It’s a logjam at the top of the Arena Football League standings entering the final week of the regular season.
“That’s almost unheard of,” said Brigade wide receiver Brandon Thompkins. “Three teams having the same record out of a four-team league. It’s pretty amazing.”
With one game to go, and a record of 7-4, the Baltimore Brigade is in a three-way tie for first place with Albany and Philadelphia.
The caveat is that the AFL has only four teams.
Every team makes the playoffs and this year it’s all about postseason seeding. The Washington Valor owns the league’s worst record at 1-10. Baltimore heads to D.C. on Saturday for the regular season finale.
“Anybody going into the playoffs, they want to go in on a high note,” said Brigade quarterback Randy Hippeard. “Any time you have a chance to win going into the playoffs to kind of get going and pick things back up, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
“We’ve got to be better than we’ve been the last two weeks. There’s a big onus on this game. That’s all we’re talking about,” added Brigade head coach Omarr Smith.
The Brigade is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
If Baltimore wins in Washington on Saturday and Philly beats Albany, the Brigade clinches the No. 1 seed and will get the Valor in the postseason.
New this year for the Arena League playoffs is a two-game, home-and-home series in the first round. You win both, you advance to Arena Bowl XXXI.
If the series is tied after the two games the team with the highest aggregate score in the series moves on.
And just announced on Monday, once the Arena Bowl teams are determined the city with the higher attendance numbers hosts the Arena Bowl.
Baltimore ranks fourth out of four.
The Arena Bowl is a single game for the AFL championship.
“It is what it is,” said Hippeard. “From a business standpoint I understand it. But at the same time this could have been let known a few weeks ago.”
“The playoff format is what it is. We need to beat Washington. What happens after that will be determined after this weekend,” said Smith.
The Brigade visits the Valor on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena.