1. Woosha's road warriors are back in the hunt, but West Coast is wobbling
Essendon's season looked dead and buried at 2-6 but the Bombers have become a galvanised group of late, especially away from Victoria. Their stirring victory over the Eagles was the Dons' third interstate triumph in their past five games and John Worsfold's men have climbed off the canvas to keep their flickering finals flame alight at 6-7. It was their first victory over the Eagles in Perth since 2013 and snapped a seven-game losing run in the west. After back-to-back defeats, and a second loss at Optus Stadium this year, West Coast's top-four spot is suddenly vulnerable. The Eagles looked bereft of answers without leading goalkickers Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling and have the Crows in Adelaide, Giants and red-hot Pies to come.

BOMBER BLITZ STUNS EAGLES Full match coverage and stats

2. Bombers recruits go berserk
Many expected the Dons to be a serious flag contender when they recruited Jake Stringer, Adam Saad and Devon Smith and that trio showed exactly what they're capable of in a blistering first quarter. Ex-Dogs star Stringer had Will Schofield's measure and slotted three majors, former Suns dasher Saad (eight disposals) carved up the Eagles with his daring run from half-back and ex-Giant Smith was tough and clever, picking up seven touches, two clearances and drilling a goal. The Dons shocked the West Coast crowd into silence with an opening term blitz, booting 6.2 – the best start by an Eagles opponent this year – and kept the home side, with only a measly behind, to their worst-ever first quarter in Perth.

WATCH Yesss! Dons' three 'S's deliver

3. No Darling, no Kennedy, no Eagles?
For the first time since Jack Darling burst onto the AFL stage as Josh Kennedy's sidekick in round one, 2011, the Eagles had neither of their influential twin towers in attack. That's 177 games. How West Coast would deal with their leading goalkickers' absences – likely to extend for several weeks – was the great unknown, but not for long. The Eagles stuck by the gameplan which had served them well delivering long inside 50 but, aside from Fraser McInnes early, nobody could take a mark. West Coast took only one grab inside the arc in the entire first half, compared to Essendon's nine, and the visitors slammed on eight goals to one to kill the contest.

4. Was this the worst miss of all time?
Every West Coast player will have nightmares about this performance, but nobody will feel worse than poor old Scott Lycett. After trailing by 40 points at half-time, the Eagles dominated the third quarter but couldn't split the big sticks to save themselves – not even from point-blank range. In the dying seconds of the term, Lycett found himself running onto a gift, a bobbling ball inside the goalsquare with nobody within cooee. The ruckman had every intention to boot the ball into the third tier and give his side some hope at the final change, but had a fresh-airy from his soccer attempt. It summed up the Eagles' horror performance overall, but especially in front of goals. In the past two weeks, they have booted a combined 13.31.

5. Eagles fans set a new VFL/AFL record
The combination of a brand-spanking new stadium and West Coast's stellar 10-1 start to the season has seen Eagles supporters attend Optus Stadium in droves this year, and on Thursday night they broke a VFL/AFL record for the most consecutive home games with at least 50,000 supporters. Despite the early 6.10pm bouncedown and threat of rain, 51,409 fans turned up to watch what was ultimately a dismal West Coast display – but it became the seventh Perth match in a row the Eagles have drawn a crowd in excess of 50,000, overtaking the Bombers' run of six matches on the way to the minor premiership in 1999 and Richmond fans' effort of six-straight during the club's 1980 flag-winning campaign.

Optus Stadium was packed to the rafters again for the Eagles. Picture: AFL Photos