I’ve got to admit, I didn’t vote for the current playoff rules but I’ve now changed my mind as it has kept this season interesting all the way to the last week.

The division winners are decided: congratulations to the Gateshead Spartans for winning the North, the Coventry Eagles for winning the Midlands and the Chippenham Packers for winning the South. The first-round byes are all but locked in unless either the Packers or Spartans lose and are outscored by over 100 points by the Eagles.

As it stands, seed 1 is the Packers, seed 2 is the Spartans and seed 3 is the Eagles.

Next 2 spots are for the best remaining records.

Nottingham Bandits: win and in (loss and probably still make it)

Bandits have the easiest path to the playoffs with a matchup vs the playoff rival Flyers and a sizable lead in the points for column. A loss would even be enough if the Wombats and Pythons lose their matchups. Even if all results go against them, they would take the HPS spot.

Wigan Wombats: win and don’t be outscored by the Pythons (37 points) or the Flyers (63 points)

If the Wombats beat the Spartans they could still be on the outside if the Pythons and the Flyers win with large scores. Ideally the Bandits beat the Flyers to take them out of the equation and that makes the Pythons the only threat. A win against the Spartans is a difficult challenge so the Wombats will be cheering on the Sandslashers to beat the Pythons and the Packers to beat the Seahawks. Once again, a loss and a Bandits win would mean the Wombats would be the favourite for the HPS spot.

Oxford Pythons: Win and win big

As it stands, the Pythons are out of the playoffs because the Bandits and the Wombats have the record spots and the Seahawks are outscoring them by 3 points.

A win will put them on a 7-5 record, tied with the winner of the Bandits/Flyers matchup. If the Wombats lost to the Spartans, then they would get the second best record spot. A Pythons win with a Wombats win and they need to outscore the Wombats by 37 to get the best record spot or outscore the Seahawks by 3 points to get the HPS spot.

Irish Flyers: Win and hope either the Pythons or Wombats lose

A massive task to beat the Bandits is the first hurdle. Do that and then hope that either the Pythons or the Wombats lose so only two teams have a 7-5 record and get the best score spots. If all three teams win then the Flyers would probably need to outscore the Pythons by 26 points to steal the best record spot or outscore the Wombats by 63 points.

Losing would mean lots of finger crossing. Ideally, the Wombats win to take the best record spot and then outscore the Pythons and the Seahawks (28 points).

Oxford Seahawks: Best record possible but HPS is best chance

Bandits win, Wombats lose, Pythons lose and there is a slim chance that the Seahawks take a best record place if they outscore the Pythons and then Wombats by 34.

If either the Pythons or Wombats win, then HPS is the only avenue and then the best scenario is a Bandits win and a Wombats win as that means the Seahawks just need to be not outscored by 3 by the Pythons or 29 by the Flyers. Week 13 isn’t really about winning or losing, it’s about scoring as high a score as possible.

Hereford Chargers / Derby Otters: Still possible

I only add this for completeness but it is possible for the Wombats to lose, Pythons to lose and the Seahawks to lose. That could put 5 teams at 6-7 but the Chargers and Otters are so far behind on the PF totals that tiebreakers are against them.

Right now the Bandits are the 4 seed and the Wombats are the 5 seed with the Seahawks taking the 6 seed. If everyone scored their average score for the season so far, the table would look like this:

The Buzzsaw - Gateshead Spartans

A savvy trade by the Spartans saw them acquire Mark Ingram and he immediately proves his worth by putting up 24.3 points in the definition of a Buzzsaw win, a doubling of the opponents score. Championship wins have been driven by an outstanding running back (Gurley, DJ, Kamara) and this season that person could very well be McCaffrey, who is 50 points ahead of 3rd placed Wilson and 4 points behind 1st placed Lamar Jackson.

Wigan Wombats – 🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Gateshead Spartans – 🏆🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆
Nottingham Bandits - 🏆
Irish Flyers - 🏆
Oxford Pythons - 🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆

Highest Point Scorer - Oxford Pythons

Here are Lamar Jackson’s last 5 scores, 23.32, 28.62, 33.42, 32.78 and this week 36.26. That total (154) is more than the following players have on the entire season: Julio Jones, Cooper Kupp, Lev Bell, Stefon Diggs, Alvin Kamara, OBJ. It would be enough to be the 36th best player this season.

Anyone who watched those Monday night highlights can’t help but think that Jackson and Harbaugh are playing at a different level to everyone else and the matchup with the 49ers this week is a must watch.

The Pythons are heavily reliant on him for their playoff push but maybe this year it isn’t the RB that wins the title, maybe it’s the QB?

Wigan Wombats – 🏆
Flitwick Fireflies – 🏆
Oxford Seahawks – 🏆🏆🏆
Nottingham Bandits – 🏆
Hereford Chargers - 🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆
Gateshead Spartans - 🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆
Andover Sandslashers - 🏆
Oxford Pythons - 🏆

Unluckiest Loser - Wigan Wombats

A win for the Wombats in week 11 and the playoffs were all but wrapped up and the 5th highest score of the week would have beaten playoff rival Pythons and division winning Eagles who both won with lower scores. But the Bandits are also in playoff mindset and they put up the 2nd highest score of the week and that means a sweat in week 13 in a matchup against the Buzzsaw-winning Spartans.

Oxford Seahawks – 🏆🏆
Andover Sandslashers – 🏆
Hereford Chargers – 🏆
Coventry Eagles – 🏆🏆
Nottingham Bandits - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Wigan Wombats - 🏆🏆

Closest Matchup - Oxford Pythons

A very surprisingly close matchup between the Packers and the Pythons. The Python’s winning score of 97.06 would have beaten the Packers only twice this season as this week was their second lowest score of the season so far. The Pythons win the closest matchup with a margin of 4.48, not the closest we’ve had this season but still it took the gloss over the Packers Southern coronation and kept the Pythons in the playoff hunt.

Oxford Seahawks - 🏆🏆🏆
Oxford Pythons – 🏆🏆
Andover Sandslashers – 🏆🏆
Gateshead Spartans - 🏆🏆
Coventry Eagles - 🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆
Flitwick Fireflies - 🏆

Most Impactful Injury - Wigan Wombats

It looked like DJ Moore was going to “win” this award with a big hit to his arm and live tweets saying that it was broken, but he was back on the field with some strapping and continued his big game. Julio Jones continued with his niggling injuries that are limiting his season. The only consequential injury I could find would be Courtland Sutton’s ankle as the Wombats WR3, so slim pickings this week!

Gateshead Spartans - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Oxford Pythons – 🏆
Irish Flyers – 🏆
Coventry Eagles – 🏆🏆
Wigan Wombats - 🏆🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆

Worst Decision - Oxford Seahawks

You can tell it is serious season when you look at the scores for the week and everyone is making the right decisions to maximise their scores.

The Seahawks could have won if they started Josh Allen and Russell Gage (????) over Wilson and Stills but that is some perfect hindsight. That is as bad as it gets though, so Dan gets the point.

Nottingham Bandits - 🏆
Irish Flyers - 🏆🏆
Hereford Chargers – 🏆
Coventry Eagles – 🏆🏆
Wigan Wombats - 🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆🏆🌓
Flitwick Fireflies - 🏆🏆
Andover Sandslashers - 🌓

Roll of Honour

Andover Sandslashers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🌓
Chippenham Packers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Coventry Eagles - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆🏆🏆
Flitwick Fireflies - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Gateshead Spartans - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Hereford Chargers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Irish Flyers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Nottingham Bandits - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Oxford Pythons - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🌓
Wigan Wombats - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆