The Crows trailed by eight points at three-quarter time and were staring at the prospect of a second straight loss before Dangerfield's heroics got them home by 19 points.
Adelaide won 14.12 (96) to 10.17 (77).
Firstly Dangerfield slammed through a left footed bomb from outside the 50m arc to put the Crows in front early in the last quarter.
Just minutes later he backed up with a 40m snap on his right foot from an acute angle to give the Crows some breathing space.
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They sealed the win with late goals to Jared Petrenko and Matthew Jaensch to round out a five goals to nil final term.
"To be eight points down at three-quarter time and find a way to win and generate a bit of excitement when you're exhausted (was exciting)," coach Brenton Sanderson said.
"It was a bit of a theme of ours coming up here to just keep running out the game. Run when it matters, and we certainly put the foot down when it mattered the most which was very pleasing."
The Crows are now 1-1 ahead of next Sunday's Showdown against Port Adelaide, while the pre-season champion Lions are in a hole at 0-2.
Despite the attention of recalled tagger Andrew Raines, Dangerfield was a handful all day, racking up 23 disposals and eight clearances.
The wet and greasy conditions led to an often scrappy contest between two teams that lifted their intensity immeasurably from the first round.
For the Crows it was a hard-earned win on the back of dominance around the ball, winning the clearances 45-32.
Scott Thompson was prolific in the middle (31 disposals), while the multi-faceted forward line of Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Petrenko all looked dangerous and kicked two goals each.
Adelaide was able to keep key Lions Jonathan Brown and Daniel Rich quiet courtesy of shut-down roles from Ben Rutten and Matthew Wright.
Rich had just 16 touches – on the back of eight last week against the Western Bulldogs - and was of minimal influence, while Brown was kept goalless with nine disposals and three marks.
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The Lions were wasteful in front of goals, and squandered a chance to take a bigger lead into the last quarter when kicking 4.8 in a dominant third term.
Despite the loss, coach Michael Voss was pleased with the effort following the round one hiding from the Bulldogs.
"I think that's what we're about. That's what the group is about," he said.
"In some ways, although we didn't get our season away to the start we wanted, I feel like we just started. While we've still got things to work on, we should take better confidence away from that."
Pearce Hanley (30 disposals) was brilliant off half-back, while Matthew Leuenberger (11 disposals and 32 hit-outs) was strong in his first game back from an Achilles injury in almost 12 months.
ADELAIDE 2.3 7.6 9.11 14.12 (96)
Brisbane: Martin 2, Green 2, Zorko 2, Polkinghorne, Hanley, Rockliff, Bewick
Adelaide: Walker 2, Jenkins 2, Petrenko 2, Dangerfield 2, Henderson, Sloane, Douglas, Reilly, Jacobs, Jaensch
Brisbane: Hanley, Leuenberger, Moloney, Rockliff, Zorko
Adelaide: Dangerfield, Sloane, Thompson, Jenkins, Douglas
Brisbane: Ashley McGrath replaced by Patrick Karnezis in fourth quarter
Adelaide: Ian Callinan replaced by Jason Porplyzia in third quarter
Umpires: Shane Stewart, Heath Ryan, Ben Ryan
Official crowd: 21,308 at the Gabba