ADELAIDE coach Matthew Nicks says it would have been "madness" not to swing the selection axe after some heavy losses.

Nicks has dumped five players and lost another to injury for Saturday night's home clash against flag fancy Brisbane.

The 14th-placed Crows enter as rank outsiders after two heavy losses, by 59 points to GWS then 48 points to Carlton in their last start.

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"When you're not winning games of footy, it's madness if you continue on with the same thing over and over," Nicks told reporters on Friday.

Nicks dropped ruckman Reilly O’Brien, Billy Frampton, Lachlan Gollant, Brayden Cook and Harry Schoenberg while Lachie Murphy was unavailable because of a neck injury.

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Cripps tackle leaves Crow Murphy sore

Adelaide's Lachie Murphy is left with a sore neck after this strong tackle by Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps

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O'Brien is the highest-profile of the dumped players but Nicks said the 2020 club champion isn't a fall guy for the recent losses.

"There's this connection piece or cohesion which for the last couple of weeks we have missed," he said.

"We haven't got the game on our terms, we haven't played our style of footy.

"We know Brissy are a fantastic footy side but we have got to play our brand. And if we don't do that, then we are going to be exposed."