CHAMPION Adelaide forward Eddie Betts put a difficult week behind him with a sensational six-goal haul to keep the unbeaten Crows on top of the ladder.
After being subjected to racial abuse at last weekend's Showdown, Betts let his football do the talking as the Crows beat Essendon by 65 points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
The Crows (4-0) did the damage with a rollicking 15-goal first half before cruising past the finish line - 24.9 (153) to 13.10 (88).
Betts had the honour of tossing the coin before the game, sharing an embrace with fellow Indigenous star Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti in the middle of the ground.
It wasn't long before Betts unleashed his bag of tricks, remarkably holding his balance to take a stunning mark around Mark Baguley before kicking the goal.
But Betts saved his best for last, snapping from the pocket named in his honour in front of the old scoreboard to the delight of 47,492 adoring fans.
"That's the quality of the guy, he dealt with that issue and he was in a really good headspace," Crows coach Don Pyke said.
"We know what Eddie brings to our team, he's part of our leadership group.
"He was special again tonight."
Crows skipper Taylor Walker was influential with five goals, while Rory Laird (34 disposals) and Rory Sloane (33 disposals) found plenty of the ball.
Bombers best and fairest Zach Merrett had another busy game with 34 possessions, but the visitors were completely outplayed to drop to 2-2 for the season.
The Crows will be sweating on the fitness of defender Jake Kelly, who left the game in the third quarter with an eye injury.
Walker booted four of his side's nine goals in a free-flowing opening term as the Crows took a handy 36-point lead into the quarter-time break.
"Probably what bothered me the most was how in that first quarter and a half how far off the mark we were, how much slicker Adelaide looked," Bombers coach John Worsfold said.
"There were times when we got the ball we looked really good, but then we would then make errors that Adelaide preyed on and really punished us.
"We couldn't slow the game down at all.
"The game was played really open and fast and Adelaide are better at that than us."
The speed of the Crows and the quality of their ball movement was too much for the Bombers to handle.
The Bombers couldn't get hold of the Crows and delivered just 17 tackles in the first half.
The up-tempo game favoured the Crows as they kicked five of the final six goals of the second term to lead by 52 points at half time – 15.6 (96) to 7.2 (44).
It was the most points the Crows have scored in a first half since round 17, 1997.
The Bombers increased their pressure in the third term, winning the tackle count (20-13) and the inside 50s (20-12) to reduce the margin to 40 points heading into the last quarter.
Crows defender Jake Kelly left the ground in the third quarter with an eye injury and didn't return to the game. Kelly was taken to hospital and will be assessed during the week. Winger Charlie Cameron appeared to be troubled by a hamstring injury, but returned to the game.
The only concern for the Bombers is Conor McKenna, who was reported for rough conduct on Crows forward Riley Knight.
The Crows will aim to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they face Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium next Saturday, 4.35pm AEST. Meanwhile, the Bombers have a 10-day break to regroup before their traditional Anzac Day clash with Collingwood at the MCG on April 25, 3.20pm AEST.
ADELAIDE 9.2 15.6 17.7 24.9 (153)
ESSENDON 3.2 7.2 10.9 13.10 (88)
Adelaide: Betts 6, Walker 5, Otten 2, Atkins 2, Sloane 2, Lynch 2, Cameron, Menzel, Laird, Douglas
Essendon: McDonald-Tipungwuti 4, Colyer 3, Langford 2, Daniher 2, Fantasia, Zaharakis
Adelaide: Walker, Betts, Sloane Laird, Jacobs, Smith
Essendon: Colyer, Merrett, Goddard, Kelly, Zaharakis, Daniher
Adelaide: Kelly (eye)
Reports: McKenna (head high contact)
Umpires: Deboy, Schmitt, Kamolins