How Can Chrome Make the Playoffs?

By Nick Zoroya | Aug 15, 2023

Three percent. That’s the likelihood that the Chrome will make the playoffs. Over the years we’ve seen teams turn it on down the stretch and defy the odds – think Chaos in 2022. With two games remaining, Chrome needs to win and get a little help from Atlas.

In order to have any control over their own destiny, they need to win.

Step 1: Beat the Redwoods?

This week the Chrome take on the Redwoods in what is a must win game. I think that at this point the team is more comfortable with Connor Farrell taking faceoffs than trying to experiment further, so let's assume he starts and tries winning forward as much as possible.

The Redwoods are solid individually but allow the second most goals as a unit. Chrome are last in the league in shots taken and that has to change this week. The goal should be to attack early and often and I see the two-point shot playing a major factor in this game. Yes, Chrome have only scored one two-point goal but that’s because it’s not a natural part of their offense. It could be. Jack Kelly is saving 52% of his shots and has allowed seven two-point goals, so the opportunity is there, other teams have found success.

In order to manufacture these two-pointers, they need to insert Sam Handley. He’s had his ups and downs this season but he’s proven that he’s willing to take the outside shot. Handley and Justin Anderson account for 50% of their two-point shots so the emphasis should be on freeing them up.

In order to do that, I suggest running several pick plays utilizing Jordan MacIntosh and Jesse King along the arc. If run correctly the long shots will be there and once the defense starts attacking them, the inside will soften up which is where King and MacIntosh thrive. 

The second strategy should be to invert midfielders that aren’t Handley/Anderson. By inverting we force the defense to put their attention behind the cage, as the inverted midfielder dodges they should draw enough attention to skip the ball up top for more two-point opportunities. Skipping the ball from behind GLE to up top will also open up the offense, as the defense will have to constantly flip hips and heads, creating more opportunities for through passes to backside players. 

Lastly, push transition like they did in week one getting the ball to an attackman and then looking for the trailing pole. I’m confident that any of the Chrome poles can shoot when given the green light.

It's safe to say that nothing on offense has worked consistently, so let's try something new and hunt the two.

Chrome Playoff Scenarios

#1: Chrome (1-7) need to pass Atlas (2-6) in wins (this makes the score differential is a non-factor)

#2: Chrome need to match Atlas's win total and close the gap in score differential (SD). Atlas currently at -14 SD, Chrome at -31.

Tune in Saturday at 8:00PM ET as Chrome take on the Redwoods in Seattle on ESPN+.