It was nearly a faultless campaign from Port Adelaide, until it wasn't. The Power topped the ladder at the end of the season and had a brilliant opportunity to reach their first Grand Final since 2007 with back-to-back finals at Adelaide Oval.
But Richmond's tense six-point win on Friday night showed the Power were still a step off the best and without the experience of the more mature and regular premiership contenders.
This year will help for that, but the Power will also launch into the off-season with some things to consider.
Do they make a serious bid for Orazio Fantasia, who will quit Essendon and head home to South Australia? Fantasia nearly landed at the Power last year before pulling the pin but the Power still have an interest and he would add more talent, speed and class to their line-up.
Brad Ebert and Justin Westhoff have announced their retirements, but there will not be significant list change for the Power, who will be keen to blood 2019 draftees Miles Bergman and Dylan Williams next season, with more opportunities for the exciting Mitch Georgiades also expected.
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Having already traded their first-round pick for 2020 last year, and having guaranteed access to local Next Generation Academy talent Lachie Jones at this year's NAB AFL Draft, the Power don't have plenty of chips to throw around during the Trade Period.
Extra key defensive depth to help out Tom Clurey and the vastly improved Trent McKenzie would be an area to bolster if an opportunity arose.
Expect things to quickly turn into 'the Joe show' for Brisbane now that the Lions are out of the premiership race.
Wantaway Bombers forward Joe Daniher has indicated his preference to join Brisbane as a restricted free agent, but of course there are complexities to the situation.
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Will Essendon match the bid and force it to a trade deal? Will the free agency offer be lucrative enough to earn the Bombers a first-round selection? Or do they actually want players?
There is no doubt the Lions need extra firepower in attack, and Daniher's arrival would free Eric Hipwood to be a second tall target rather than the main man. But Brisbane does not want to trade for the injury-hit Bombers big man, even if it does have two first-round picks to play with.
Brisbane, as coach Chris Fagan said on Saturday night post-game, "won't let the grass grow under our feet", with the Lions also a strong chance to land Geelong midfielder Nakia Cockatoo.
Brisbane was concerned about Geelong's strong-bodied midfield unit and brought in Cam Ellis-Yolmen as a bigger option at the clinches in the preliminary final. But those concerns were justified in the clash, with the Cats getting the early running at the stoppages.
It wouldn't surprise if Brisbane also looked for further midfield cover during the upcoming off-season.
A decision on Grant Birchall's future is also expected soon, with the veteran triggering a contract for next year but still to decide if he plays on in 2021. He suffered a hamstring injury in the preliminary loss.