Both divisions crowned winners in week nine, with Houston clinching the South title against Vegas, and DC clinching the North against the Renegades in an OT win. Houston and DC will host the Divisional Championship games at home in just over a week, with the South playing Saturday and North playing on Sunday.
This column will include the breakdown of clinching scenarios for the remaining eligible teams (Brahmas, Renegades, Battlehawks, and Sea Dragons).
The Bob Stoops led Renegades are coming off of a tough OT loss to the Defenders last week, and have had a fairly mediocre first season under the former OU head coach. After bringing in QB Luis Perez via trade from Vegas a few weeks ago, the Renegades have managed to sustain a more fluid offense, but still have been unable to put up many points as they are tied (with SA) last in the XFL with only 12 offensive touchdowns all season.
Nonetheless, Arlington has a chance to clinch the playoffs this week with either a win vs. Houston , or a San Antonio loss vs. DC.
In his first season as a head coach, Hines Ward has managed to put the Brahmas in playoff contention entering the last week of the regular season. While it has not been perfect by all means, the Brahmas have dealt with plenty of injuries in key positions and have managed to embrace the next man up mentality. With QB Jack Coan slated to make the start this week, the Brahmas will have a tall task ahead of them facing off against the 8-1 DC Defenders.
In order for San Antonio to clinch the playoffs, they need the combo of a win vs. DC, and an Arlington loss vs. Houston.
Here is where things begin to get tricky, so buckle up.
After picking up a crucial win at St. Louis last week, the Sea Dragons are now tied with the Battlehawks in the North at 6-3, setting up a potentially chaotic final week in the XFL.
There are a multitude of ways that this playoff scenario can go. For starters, with both teams at the same record, if one team wins their game and one loses, then the winner will advance. If both teams have the same result, then the tiebreaker scenarios would come into play. Matty Fresh from Springball Boulevard did a tremendous job breaking down the complex scenarios in this must-watch video:
The XFL says that if the @XFLBattlehawks & @XFLSeaDragons both win this week, the playoff spot comes down to Tiebreaker #4, currently favoring SEA
Upon review, there is a good chance Tiebreaker #4 will ALSO be even, leaving it up to Tiebreaker #5
To sum it up, if both win, Seattle has a much greater chance of making the playoffs than St. Louis based on points scored.
Assuming STL does not outscore SEA by 20 points this week, the Battlehawks would need a variety of things to happen that look something like this:
STL win vs. ORL (with ORL scoring minimal points)
HOU scores at least 6 more than ORL
ARL scores at least 2 more than ORL
VEG scores at least 7 more than ORL
VEG scores at least 6 more than HOU
VEG scores at least 2 more than ARL
This final weekend is bound to be down to the wire in the XFL, as it always is. It all kicks off on Saturday, at 12pm ET with the St. Louis Battlehawks hosting the Orlando Guardians on ESPN.
What are your thoughts on the XFL Playoff scenarios? Which two teams will clinch this week? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!