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EFL Season 12 Midseason Review

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EFL Season 12 Midseason Review

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PigSnout | @PigSnout

04.16.19

 

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The Mambas are in a close playoff race as they hope to make their first playoff appearance in franchise history.

 

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No Clear Favorite

 

This is looking to be a pretty balanced season at the top of the EFL. There are currently five top teams all within two games of each other. The Seattle Predators are at the top of the pack right now with a 6-1 record, but the Los Angeles Reign are in close pursuit of them in the Western Conference as they have won five straight after an 0-2 start. The New York Herd have a similar streak going in the Eastern Conference as they have risen to the top of the conference with their current four game winning streak. The Wisconsin Brigade are currently struggling with a three game losing streak, but they showed that they have the potential to be contenders with their 4-0 start to the season. The Memphis Mambas are also a threat in the Eastern Conference as their league best offense has propelled them to a 4-3 record and they recently handed the previously unbeaten Predators their first loss of the season. It looks like any of these teams could be a legitimate threat to win the championship this season. There are going to be some close playoff races in the second half of the season as home field advantage could be crucial in the playoffs this year with how many strong teams there are. There doesn't seem to be a clear cut favorite right now and it will be interesting to see who rises to the top in the second half of the season. 

 

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Shift In Power

 

With the number of strong teams in the league this season, two teams who are surprisingly not in the playoff picture right now are the Miami Neptune and the San Antonio Wolfpack. Both teams finished at the top of their respective conferences last season and have been very successful over the last few years as those teams account for five of the EFL's last six champions. However, both teams will need to come on strong in the second half of the season to even make the playoffs this year as they both have a 2-5 record at this point in the season. The Wolfpack's defense is still playing strong this season as they rank second in the league in points allowed, but their offense has taken a big step back as they rank seventh in the league in points scored. The Neptune have been struggling on both sides of the ball as they rank sixth in the league in both points scored and points allowed. Both teams were able to mostly keep their teams intact from last season, so they still have the talent to get back on track this season if they can turn things around quickly and have a strong second half. However, the struggles of the traditional powers also opens the door for some new blood to win the championship this season. Teams like the Brigade and the Mambas may have the chance to win their franchise's first championship this season if they make the playoffs. Other teams have the chance to break long droughts such as the Herd, who have the chance to win their first championship since Season 4, and the Predators, who have the chance to win their first championship since Season 1. The Reign are the only team currently in the playoff picture that has won a championship within the last seven seasons. If the current trends keep up over the second half of the season, we could see some fresh faces in the championship game this year with the chance to see a new champion. 

 

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Passing Explosion

 

One of the interesting story lines to follow this season is the success of passing attacks around the league. There are currently four quarterbacks in the league with a passer rating of 100 or better. Season 11 was the only time in EFL history that more than one quarterback finished with a passer rating of 100 or better, and even then, only two did. Passing numbers around the league have been great as seven of the league's eight quarterbacks have a passer rating of 92 or better. One of the main factors in this is the developing young quarterback talent around the league. The last few drafts have been loaded with quarterback talent and it is starting to show as these quarterbacks are beginning to develop. Of the league's starting quarterbacks, seven of them are only in their third year or younger. This trend of big passing numbers is likely to only continue over the next few years as the young quarterbacks develop further and reach their primes. It will be interesting to see if these passing numbers continue over the second half of the season as it could be a historic offensive season for the EFL. 

 

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Another Kind of History

 

On the other side of the spectrum, the New Orleans Kraken are looking to avoid making history this season. After starting the season 0-7, they are looking to avoid becoming the first EFL team to finish a season winless. It's been a rough season for them as they rank last in the league in both points scored and points allowed and six of their seven losses have been by double digits. There is light at the end of the tunnel as they will be able to rebuild quickly with four first round picks and two second round picks in the upcoming draft, but for now their focus is on trying to turn this season around. Despite their struggles, they've still shown some fight this season as they fell just 1 point short of the undefeated Predators on the road in Week 5. They're still eager to get their first win and they have the potential to shake the playoff picture up a bit if they pull off an upset or two. It will be interesting to see if the Kraken can turn things around during the second half of the season and break out of this winless streak before the season is over.

 

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