Updated: Outlaws /National Conference Playoff Picture
The Las Vegas Outlaws and New Orleans Voodoo were scheduled to have a week 18 matchup at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday night but the game was cancelled by the AFL after the league took control of ownership from both teams two weeks ago. While the cancelled game didn’t affect New Orleans’ playoff chances, the “draw” could have a major impact on where the Outlaws finish in the standings.
The Spokane shock (6-10) clinched the 3rd of the 4 playoff spots with their 42-40 win over the Portland Thunder on Saturday. Spokane still needs to win out or have Vegas lose 1 game (the two meet in week 20) to clinch the 3 seed.
The loss drops the thunder to 4-12. Portland will close out their home schedule Saturday night vs the Outlaws followed by a week 20 game in Arizona. Portland needs to win their final 2 games to get in plus get help in the form of losses from LA & Vegas.
The Outlaws currently sit at 5-10-1 on the season. The “draw” with New Orleans isn’t a good thing, but isn’t too bad either (you know what they say about ties…). The half game in the standings could ultimately be what gets them into the playoffs. Their scenario is simple. Win at Portland on Saturday, and they’re in. A loss opens it up for both LA and Portland heading into week 20. The Outlaws will play host to Spokane in the final week in what could be a game to determine who gets the higher seed. The 3 seed will most likely head to Arizona (defending back-to-back-to-back champs) while the 4 seed will head to San Jose (AFL best 15-1 this season). Pick your poison.
Los Angeles came into their week 18 game vs Arizona trailing Vegas by 1 game. LA scored a season high 55 points, but gave up a season high 68 (twice to Arizona) in the process. The loss drops the KISS to 4-12. They are in the worst spot of the three teams. They do not have tie breakers over Las Vegas or Portland. LA needs to win out. They play at Tampa Bay (losers of 4 in a row) in week 19. They finish against the AFL’s best team, San Jose, in week 20. SJ has 1 loss all season, but that 1 loss was to LA. They also need Portland to beat Vegas in week 19, and need Arizona to beat Portland in week 20.
With all of that chaos up in the air, it really is simple for the Las Vegas Outlaws. To quote the late, great AL Davis, “Just win baby.”