WITH half of the home-and-away season behind us, teams get a chance to have a breather over the next three weeks with one bye each.

Six teams get this weekend off, then another six in round 13 and the final six in round 14.

Over that period AFL.com.au will have a look at each resting team with an important statistic that has defined the first half of their season. 

To start with we’ll look at the round 12 bye sides: Carlton, Essendon, Greater Western Sydney, Port Adelaide, Richmond and St Kilda.

All stats provided by Champion Data. 

  Category 2021 avg Rank 2022 avg Rank
Key stat Disposal differential -16.7 #13 +49.4 #1
Up in 2022 Cont. poss. differential -7.1 #15 +15.0 #1
Down in 2022 Score per I50% 44.8% #3 44.2% #8

One of the big improvers early this season under new coach Michael Voss, it’s not too difficult to see where the Blues have made their progress. Like their coach was as a player, Carlton have steamrolled teams in contested ball, improving its differential by a whopping 22 a game to be the best in the competition. The resurgence of Patrick Cripps, the emergence of Matthew Kennedy and the additions of George Hewett and Adam Cerra have all had a major impact in this department. It’s led to the Blues having the greatest disposal differential in the League at plus-49.4 a game.

  Category 2021 avg Rank 2022 avg Rank
Key stat Cont. poss. differential -1.1 #8 -10.3 #16
Down in 2022 Scores from turnover diff. -2.6 #10 -19.7 #15
Down in 2022 Goal per I50% 24.0% #3 20.4% #16

With just two wins from the opening 11 rounds, it’s been quite a drop-off for the embattled Bombers after playing finals in 2021. As you’d expect, statistics show there’s holes everywhere from winning the ball to scoring efficiently with it. Essendon is third-last in contested possession rate at minus-10 a game, and perhaps just as importantly are losing the ‘turnover game’. Last year they were middle of the pack, but in 2022 that has slipped to 15th, conceding 20 points more than they’re scoring from turnovers.

Dyson Heppell leads the Bombers off after the loss to Sydney in round nine on May 14, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos
  Category 2021 avg Rank 2022 avg Rank
Key stat Time in fwd half differential N/A N/A -5:33 #15
Up in 2022 Shot at goal accuracy 46.4% #12 50.8% #6
Down in 2022 Scores from turnover diff. -6.3 #11 -21.3 #16

Saying farewell to the senior coach ahead of round nine tells us enough about how difficult the season has been for the Giants. Much like Essendon, they played finals last season – winning an elimination final against arch rival Sydney – but have dropped away dramatically this year, winning just three games to date. There’s a couple of glaring numbers that need to be reversed, with GWS spending more than five minutes less in its front half than their opposition in 2022 to rank 15th. Again, like the Bombers, they’ve been poor in turnover differential, dropping from 11th last season to 16th and conceding an additional 15 points a game in that area.

Toby Greene after GWS' loss to Brisbane in round 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos
  Category 2021 avg Rank 2022 avg Rank
Key stat Pressure factor N/A N/A 1.85 #2
Up in 2022 Goal per I50% 23.4% #7 20.3% #17
Down in 2022 Shot at goal accuracy 49.1% #6 43.1% #18

After a horror start to the season in which they lost their first five matches, Port have steadied the ship by winning five of their next six. There’s one statistic that stands out like a beacon for why Ken Hinkley’s men got off to such a shaky start. Their shot at goal accuracy has dropped from 49 per cent last season to 43 per cent this season, seeing a slide from sixth in the AFL to dead last. The inaccuracy has resulted in them being the second-least efficient team going inside 50. Close losses to Brisbane (11 points), Adelaide (four points) and Carlton (three points) all contained shots at goal they’d like to have back.

Trent Dumont kicks at goal during Port Adelaide's clash with Essendon in round 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos
  Category 2021 avg Rank 2022 avg Rank
Key stats Score per I50% N/A N/A 46.1% #2
  Scores from turnover N/A N/A 62.0 #2
Up in 2022 Score per I50% 47.9% #9 51.8% #4

The Tigers have shown glimpses of their premiership-winning best in the first half of the season and it’s easy to see why. Just like it did when winning three flags in four years, Richmond have harassed and feasted on opposition turnovers, generating 62 points a game from that scoring source to rank second in the AFL. With Tom Lynch (31), Shai Bolton (21) and Jack Riewoldt (21) all prolific around goal, they are also second in the league for scores per inside 50 and fourth for goalkicking accuracy. 

  Category 2021 avg Rank 2022 avg Rank
Key stat Pressure factor N/A N/A 1.84 #3
Up in 2022 Points against 81.6 #10 70 #3
Up in 2022 Score per I50% 40.9 #15 45.9% #4

One of the big movers this season, the Saints have covered all their bases in the first 11 rounds. They pressure, they score well and they defend well – a formula that’s already generated eight wins. In fact, Brett Ratten’s team is ranked third in the AFL for pressure factor, and with Therabody AFL All-Australian contenders like Callum Wilkie and Jack Sinclair in the defensive 50, they are also ranked third for points conceded, giving up just 70 a game. A huge jump from last year has come in scoring efficiency, moving from 15th for scores each inside 50, all the way up to fourth.