THOUGHT Marcus Bontempelli enjoyed his free ride against Carlton to drive his Western Bulldogs side to victory in the final term last week?

Then you can only imagine how much the red-hot Christian Petracca will be licking his lips preparing to face the Blues on Sunday at the MCG.

Carlton coach David Teague admitted his midfielders "put their hand up" to take ownership after the Blues coughed up a 27-point lead to fall short of taking a scalp against the Dogs.

Bontempelli collected eight disposals in the last quarter and, alongside Jack Macrae (seven) and Tom Liberatore (five), exposed Sam Walsh (four), Zac Williams (three) and Patrick Cripps (two) late in the contest.

Sam Walsh of the Blues is tackled by Adam Treloar of the Bulldogs during round eight, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Speaking post-match, Teague said he wouldn't react to one week and would instead look at the bigger picture for his midfield's performance.

But over the course of the season, the brutal numbers show the Blues are ranked behind only North Melbourne as the easiest midfield to play against in the game.

This week they face Petracca, Clayton Oliver and Max Gawn.

According to Champion Data, Carlton are conceding 14.6 AFL Player Ratings points per 100 minutes to opposition midfielders to rank 17th in the competition (behind the Roos).

From stoppages, the Blues have conceded 36 points per game (just 0.1 less than the Roos) and broken down further, 15.1 points from midfield ball ups and throw ins (ranked 17th).

Sam Walsh (right) and Zac Williams after the Blues' loss to the Lions in round six, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

From centre bounces, the Blues rank 16th with 13.8 points per game against, something that was laid bare against the Dogs, who won the centre clearances 23-7 with ruckman Jordon Sweet in only his second AFL game. On average, the Blues concede an extra 2.1 centre clearances per game this season – the club's lowest differential since the stat starting being taken in 1999.

And for overall scores against, only the Roos, Hawthorn and Essendon have leaked more this season. That's even with full-back Jacob Weitering in All-Australian form and sidekick Liam Jones equal-second in the game for intercept possessions.

It poses a mighty task against the Demons at the MCG who, despite sitting at 8-0, have a midfield smarting after being belted 17-4 at centre bounces by Sydney last week.

Demons midfield coach Adem Yze told the club's website this week he had spent 48 hours collecting his thoughts as to how an engine room including Petracca, Oliver and Max Gawn could be shown up so convincingly.

Jacob Weitering of the Blues in action ahead of Boyd Woodcock of the Power during round five, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

And just like Yze at the Demons, Blues stoppages coach John Barker and midfield transition coach Brent Stanton have been to work this week to try and turn Carlton's fortunes.

According to Teague, high-profile recruit Zac Williams is playing below his best eight games into a six-year contract and per the AFL Player Ratings, is coming off his least effective game since 2014.

Now, along with Walsh and Cripps - who the club is adamant is over his back issues that troubled his early parts of the season - Williams will need have a big say on the Blues avoiding a 3-6 scoreline.