In this week's Nine things we learned, we discover that the red and blue print is the real deal, Chris Fagan has some selection headaches coming and Max King desperately needs a confidence boost. 

And listen to AFL Daily in the podcast below to catch up with all the latest news and fallout from another massive round of football.

1. The Eagles are vulnerable to a late kill

In-game injuries to key players don't help, but West Coast has a fourth-quarter issue that needs to be addressed immediately if it is to fight its way back into the top four. The Eagles are 3-8 in final terms this season and on Saturday night gave up a 29-point lead to lose by 16 points to Essendon, getting smashed 6-22 in inside 50s in the final term and kicking 1.0 to 3.7. In fourth quarters this season they have kicked 23.30 (168) to their opponents' combined 35.30 (240). The Eagles have selected taller line-ups than most opponents in order to support ruckman Nic Naitanui and allow Oscar Allen to play forward where he has been a star. But they have often appeared to lack run late in games as a result. They were as short as they've been this season on Saturday night, but still struggled late as returning star Elliot Yeo had his game time managed and Allen and Tim Kelly went down with injury. The Eagles may need to turn to young midfielders who have lacked opportunity to get some run in the second half of the season. - Nathan Schmook  

19:44 Mins
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2. The Pies can't score to save themselves

Nathan Buckley sold the positives, but conceded there was plenty of frustration stemming from his side's 10-point loss to Geelong on Saturday. It's clear to see why. The Magpies won the inside-50 count (44-42) and ultimately had as many scoring shots (21-21) as the Cats at the MCG, but a measly sum of one goal through the first three quarters was never going to cut it. There was effort, but nothing to show for the application. It's something that is indicative of Collingwood's past 18 months. It has now endured six goalless quarters for the season, the most of any side in the competition. It has also stuttered through 15 goalless terms since the start of 2020, the most of any team behind last year's wooden spooners Adelaide with 16. The Pies can work as hard as they want – and, despite a 2-9 record on the season, there's no indication they've given up – but without reward on the scoreboard, victories will continue to elude them. - Riley Beveridge

20:09 Mins
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3. The red and blue print is the real deal

It was probably Melbourne which had more to prove in Friday night’s top-of-the-ladder clash with the Western Bulldogs, and the Demons delivered in spades. The Dees’ 28-point win at Marvel Stadium was comprehensive, and should have been more given their dominance throughout the game. Having made the finals the past two years the Dogs already had some credentials in the bank, and the Demons’ big swing at their fellow contender landed. In doing so, the Demons also found a blueprint for how to stop the Bulldogs, who have been a juggernaut this season with their fast and brilliant ball use. If the clubs meet in the finals the Demons will head in with the important belief they can repeat the job. - Callum Twomey

4. 'CJ' worth the wait

A lot has been written about the one-game, fourth-year Callum Coleman-Jones over the past few years. Out of contract and last year receiving a 10-week ban for a COVID-19 breach, Coleman-Jones starred in his second game at the top level since his debut nearly two years ago. A little spluttery to start (conceding a goal to Taylor Walker at a throw-in), the forward-ruck hit his stride, proving difficult to stop in the air (four contested marks) and kicking four goals. Now set to have a decent run at the top level in the absence of the injured Tom Lynch, demand from other clubs for the 21-year-old will continue to increase. - Sarah Black

5. Chris Fagan has some selection headaches coming

Whether it's Friday night's blockbuster against Melbourne or the following match against North Melbourne in round 14, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has some tough selection decisions around the corner. Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale (ankle) is on the verge of returning and the only problem is who to leave out. The Lions' midfield has been humming in Neale's absence, with Rhys Mathieson and Deven Robertson again crucial against GWS, combining for 39 disposals, 10 tackles and seven clearances. Reliable Ryan Lester will also be back in the frame, and his ability to play as a third tall defender could put pressure on impressive James Madden or Callum Ah Chee. There's about to be some very unlucky players miss out from the team that has won seven on the trot. - Michael Whiting

6. Max King desperately needs a confidence boost  

There is no doubt Max King is one of the most exciting young forwards in the competition, but at the moment he looks like a player devoid of confidence. Against North Melbourne on Saturday, King finished with just eight disposals, one mark and 0.2. In his previous three matches, the youngster has kicked 2.8, with his accuracy in front of goal becoming a real worry. If the Saints are to get their season back on track, they need King to start imposing himself in the forward line again. But it's clear that first he needs to find a way to regain his confidence and get his mojo back. - Luke Michael

7. Big Charlie is still Port's barometer

Charlie Dixon is Port Adelaide's most important player and Ken Hinkley knows it. That's why Hinkley inserted Dixon into the ruck at the opening bounce against the Dockers on Sunday and the veteran big man didn't let his side down as he got back to his pack-crashing best to set the tone and get Port rolling. Dixon had three contested marks and two goals in the first quarter alone and don't be shocked to see Hinkley use the veteran in a similar mould come finals time. - Jonathan Healy

8. The importance of Isaac can't be ignored

Lance Franklin is still the main man in the Sydney forward line, and has 22 goals from seven matches, but Isaac Heeney might be the most important. The Swans are now 7-2 when Heeney plays and 0-2 without him, that record improving on Sunday as the 25-year-old gathered 22 disposals, 14 marks and three goals against Carlton in what was voted a best-on-ground performance. Heeney is one of the trickier match-ups in the competition, thanks to his ability to play taller than his 185cm should allow, while he can also push into and back from the midfield to help move the ball. Heeney is adding more of a forward threat too, and now has 16 goals in nine matches, as he builds an unlikely twin towers partnership with Franklin. - Martin Pegan

9. At their best the Suns can aim for September

Knocking off Hawthorn in its current incarnation is no great feat, but when Gold Coast is up and running it is a classy machine that looks capable of anything. The burden of carrying the forward line on his slim shoulders can look too much for Ben King at times, but with Izak Rankine on song the Suns' attacking structure takes on a much more complex and powerful appearance. Sam Collins is tightening the defensive unit by the week, and every game the midfield plays together adds another level of understanding to plentiful speed and skill. With Matt Rowell closing on a return, the Suns can go to next week's bye thinking maybe, just maybe, September will be more than Food and Flower Festival month on the Gold Coast this year. - Howard Kimber