PLAYOFF MATH: All the possible scenarios for where the Fire can finish this weekend

How the Fire can qualify, finish third, fourth or fifth in the East playoff race this weekend

Playoff scenarios are ridiculous sometimes, especially when you consider how tight the Eastern Conference is heading into the last week of the season.

Following the Houston/New York game Sunday, I outlined how the Fire could qualify and finish as high as third in the East

Today, I really decided to rack my brain and figure out (what I think) is every possible scenario for the Fire to finish third, fourth, fifth and even outside the red line in the East. 

There are a couple of nice things at work here for the Fire. First, all games involving teams that they'll be fighting against for positioning will be over by halftime of Sunday's match at New York.

Second, with Red Bull going for the Supporters Shield and top spot in the East, all games with implications on those two situations will also be over Saturday night.

With that, here you go:

Chicago Fire qualify for the 2013 MLS Cup playoffs if…

- Win at New York

- Draw/lose at New York and have either Houston draw/lose at D.C. or New England draw/lose at Columbus

- Draw at New York AND Montreal lose at Toronto

Chicago Fire finish 3rd IF…

- Chicago win at New York AND Montreal draws/loses to Toronto FC

- Chicago draw at New York AND Montreal loses at Toronto FC AND New England draws/loses at Columbus AND Houston draws/loses at D.C.

Chicago Fire finish 4th IF…

- Montreal wins at Toronto FC AND Chicago wins at New York

- Montreal draws at Toronto FC AND Chicago draws/loses at New York AND New England draws/loses at Columbus AND Houston draws/loses at D.C.

Chicago Fire finish 5th IF…

- Chicago draws/loses at New York AND New England Revolution win at Columbus AND Houston draws/loses at D.C.

- Chicago draws/loses at New York AND Houston Dynamo win at D.C. AND New England draws/loses at Columbus

- Chicago draws at New York AND New England win at Columbus AND Houston win at D.C. AND Montreal loses at Toronto FC

- Chicago loses at New York AND Montreal loses at Toronto FC and only one of Houston or New England win vs. D.C. or Columbus respectively

IMPORTANT NOTE: Should the Fire finish fourth or fifth and have to play New England in the Knockout Round, the game will occur on Wednesday, October 30 because of a New England Patriots home game on Sunday, November 3.

Chicago Fire do not qualify IF…

- Chicago draw at New York AND New England win at Columbus AND Houston win at D.C. AND Montreal draw/win at Toronto FC

- Chicago loss at New York AND New England win at Columbus AND Houston win at D.C.