As the season winds down we begin to reduce ourselves to the hackneyed “cop-in-cheap-film saying of “nothing to see here”. The Pies make a big move after smashing Gold Coast last week, but we really shouldn’t be singing the praises of teams who beat the severely injury hit Suns. The Sydney offensive rating finally pushes above league average, something that the Swans have been trending towards for the past few weeks.
Somehow, the top 4 have bunched even closer together:
We’ll look at this in more depth next week, but there’s a real chance that this is the closest that the top four have been since 1998.
Let’s take another look at those numbers in chart form:
We can see Adelaide standing out for its offensive strength rating here, while also having one of the stronger midfield ratings. Only two sides have above-average offensive efficiency while losing the midfield battle in terms of inside-50 balance. Brisbane and Richmond both score okay once they get the ball forward, but don’t get forward enough. We suspect Jack Riewoldt and Josh Schache might have a sneaky beer to commiserate their poor fortunes.
It’s worth noting GWS’ stability in these three charts – they are very even across the board, with the other teams dancing around them. Geelong also mix their extremely dominant midfield with their very strong defence, showing their real strengths this year. No team this year has managed to combine an above average midfield with a below average defence. Port Adelaide comes closest, having done well down back while breaking practically even in the midfield.
Sydney’s very good defence and barely above-average attack is the standout, with only the Bulldogs now occupying the “above average defence, below average offence” quadrant. Adelaide’s offence is placed into context with its defence here – illustrating that with roughly equal opportunity from their midfield, Adelaide should generally win. Except perhaps against Sydney.
Next week we will do an deep dive into our ratings across the year, and try to make ourselves looks silly by predicting what’s to come for the finals.