It's no secret that the Eastern Conference is much-improved this season, with every team averaging at least 1.0 points per game, while three teams in the West fail to hit that mark.


Toronto FC just had a six-game winning streak stopped by the New York Red Bulls on Friday night, Orlando City SC are one of five teams with 20 points and Columbus Crew SC are in the middle of a bounceback season after a disheartening 2016.


Two teams that currently sit in playoff position, when measured by points per game, are Atlanta United FC and Chicago Fire. Atlanta are coming off a 4-1 win against the Houston Dynamo while the Fire pocketed shutout two wins last week: vs. Colorado and at D.C. United.


They both sport high-powered offenses, with Atlanta's 24 goals leading MLS and the Fire not far behind at 21 -- despite ranking Nos. 19 and 20 in shots per game, respectively. When taking a deeper dive, we can see that the finishing has been exceptional.


Expected goals data provided by Opta shows just how special: The Fire have an xG output of 14.85 so far, meaning they would be expected to score 14.85 goals on average based on their quality of chances, which is good for the 13th-highest total. Atlanta have produced 14.25 expected goals, which is 16th.


Those numbers show that these two teams are outperforming, largely because of the finishing abilities of star attackers Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez, David Accam and Nemanja Nikolic, among others.


The Fire's performance gap is almost entirely based on Accam and Nikolic. The two have combined for an xG output of 9.13, versus their actual goal output of 16. The bad news for the Fire is that any kind of drop-off from these two could result in some tough times for Veljko Paunovic's team.


Two important notes before looking at Week 12's xG numbers: Penalties have a value of .79, and own goals are not factored into the values.

Game
Result
Home xG
Away xG
Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo
2-0
1.04
.86
Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids
3-0
.99
.75
Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders
3-0
1.84
1.28
Real Salt Lake vs. New York City FC
2-1
.96
.80
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Orlando City SC
1-1
1.03
1.25
New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC
1-1
1.07
1.60
Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers
4-1
1.33
.66
D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire
0-1
.46
2.12
Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake
1-0
2.02
.48
Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids
2-1
1.41
.22
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
2-0
1.99
.61
Atlanta United FC vs. Houston Dynamo
4-1
1.68
1.32
FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes
0-1
.85
1.16
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew SC
2-1
1.31
.69
Minnesota United FC vs. LA Galaxy
1-2
1.69
.36
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC
0-3
1.15
2.68
Uber-efficient attackers drive success for Atlanta United, Chicago Fire - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/Opta-MLS-lockup.jpg