ONE of the keys to deciding Thursday night's blockbuster at the Gabba could well be how Brisbane copes with Geelong's dynamic forward line, including one Lion who looked his career in the eye earlier in the year.
The triumvirate of Tom Hawkins, Jeremy Cameron and Gary Rohan have left a trail of destruction in their eight games together, combining for 64 goals as the Cats have marched to seven wins.
It's a three-headed monster that is wreaking havoc on the back of one of the best midfields in the competition.
Brisbane's defence, which has conceded the fifth least points in the League, is anchored by dual All-Australian full-back Harris Andrews.
Alongside him in the other key post is one of the AFL's forgotten men, someone that has overcome a slew of injuries to force his way into the Lions' best team.
Marcus Adams will play his 50th career game this week, and it hasn't come easily for a man a week away from his 28th birthday.
He looms as a vital cog to slowing down the Cats.
"You had Harris and Darcy (Gardiner) as Batman and Robin, and now Darcy's gone out, so I've had to try and fill the Robin role," Adams joked to AFL.com.au.
"It's great to play with Harris, he's such a good orchestrator of the backline.
"I'm not sure how Thursday night will look at in terms of match-ups … but between Harris and myself getting those two pretty elite forwards it's going to be a big job and we'll have our hands full, that's for sure."
Adams has played on Hawkins before.
In fact, the last time they met was Brisbane's only win against Geelong in the past eight years, the 'Lincoln McCarthy match' in 2019, won by a solitary point after the former Cat's skyscraping mark and goal in the dying stages.
Hawkins was goalless on that hot Saturday afternoon, missing two shots at goal from 13 disposals.
'Tomahawk' has regularly had success against Andrews, with Adams outlining just how difficult he is to play on.
"He's such selfless player," Adams said.
"He's always in dangerous spots and reads the game really well, uses the footy really well to give the other guys looks.
"He's never out of form. It's a credit to him and their whole forward line unit the way they all work together.
"Him, Gary Rohan and Jeremy Cameron have developed some pretty good synergy that makes them very potent."
Adams will be playing his 12th successive match, the most of any stretch during his AFL career.
It's something he didn't think he'd be doing earlier this year after battling to overcome a broken foot that wiped out most of his 2020 campaign.
"Four or five months ago I probably thought I was never going to play another AFL game," he said.
"I don't necessarily look at anything too far in advance, it's very much a week-by-week proposition.
"I don't look back on what's happened the past few months or what's too far ahead … I looked the end of my career in its eye."
MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list
Adams said he was slowly starting to feel more comfortable, building continuity with his fellow defenders and learning to control his emotions before and during the game.
"I feel when you haven't played for a long time or you're in-and-out, it's hard to not build up the importance of a single game," he said.
"If you put too much importance on every little thing you're fighting a million wars at once.
"You need to take each thing as it is and stay in the moment and that's probably easier to do when you start to build a bit of continuity and start to feel a little bit settled."