1. The start-slow Crows can't keep dodging bullets
They got away with it against the Brisbane Lions, but Adelaide's worrying trend of slow starts can't continue. They watched the Lions kick the first four goals and trailed for most of the evening at the Gabba before escaping with a barnstorming fourth quarter.
Coach Phil Walsh said poor starts and bad skills were a major concern. Adelaide has won just five of its 12 first quarters this season, and given up leads of more than two goals at the first break to Hawthorn, Greater Western Sydney, Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs on top of Saturday night's performance. - Michael Whiting
2. Alex Rance is worth the length of his contract
Jack Riewoldt said in April he believed Rance was the best defender in AFL and the Tigers backman certainly played as though the label fit on Friday night with another impressive performance against Lance Franklin. The Swans spearhead had just one touch after half-time to finish the match with two goals and three marks as Rance cleary won the key duel. And the defender also had plenty of the footy, gathering 22 touches and eight marks as he provided the club with some strong run out of the backline. The performance underlined Rance's worth to the club just seven days after inking a new four-year deal. - Jordan Chong
3. Charlie Dixon can bring in the dough
Charlie Dixon had kicked 17 goals in seven games going into Sunday's clash against Carlton, placing him well down the pecking order among AFL key forwards. So if the 23-year-old is chasing a big-money offer at the end of this season –at Gold Coast or elsewhere – he'll need to do more. His two first-half goals in the Suns' 34-point loss to the Blues showed he can, but it was his gut-running effort down the wing that nearly resulted in a third goal that would have got the attention of rival clubs. Efforts like that are produced by elite forwards like Eagle Josh Kennedy weekly. Once he recovers from an ankle injury, they'll need to become a regular part of Dixon's game. - Nathan Schmook
4. Jarrod Witts is making a case to be the Magpies' number one ruckman
Witts told AFL.com.au that his clash with Aaron Sandilands on Thursday night was his opportunity to further state his case to be the Magpies' starting ruckman long-term and he lived up to his word for three quarters. Witts was more than competitive against the four-time All Australian before Sandilands really asserted his authority in the last quarter. Witts finished with 22 hit-outs to Sandilands' 50 but the star Dockers was not as dominant as he has been in other matches this year. Witts has now faced Sandilands and Shane Mumford in the last two matches and performed admirably on both occasions. - Alex Malcolm
5. The Hawks' forward line is an embarrassment of riches
Cyril Rioli missed Hawthorn's clash with Essendon to attend a family funeral in Darwin, but as valuable as the star forward is to the Hawks, they didn't seem to miss him. You might have expected that Luke Breust would be the one to step up with Rioli missing, but the sharpshooter kicked just one goal against the Bombers.
Never mind, the Hawks still had Paul Puopolo, who ably filled the small forward void with a game-high four goals, including three in the match-winning third term. Even more ominously for rival teams, wingman Bradley Hill made a good first of a rare turn across half-forward, kicking three goals. With Jack Gunston also firing – if occasionally misfiring at goal – the Hawks could even afford to release Jarryd Roughead to the midfield for extended stints. It's no wonder the Hawks' forward firepower is the envy of the rest of the competition. - Nick Bowen
6. The Bulldogs can win ugly
The Dogs' style this season has been largely fast and free-flowing, which is part of the reason why coach Luke Beveridge was particularly pleased with the way they managed to grind out Saturday night's win. Their defenders were under siege for most of the night but repeatedly cut off the Saints' entries, with Easton Wood enormous in repelling attack after attack. It was the Dogs' lowest winning score for the season, which prompted the coach to afterwards comment on how "meaningful" it was to claim the four points when his players were constantly under pressure and struggled to play the game on their terms for much of it. - Jennifer Phelan