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Crew Playoffs 4caster - Game 18

In their return to Eastern Conference play, the Crew get blown out for the first time in 2014.

The guy on the right is clearly not a Crew fan.
The guy on the right is clearly not a Crew fan.
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Current Playoff Outlook: Like Being Stuck in Garbage Closing In On You

If the Crew miss the playoffs this year, Saturday's loss to New York could be the game you point to and say, "Hope started to fade after *this* game."  How they respond this week, on short rest against two more Eastern Conference opponents, could make (or definitely break) the season.

So while there are still 16 games left in the Crew's season, if you're a fan I'd recommend figuring out where you left your panic button.  Four of the five teams ahead of the Crew in the East won their games this weekend, plus Chicago leapfrogged them as well from a PPG perspective.  Since March 30, the Crew have won a grand total of one game.  The next worst teams, Philly and Montreal, each won three.  Put another way, from a points perspective the Crew have been the worst team in MLS since April.  Mercifully, the east as a conference has been weak so far this year, and the Crew are still within a couple rebound games of being in playoff position.

But two more weeks without wins could leave them in a very stinky place, under increasing pressure... Kind of like that scene in Star Wars when the good guys are trapped in garbage.  My breakdown of the Crew's position in the MLS East:

Crew's #

Projected Pts To Win the East

56 Sporting KC and Toronto both won, which kept pace with DC United.  I still can't believe DC is leading the east this year.

Projected Pts To Make Playoffs (5th Place in Eastern Conference)

44 Not only did New York's win break their tie with the Crew, they also earned a lead in the next two tiebreakers: Wins and Goal Differential (+6!).  Worst possible time for Columbus to lay an egg.  Plus, it was in SDHC Gregg's old neighborhood.  He's not used to losing in New Jersey, and was probably super pissed after the game.
Current Crew Points
20 1 win in the last 15 games.  Under the current MLS playoff format, no team has ever qualified with less than 43 points or 10 wins.  Ties won't cut it anymore.

Projected Additional Points Needed for Playoffs

24 44-20 = 24.  New York is currently on pace for 43 points, but we'd probably lose a tiebreaker with them (hence the 44 instead of 43).  My less math-y gut, and history, tells me 49 points will be needed for playoffs.

Example Record Needed for 24 points

6-4-6 For 24 points, 6 wins in the final 16 could suffice.  But for 29 points, they will need at least 8 wins.

PPG Needed to Make Playoffs


24/16 = 1.5.  Doable.

To get to 49 points, they would need a 1.81 PPG.  This year, only Seattle has a record this good.  Not saying it can't be done, but it's less likely with each week without a win.

Who Do I Root For This Week?

Other than 6 points from the Crew's two home games, a Vancouver win over Toronto on Wednesday would be nice. 
The Revolution are in a free-fall after losing five straight, and have a mid-week road trip to LA... so a mid-week Galaxy win would also be great.

Also, root for the economies of Eastern Europe to crash.  If that's where the Crew scouts are looking for a striker, the weaker the koruna, forint and kuna the better.