CAN YOU imagine a situation where Carlton is just two games outside the top eight? Or what about one where Melbourne is level with Gold Coast on the bottom of the ladder?

Well, it's a scenario that was pretty close to unfolding this season.

A total of 26 games have been decided by under a kick this year. And if you flip all of those results, picturing that kick went the other side of the post, the ladder looks a little different.

The Blues would have three more wins, putting them within touching distance of a finals spot, while the likes of the Demons, the Saints and the Swans look a little worse for wear.

While the top eight spots themselves wouldn't change, the race for those last finals positions would certainly tighten by a significant margin. In fact, there would be seven teams within a game of each other, all vying for the final three positions.

North Melbourne would come into the equation as the benefactor of two more wins, while Hawthorn would also join the finals picture having won one more match.

Carlton, which has lost four games by under a kick this season, would also still be around the mark and could have risen from 17th to 13th on the ladder with a bit more fortune.

Gold Coast has been involved in the most games decided by less than a kick this season, but its spot on the ladder wouldn't change as a result of its 3-3 record in those close matches.

However, it would be joined by Melbourne down the bottom, with the Dees having come out on top in three of its four games decided by fewer than six points this season.

The flipped ladder
4.West Coast11544
6.Greater Western Sydney9736
8.Essendon 9736
9.North Melbourne9736
10.Port Adelaide8832
12.Western Bulldogs8832
13.Carlton 7928
16.St Kilda51116
18.Gold Coast31312