, Salem, MA


October 17, 2013

With two weeks left, football playoffs coming into focus (with video podcast)


Marblehead: At 5-1, the Magicians are smarting from last week’s loss to Beverly, but all is certainly not lost. A win over Lynn English on Oct. 25 would cement them as the No. 2 seed (possibly No. 1 in the unlikely event top seeded Tewskbury loses). With a second loss, there’s a chance they’d go on the road, but Marblehead will absolutely be in the bracket.

Masconomet: The Chieftains may have given up the Cape Ann League Large title with a loss against Pentucket last week, but at 3-2 they are a virtual lock for the playoffs. Masco faces two tough games against Division 4 contenders Newburyport and Triton, but even if they finish 3-4 they’ll remain in the top eight. Finishing 5-2 may not get Masco into the top four because those wins would only be worth eight points.

Salem: The Witches’ win over fellow Division 3 Northeast club Revere last weekend appeared to have them in great shape to earn the eighth and final playoff berth. Then Somerville beat Durfee, and Salem found itself back on the outside of the bubble.

The Highlanders have a higher power rating than Salem because the Durfee win is worth 12 points while the win over Revere was worth 10 for Salem. Thus, the Witches will likely need to win another game to punch a ticket to the playoffs for the first time since their Super Bowl season of 1999.

The good news for Salem is that a possible win over Peabody in two weeks would be worth 12 points and would almost certainly get Salem in the tournament. Upsetting Division 3 Northeast contender Danvers this week would deliver both confidence and a likely postseason berth.

Others: Since Division 3 Northeast has the most local teams, let’s look at the other clubs. It appears Tewskbury will earn the top seed and Wilmington will make it. The other six teams should all be from the North Shore, with Gloucester also looking like a lock.

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