If Philadelphia wins the Division with their remaining schedule I will be both impressed and shocked. They have only 5 games left, compared to 6 for Atlanta and 7 for NYCFC. Philadelphia has only 2 home games left against the 2 best road teams in the league (LAFC and NYC), and visit solid home teams RB and SJ, plus Columbus. They could very well manage a couple of wins, but there are no near-certain wins in that set of games. Maybe they shock and beat LAFC, but more likely let’s say maybe a draw there, a win in Columbus and draws in the other 2 road games. That’s 6 (57 total) points going into Decision Day, 60 max at season end, and frankly all that is somewhat optimistic.
Meanwhile Atlanta has 4 extremely likely wins. Atlanta, a great home team, gets to host Columbus, SJ and New England, none of whom are great road teams (though the Revs improved a bit since Arena took over), and are Away to Cincinnati, NYC and the Impact. That’s 4 very likely wins at least. Then let’s say NYC beat them (not a given but quite likely chance) and they draw the Impact. That’s 13 points and 61 total at season end. Their decision day game is home to the Revs and I already gave ATL that win.
That has us aiming for 62 points. It has to start with winning all the home games, including Atlanta. That is 62 points right away, but it does require beating Atlanta and maintaining a 7-game win streak. All else the same, a draw against Atlanta drops us to 60 and Atlanta up to 62, which requires winning a remaining road game to overcome that. Dallas and the Union are both excellent, above 2 PPG at home. New England is 1.60 including the pre-Arena days.
My bottom line is if NYCFC wins out at home including Atlanta, then the rest probably takes care of itself. Alternatively any 4 wins as long as 1 is Atlanta does it. Disclaimer: no guarantees, etc., etc, but these are reasonable possibilities. If the Union beat LAFC or Atlanta drops points at Home or in Cincinnati, then everything changes, for worse or better.