COLLINGWOOD is back in the top four after smashing Adelaide by 66 points and leaving the Crows' finals chances on life support.

The Magpies turned on the after-burners in the third quarter with six unanswered goals in 22 minutes on their way to a dominant 17.12 (114) to 6.12 (48) victory at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

The game was up for grabs at half-time with the Magpies leading by 17 points before they gained control of the midfield through Adam Treloar and captain Scott Pendlebury to give their versatile attack avenues to score.

Jake Kelly and Chris Mayne compete for the ball. Picture: AFL Photos

Small forward Jamie Elliott (five goals) ran riot, Josh Thomas chipped in with three and Travis Varcoe and Will Hoskin-Elliott were also dangerous, kicking two each.

Despite nursing a massive injury list, the Magpies (14-7) have won three games in a row to move ahead of Richmond in fourth spot on the ladder.

They will slide back to fifth if the Tigers beat reigning premiers West Coast on Sunday, but received a handy percentage boost, going from 113.9 per cent to 117.8.

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The Crows (10-11) remain ninth and will have to rely on other results going their way to avoid missing the top-eight for a second straight season since reaching the 2017 Grand Final.

Don Pyke's side has now lost six of its past eight games and looked a shadow of the team that appeared to make positive strides in last weekend's 10-point loss to the Eagles in Perth.

It was their largest defeat of the season, surpassing the 57-point Showdown flogging at the hands of Port Adelaide in round 16.

Their percentage also took a sizeable whack, dropping from 107.5 per cent to 103.0, which could prove costly in the race for eighth.

Wayward kicking cost the Crows early, with only five behinds to show for 15 inside 50s to eight in the first quarter.

The Magpies kicked the first three goals of the game before veteran Richard Douglas finally broke the drought for the Crows at the 20-minute mark of the second quarter.

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It remained a close contest at the main break with the Magpies ahead 5.5 (35) to 2.6 (18).

Three quick-fire goals, started with a classy finish from Taylor Adams in the pocket, in the opening five minutes of the third quarter gave the Magpies a stranglehold on the game.

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Hoskin-Elliott, Varcoe and Tom Phillips continued the onslaught to blow the margin out to 44 points late in the third quarter.

Veteran Crows forward Eddie Betts provided a rare second-half highlight for the 48,175-strong crowd when he kicked his 600th career goal early in the last quarter.

The Magpies ran out the game strongly, booting six goals to three in the final term.

Crows forward Darcy Fogarty kicked three goals, making it eight from his past two games.

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Adelaide: Forward Riley Knight was ruled out before the game with hip soreness. Defender Jake Kelly finished the game on the bench after copping a kick to the shin.

Collingwood: The Magpies didn't report any new injuries. 

The Crows have eight days to regroup before taking on the Western Bulldogs at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. It's a game that could decide the final spot in the top eight. In contrast, the Magpies have a six-day turnaround ahead of Friday night's clash with traditional rivals Essendon at the MCG.

ADELAIDE                   0.5       2.6       3.8       6.12 (48)
COLLINGWOOD          2.2       5.5       11.8     17.12 (114)

Fogarty 3, Douglas, Lynch, Betts
Collingwood: Elliott 5, Thomas 3, Adams 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Phillips 2, Varcoe 2, Maynard

Adelaide: Smith, Seedsman, Laird, B.Crouch
Collingwood: Elliott, Treloar, Pendlebury, Maynard, Crisp, Howe

Riley Knight (hip soreness) replaced in selected side by Chayce Jones
Collingwood: Nil 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Chamberlain, Ryan

Official crowd: 48,175 at Adelaide Oval