ELF Analytics: Playoff Predictions heading into week 5

Will Frankfurt Galaxy become a two time champ? Who will be their biggest opponents for the playoffs? Nils Rosjat predicts 2022 playoff probabilities for every team.

July 1, 2022
Author:
Nils Rosjat
reading time:
00:00
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ELF Analytics: Playoff Predictions heading into week 5
© Andreas Bischof | Michael Freitag | Eric Ribé

The first third of the European League of Football season 2022 is already in the books. Some teams have managed to come out on top in their conferences. But what are the chances of the teams defending the top position at the end of the season, considering the remaining schedule? To answer this question, I ran 1,000,000 simulations for all remaining games. Of course, there are still some uncertainties, not least due to injuries and roster moves, that can influence the course of the remaining weeks, but nevertheless I ran the simulations with the best available data.

 

Conference Champions

 

o  Predicted Victories – 8.4

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.5

Right now the Vienna Vikings have the best chance of making the playoffs. They lead their conference by a two-win margin. Their remaining schedule is balanced, giving them a good chance to win some more games. In addition, they have both the #1 scoring defense and the #1 scoring offense. The prediction leads to a total of 8.4 victories. As of now, the only way to win the Central Conference is to beat the Vikings. The next three weeks will point the way for the Vikings as they face back-to-back playoff contenders.

o  Predicted Victories – 7.3

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.4375

Of the top tier teams with the highest chance to win their conference championship, the Hamburg Sea Devils have the easiest remaining schedule of the season. Their rushing offense is the top of the league which helps them controlling the clock when in the lead. Their strong defense (#3 total defense, #2 scoring defense,#1 sack defense) keeps the opponent scores low. These facts help taking the pressure off of Salieu Ceesay leading their offense to a 3-1 record, slowly starting to look more and more comfortable. The Sea Devils have to keep their tension up as they will be switching between playoff contenders and lower tier teams.

o  Predicted Victories – 7.8

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.5

The Barcelona Dragons have one of the biggest turnarounds from last season. From being a franchise with a losing record to one of the top teams starting 4-0. Their passing offense led by the alltime passing leader of the European League of Football Zach Edwards ranks #2 in the league. Eventhough, their passing defense is still well below average, they manage to prevent too many scores by their opponents with a very strong scoring defense. Right now they are leading their conference with one win in front of Rhein Fire. According to the prediction, it is exactly this one win in the direct duel that could bring them the lead in the Southern Conference in the end.

 

Wildcard Contenders

o  Predicted Victories – 7.5

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.53125

The new franchise shocked the league with a strong first game against the reigning champion Frankfurt Galaxy. They have a top 3 scoring defense that is especially effective against the run. Their biggest upside, however, is an incredible turnover maring. Which definitely helped their average scoring offense to take the lead in close games. The Rhein Fire will have some tough matchups while facing some playoff contenders, especially in the next few weeks, and can hardly afford to slip up in the battle for the Southern Conference. A predicted 7.5 victories give them a really good chance to end up in the playoffs in their first season in the European League of Football.

 

o  Predicted Victories – 6.5

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.46875

The reigning Champion of the 2021 season, started off with two disappointing losses and went 0-2. However, after Jakeb Sullivan came back from injury they were able to step up and now already rank number 3 in scoring offense. The defense is one of the best against the pass and especially effective in defending the endzone (#5). There are some tough battles in front of Frankfurt Galaxy, but they will also still face Stuttgart Surge twice. The comparatively easier remaining schedule combined with their strong defense lead to 6.5 predicted victories and a good chance to either win the Central Conference or take the Wildcard spot.

 

o  Predicted Victories – 6.1

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.5

The Panthers Wrocław started their season exactly as they planned with two victories. Their offense and defense rank a bit below average. On the offensive side this might also be related to their change at the Quarterback position due to injury of Justice Hansen. Their passing game might get back on track when Slade Jarman had a bit more time with his new team. This might in the end be the games the Panthers are missing to get to the playoffs for the second time.

 

 

In the hunt

o  Predicted Victories – 5.3

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.5

The Cologne Centurions started of really strong, impressing with their newly focus on a strong passing game led by Jan Weinreich (#1). They feature the number 1 total offense of the league ranking second in points scored. The biggest downside is their poor defensive play, eventhough their defense is stacked with strong local talents like Marius Kensy or Julian Völker. Their remaining schedule is balanced with 0.5. Ranking number three in their conference they have to start winning games again and also need the wins against the stronger opponents as they have shown before in their game against the Raiders Tirol. They will need to get a better balance on offense (rushing offense #9) and solve their issues in the defense.

 

o  Predicted Victories – 5.7

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.40625

The Raiders Tirol have the easiest remaining schedule. After their slow start with 0-2 they were able to gain some momentum by winning the last two games. However, they are still trailing the Vikings by 2 victories in their conference. Even with this easier schedule it will be hard to catch up to the Vikings to take the lead in the Central Conference. The Raider feature a top 5 offense and are ranking 6th on defense. Right now, they don’t have any clear strength or weakness being a well above average team.

 

o  Predicted Victories – 4.3

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.4375

The Berlin Thunders first four weeks were a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Starting off quite weak in their first game, they dominated their second matchup against the Istanbul Rams. They rank first in passing and total defense and show a really strong top 5 run game with their star Runningback Jocques Crawford. However, if they want to make use of their easier remaining schedule, they need to get their passing offense going to be less predictable.

o  Predicted Victories – 3.8

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.40625

The Leipzig Kings are predicted to win 2.8 of their remaining 8 games. Their passing defense is one of the best in the league, which is also supported by a high number of sacks (#1), interceptions (#2). Their big weak point is the offensive play that ranks third-last in the league. With their uncertain Quarterback situation after Jordan Barlow got benched last week, they will have a tough race for the single Wildcard spot as the best second placed team.

 

Almost out of the race

o  Predicted Victories – 2.8

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.75

The Istanbul Rams started with an exclamation mark in a strong game against the Centurions. Yet, in the following weeks they could not keep up with their strong performance in week one going 0-4. The remaining schedule is the toughest in the league which leads to a highly unfavorable projection of the upcoming weeks. The Rams‘ rushing defense ranks in the middle of the league(#6), however, they rank last in the other defensive categories. Also their offensive led by Jared Stegman wasn’t able to take the Rams back on the street of victory. They scored first in many of their games, but failed to continue keeping the pressure up on the opponents defense as the games continued. Many roster moves including key import players, like Tyrese Johnson-Fisher, leaving the franchise lead to an uncertain rest of this season with few projected victories. The change at the HC position might give a chance of afresh start.

 

o  Predicted Victories – 1.5

o  Remaining Strength of Schedule – 0.5625

The Stuttgart Surge started really weak with 0-4. Eventhough, Randall Schroeder was one of the top 5 passing Quarterbacks, the Surge failed to be effectively scoring points. They rank last in scoring offense, which, combined with the third-weakest defense, leads to a very poor projection. Especially, when considering that they have the toughest remaining schedule after the Istanbul Rams.

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