AFL 2020: What a difference a kick can make.

Good teams win the close ones but what if the other team won them instead? Here is the 2020 ladder with one kick games results reversed.

The old saying goes that the good teams win the close ones. We don’t know if that is statistically correct but winning the close ones can be the difference between a good year and poor one. The 2020 AFL season is a case in point, with the 21 games decided by six points or less making a massive difference on the competition ladder.

To prove the point we have reproduced the ladder after 14 rounds with the results of these 21 games reversed and what a difference a kick here or there can make on the face of a season.

ClubPWLDPTS +/- 6
St Kilda (+6)141130441W 4L
Geelong141040401W 1L
Port Adelaide (-2)141040401W 0L
Richmond14941380W 0L
Collingwood (+1)14941380W 1L
West Coast (-1)13940360W 0L
Gold Coast (+6)14761300W 2L
Brisbane (-5)13760283W 0L
Melbourne (-1)13760282W 2L
Bulldogs14680241W 0L
Fremantle (+3)13670241W 2L
Essendon (-1)13571223W 2L
GWS (-4)13580202W 0L
Carlton (-2)13580203W 2L
Sydney (+1)13490161W 1L
North Melbourne (+1)144100161W 2L
Hawthorn (-2)133100121W 0L
Adelaide13211080W 2L
The number in brackets represents the difference between this position and their actual standing. The last column shows the teams record in goals decided by six points or less.

As you can see the Brisbane Lions ability to find a way when necessary has them in line for a top four berth rather than a dog fight for spot in the eight. For the Giants it is the difference between being right in the heat of the fight or on its outskirts.

On the other hand, the Saints inability to win the tight ones has them in danger of missing the finals rather than fighting for the minor premiership. For the Gold Coast Suns, they will be playing the last four rounds with an eye on 2021 rather than to defend a place in the eight.

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