In this week's Six things we learned, brought to you by Haier, the world's No.1 appliance maker, we discover the Blues choke when there is plenty on the line, a Docker has still got it and it's time to see the young Hawks.

1. Carlton goes to water when there's real pressure

With its season on the line this week, Carlton built two match-winning leads against two direct finals rivals in two important games. The results from there? Two demoralising losses and two massive missed opportunities. The Blues finished Thursday night's lamentable defeat to the Giants having been held goalless in four of their last six quarters. They led that game by 15 points at three-quarter time, only to be completely overrun in the final term. They led the previous match against the Magpies by 10 points, only to not kick a single goal in the entire second half. Had the Blues held their nerve in both matches, they'd be entrenched inside the top eight after round 15. Instead, their season is effectively over. - Riley Beveridge

2. Jesse Hogan can still cut it at AFL level

In a long-awaited return to the top level after another injury-hit season, the Fremantle key forward did enough to remind the footy world what a player he can be when fit and going. Hogan has had to face different challenges in his time at the Dockers since crossing to the club at the end of 2018, but with a couple of contested marks, some athletic movement and a strong presence in attack, he gave a quick reminder of his talents. If the Dockers can get Hogan fit and firing the former NAB AFL Rising Star winner will make a huge difference to Fremantle's fortunes in 2021 in Justin Longmuir's second year at the helm. - Callum Twomey

3. Recycled Swans have a part to play in the club's rise

Youngsters such as James Rowbottom, Justin McInerney, Tom McCartin and Nick Blakey will be the key drivers in Sydney's rebuild. But don't discount the ability for two recycled players to do their bit. Former Geelong defender Jackson Thurlow had his career hanging by a thread before working his way back in for round 10. He has now played the last five consecutive games and was again important in Thursday night's win over Melbourne as he searches for a new contract. Ex-Roo Ryan Clarke was also prominent against the Demons with 22 disposals and a goal playing mostly on a wing. Clarke has a year to run on his deal and proved he will offer something as the next wave of Swans midfielders come through. - Mitch Cleary

4. The Eagles need their full list to be a premiership threat

Injuries are hitting every club in different ways this season but West Coast's bid for a second flag in three years will be shaped by the fitness of its list. The Eagles were well below their best against Essendon on Tuesday night at the Gabba, and were already missing Josh Kennedy (concussion), Elliot Yeo (groin) and Jamie Cripps (personal). Younger Eagles Jake Waterman (hand) and Jack Petruccelle (hamstring) have also been unavailable, while captain Luke Shuey suffered hamstring strains in both his legs against the Bombers and will be out until at least the finals. Away from home, if the Eagles are going to have a genuine tilt they need their best players together, with at least Kennedy expected to be back on Sunday against the Bulldogs. - Callum Twomey

5. We need to see what Hawthorn's got

It was already obvious, but once-winless Adelaide rammed home the point on Tuesday – the Hawks have reached a crossroads. Alastair Clarkson's men have lost nine of their past 10 games – and, yes, it's the oddest of seasons, but don't let that distract you. They're opting to strike a balance between youth and experience, which is fair, but let's see some of the kids in the final three rounds we've seen so little of. Jack Scrimshaw was the Hawks' best player against the Crows, while the club's other great hope, Will Day, was managed. Then there's James Worpel, who won Hawthorn's best and fairest award last year. Outside of that trio, there are doubts or unknowns about the rest. Mitch Lewis is having a brutal season, but was fantastic down the stretch last year, and we've seen varying promise from Harry Morrison, Changkuoth Jiath, James Cousins, Ollie Hanrahan, Josh Morris and Harry Jones. What harm is there in letting loose father-son pick Finn Maginness, Mathew Walker, Jackson Ross, Dylan Moore, Damon Greaves and maybe even Jacob Koschitzke and Emerson Jeka? - Marc McGowan

6. The Big O can lead Brisbane's midfield into October

Week after week, unassuming Brisbane ruckman Oscar McInerney continues to add to his reputation, and in outplaying Collingwood star Brodie Grundy on Friday night, he did so yet again. Since taking over as the Lions' main man following the back stress fracture to Stefan Martin in July, McInerney has shouldered the load and gone from strength to strength. The 'Big O' is a cult figure at the Gabba, loved by fans and teammates alike, but now he's rapidly becoming one of the club's most important players heading towards the finals. Another 15 disposals, nine clearances and five tackles against the Magpies was a major reason for the Lions' victory. - Michael Whiting