the field plus the confidence from shutting out the vaunted Chaos offense for the fourth quarter during their August 6th match up.
(Check out our July interview with defender Jarrod Neumann for some insight into the Chaos’ first half.)
Famous for terrible/slow/possum starts, the Chaos enter the 2022 playoffs after a Cannons loss the final week of the season. The Chaos would have needed a win had the Cannons beat the Whipsnakes in the earlier game. They lost to the Atlas to wrap up a 2-8 regular season. If you’re a Chaos fan, you’re probably banking on Blaze getting hot again.
If you’re a Chrome fan or you’re terrified of the Chaos getting hot, you’re worried about Blaze getting hot. He’s gone over 60% three times this season. In his last four games, Blaze has posted save percentages of 54%, 48%, 66%, and 40%. The Scorpions lost all four. Is Blaze due? Even if he is on another level, the offense has completely vanished failing to score 10+ goals in their last three games. We told you this would happen back in March.
Also, don’t trust a team that doesn’t dress three natural close defensemen to slow down the Chrome attack of Molloy, Nichtern, and Wisnauskas.
#3 Archers vs. #6 Redwoods
The Archers earning the three seed is so wild. They had only one win over a quality opponent but thanks to the scoring differential tiebreaker they vaulted to third overall. Playing the Cannons twice was such a blessing. The Redwoods had a little surge at the end of the season, winning two games in a row for the first time, but came back down to earth against the Chrome in their final competition date.
Pannell has been the engine with…18 points in over those last three games. Can he get scoring support? Irish graduates Matt Kavanagh and Sergio Perkovic are shooting 17% and 19% respectively. Charlie Bertrand has been a regular on Top 10 Plays but he has five games with 1 point or less this season including two of the last four games. Will Manny has been quiet after a hot start but Connor Fields and Ryan Ambler have picked up the slack. Simply, the Archers have more consistent secondary scoring, which they are going to need if TD Ierlan is controlling the face off.
Graeme Hossack is going to keep Rob Pannell in check. The Redwoods don’t have an answer for Tom Schreiber.
#4 Atlas vs. #5 Waterdogs
Following a five game winning streak, the Waterdogs ended the season on a two game skid. Meanwhile, the Atlas needed to a date with the Chaos to end their two game slide which included a 16-8 baptism performed by the Whipsnakes. Also, they lost to the Waterdogs the week prior in which they completely mismanaged end of game and overtime possessions.
The Atlas defense, despite the presence of Danny Logan and podcast guest Michael Rexrode, looked a step behind the Waterdogs in Denver. The Bulls made unlimited mental mistakes in that game which can be fixed but there is no accounting for speed. Michael Sowers was uncoverable and Kieran McArdle provides an unfair complement.
This is comfortable Waterdogs victory if Jack Hannah scores more than one goal.
Week 1 Picks
Winners: Atlas, Whipsnakes, Chrome
Week 2 Picks
Winners: Atlas, Whipsnakes
Losers: Redwoods, Chaos
Week 3 Picks
Winners: Chrome, Archers, Redwoods
Week 4 Picks
Winners: Whipsnakes, Chrome, Atlas
Week 5 Picks
Winners: Archers, Atlas, Chaos
Week 6 Picks
Winners: Whipsnakes, Archers
Losers: Atlas, Chrome
Week 7 All Star Break
Week 8 Picks
Winners: Atlas, Whipsnakes, Waterdogs, Chaos
Week 9 Picks
Winners: Redwoods, Whipsnakes
Losers: Chaos, Atlas
Week 10 Picks:
Winners: Chrome, Whipsnakes
Losers: Chaos, Waterdogs
Week 11 Picks:
Winners: Chrome, Whipsnakes, Atlas