Jeremy Howe might as well claim Mark of the Year already. He is simply that good. He usually puts forward the majority of the weekly contenders, but on Saturday, Collingwood forward Jamie Elliott took one of his own against Port Adelaide. Not to be outdone, the Demon got to work at the MCG, turning the Bulldogs into stepladders as took several stunning marks with his trademark ease. He took two great contenders in the first half alone. The club has tried to use his high-flying ability in just about every position on the ground, but it's up forward where he gives the fans most delight. And on his 23rd birthday Howe set the tone early, giving the supporters and his teammates something to get excited about.
2. Turning the tables
The Western Bulldogs had enjoyed the wood over the Demons in recent times, having won their past six encounters. And in the last quarter, they went within one kick of making it seven in a row. But from the first quarter, they were off the pace as the Demons went about controlling the tempo of the game. Before Saturday night, the Dees had averaged just 66 points a game in 2013. Melbourne finished with 103 against the Bulldogs.
3. Libba a quiet achiever
He's often overshadowed in a midfield that boasts Matthew Boyd, Adam Cooney and Ryan Griffen but Tom Liberatore is in the midst of a breakout season. He's found a new level of consistency, going about his business in his standard, understated way. Liberatore has racked up 19, 26 and 35 disposals in his last three games, and he finished with 36 and a game-high 12 clearances against the Demons. Liberatore stuck to his task all night and was instrumental as the Dogs launched their fightback in the last quarter.
4. Once, twice, three times a winner
It's been a year from hell for the Demons but on Saturday, they enjoyed a rare trifecta. It started when the Casey Scorpions took victory in the VFL and continued when the Dees won the first ever AFL-sanctioned game for women in the curtain raiser. And sure enough, that winning feeling was contagious and the Demons arrived at the MCG with a renewed determination. A win over the Western Bulldogs capped off the best day on-field for the club in a long time. The importance of the win wasn't lost on Jack Watts, who said it was a reward for the players' effort "It's obviously been a bit of a tough road, but the boys have kept their head up. Training's been at a high level all year from pre-season, and to get a bit of reward is fantastic," he said. "The boys just stuck at it. I guess it's a testament to us as a group to stick together, and yeah, it was a great feeling singing the song."
5. Gia shrugs the subs vest
Daniel Giansiracusa had worn the subs vest for the past four games but he was given the green light to play the full game against Melbourne and he made the most of it. The veteran kicked three goals and appeared to be the only real dangerous target inside 50m for the Bulldogs. If this is indeed his farewell season, the Dogs are in desperate need of a key forward in the off-season to cover his absence.