I hate being wrong.
And gosh I hope I am wrong on this one.
But I still, despite the two game winning streak, do not believe the Colorado Rapids will make the playoffs.
I am sure I will a lot of "well, duh" comments from people but I am trying to be objective here. Over the course of this two game winning streak the Rapids have put up these numbers:
|Shots||Shots on Target||Passes||Passing Accuracy||Possession||GF||GA|
|at Chicago Fire||9||2||263||68%||32.6%||1||0|
|vs Houston Dynamo||13||4||376||73%||51.3%||2||1|
As you can see, the Burgundy Boys are not exactly lighting it up in any of the major categories aside from wins. And I guess that is what is important. And if wins (and in turn points) are the most important, take a look at the last eight matches in the Western Conference:
|Sporting Kansas City||13||4||3||1|
|Real Salt Lake||10||3||4||1|
|San Jose Earthquakes||10||3||4||1|
So looking at this I should be all excited and pumped for the Rapids and their form and the chances to get into the playoffs. There are a couple of issues with this:
1) That Start: The Rapids started the year on a 2-6-9 clip and that is going to make a serious push for playoffs difficult for nearly any team, let alone one as inconsistent as the Rapids.
2) The Points Per Game Conundrum: In their current run of form, the Rapids are averaging a terrific 1.875 points per game. In the last three season the average point total for the last team in the Western Conference has been 48 points and over a 34 game season that works out to be 1.411 points per game. The Rapids are on 30 points for this season meaning they would need 18 points out of their last 9. My math skills make that 2 points per game until the end of the season.
3) Those Final Games: So is 2 points per game possible? Yes, it is possible. But is it likely? Here is their remaining schedule:
vs Sporting Kansas City--August 29
at Vancouver Whitecaps--September 9
vs D.C. United--September 12
at Toronto FC--September 19
at Houston Dynamo--September 26
vs Real Salt Lake--October 4
vs Montreal Impact--October 10
at Sporting Kansas City--October 21
at Portland Timbers--October 25
So the Rapids are going to need to win 6 of their remaining nine. Even if they win their four remaining home games, they would need to pick up two wins at a combination of Vancouver, Toronto, Houston, Kansas City or Portland. I think they can win at Houston, but another win at one of those places will be very tough.
4) The Real Issue is Consistency: I do think the Rapids can string all of that together. I really think they can, but when you look at the Rapids form guide for the year it shows zero consistency:
The Rapids can string some good results together but they seem to follow that up with some terrible results. For them to make the playoffs they are going to need to buck the trend that they have established this year. They certainly have struggled scoring goals, and the lineups that Pablo Mastroeni puts out there can boggle the mind. But regardless of all of that, the club has to play consistent soccer and string wins together.
Can they do all of this? I am not sure, but a win this weekend will go a long way in determining whether they can make the run necessary.