1. Adelaide needed percentage and got it
Entering the game equal on points with Geelong and just 0.05 per cent out of the eight, the Crows needed to take the chance to win big. After a slow start when their pressure was at a subdued level, the Crows stepped it up to recorded the seventh biggest victory in their history. They kicked 12 unanswered goals from midway through the first quarter until the 18-minute mark of the third quarter and with an 11-goal last quarter – the best in their history - thry lifted their percentage from 104.51 to 111.39 by game's end. With games against the Brisbane Lions, West Coast and then Geelong remaining every percentage point will count in the race for the finals.
2. Will James Hird survive the football department review?
Essendon coach James Hird was correct to point out that even if he was removed as coach the burden of the WADA appeal would still weigh heavily on the players. But 10 losses in 11 games and another demoralising defeat by 112 points at Etihad Stadium (the third by more than 80 points in seven games) in front of their loyal members hurts his cause. The problem with Essendon once again was its use of the ball, recording just one fewer disposal than the Crows but scoring just one goal for every 48 disposals and turning the ball over regularly. Missed tackles and poor decisions didn't help either. Poor Joe Daniher not only had to play on two players but a waiter would be sacked if they provided the same service as the Bomber midfielders. It's going to be tough for those doing the review to make causal links between performance and coaching given the variables contributing to the Bombers' woes but calls for another circuit breaker will continue again this week.
3. Danger time, take your Betts
Patrick Dangerfield's brilliance was on display from about midway through the first quarter when he took a handball from Sam Jacobs, burst across the 50-metre arc, baulked an opponent and drilled the running goal. He then stunned watchers with a pick-up at top pace during the second quarter before gifting Eddie Betts with a low pass to the small forward in space. In a game bereft of atmosphere it was Dangerfield and Betts that provided great entertainment. Betts kicked five goals, with his final one from deep in the pocket worth the price of admission. The small forward as kicked 49 goals for the season, on track for his third tally of more than 50 goals in a season and just three goals from breaking his own record of 51 goals in a season set last year. Dangerfield kicked three goals and had 15 contested possessions among his 27 disposals.
4. Any bright spots for the Bombers?
Forgotten defender Tayte Pears returned to the side for his first game since round 23, 2013. Pears struggled with calf and heel problems throughout 2014 but it was great to see the 25-year-old crack a senior game after plugging away in the VFL all season. Shaun Edwards also played with great heart in just his seventh game for the club. He made the odd mistake but his pace and willingness to take risks gave Bomber fans something to cheer on another bleak afternoon. Cale Hooker also battled hard in attack but his goal accuracy let him down. Hooker however never stops trying. They're hard to find at the moment but the Bombers must cling to them. Unfortunately David Myers, who played his first game since round one, was subbed out with the back injury in the third quarter.
5. How good can Adelaide be?
When the pressure is applied they are a very good side, scoring heavily and having dangerous players all over the ground. But when it drops off, as in the first quarter when the Crows laid just 11 tackles any team can trouble them. Apart from the obvious stars such as Taylor Walker, Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane, Sam Jacobs and Daniel Talia, the Crows have introduced an excellent support cast in first-year defender Jake Lever, Rory Atkins, Rory Laird and Matt Crouch. The football world remains behind them as they chase a finals spot and they promise to be a real threat if they make the top eight.