It’s not over until it’s over.
Essendon’s eight-point loss to Richmond on Friday night almost rules them out of finals contention…
…with an emphasis on the almost.
The Bombers need a few results to go their way over the 17 remaining home and away games but they still can technically do it.
Firstly, they need to knock off Port Adelaide in Adelaide next week and do it by a reasonable margin.
They also need Port Adelaide to lose to Collingwood today, with both Power losses being enough to see their percentage drop below Essendon’s 104.1.
A 20-point Collingwood win today followed by a 60-point Essendon win in round 23 sees Essendon’s percentage jump to 107.3, ahead of Port Adelaide’s 107.2 and with both teams on 12 wins.
Then they need other favourable results to go their way.
Geelong will likely need to lose their next two games - against Fremantle and Gold Coast - to drop below Essendon, while North Melbourne also can't rack up wins.
They can technically win one of those games and secure 12 wins for the season - same as Essendon - but their lofty percentage of 117.2 means Essendon will need to beat Port Adelaide by even more.
It’s extremely unlikely, but it’s not impossible.
The results Essendon need:
Round 22: Collingwood defeat Port Adelaide
Round 22: Fremantle defeat Geelong
Round 22: Adelaide defeat North Melbourne
Round 23: Essendon defeat Port Adelaide by plenty
Round 23: Gold Coast defeat Geelong
Round 23: St Kilda defeat North Melbourne
The possible ladder:
1. Richmond (52, 137.6%)
2. West Coast (68, 123.6%)
3. Hawthorn (60, 121.6%)
4. Collingwood (60, 118.9%)
5. GWS (58, 118.2%)
6. Melbourne (52, 127.4%)
7. Sydney (52, 106.2%)
8. Essendon (48, 107.3%)
9. Port Adelaide (48, 107.2%)
10. Adelaide (48, 100.2%)
11. Geelong (44, 112.8%)
12. North Melbourne (44, 105.9%)