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Contending teams review, five key stats, attack, defense, standings, analysis, health check, latest news

Who are the real contenders?

A review of the contenders has revealed a “health check” of which teams are in the best shape to compete for titles in 2024.

Each of the last 10 AFL premierships has finished in the top six of the competition in five categories: cons, points against for rotation, billing differential points, 50 defensive to 50 interior and internal differential 50.

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Featured by Saints Hall of Famer Leigh Montagna on Fox Footy’s AFL360Contender Balance is a deeper analysis to show where teams stand beyond weekly results.

“We spend a lot of time analyzing wins and losses and where teams fall and rise in the standings,” Montagna began.

“But I thought we should take a look at how the teams are actually made up and where they are with their football and their profile, a kind of health checklist.

“These are the five most important statistics in football because the last 10 Premier Leagues have been in the top six in each One of those categories. The only small asterisk is that in 2016 the Bulldogs ranked seventh in points off turnover differential.”

The Lions have recovered from a slow start to the season to suddenly be in as good shape as anyone in every aspect.

Chris Fagan’s side, who sit joint seventh alongside Sydney, are the only club ranked in the top four in every key metric.

“This may come as a surprise to some, the Brisbane Lions are in near perfect form. It is exactly the same as at the end of last year’s home and away season and we know they were four points away from winning a championship,” Montagna said in a statement. AFL360.

“They are doing very well and have been improving as the year has gone on and they seem to be doing very well.”

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Fremantle also ranks well, including a particularly strong defensive profile, ranking second in points against and second in points against off turnovers.

“Fremantle is the next guy, that defensive profile has been elite all year,” Montagna said.

“Their total movement and their inside-50 differential have been improving since Sean Darcy returned and since they found a little more momentum on offense.

“They are the ones who come in a bit of a hurry.”

Herald Sun chief reporter Mark Robinson said: “With those numbers, Fremantle can win the flag.”

Meanwhile, the Blues, despite being widely regarded as one of the top favourites to win the championship, have a defensive profile that is currently not up to par (they are ranked 15th in points against), the only aspect that is really letting them down.

“Carlton is an interesting team… only two teams in the last 30 years have made the finals from being ranked in the bottom four on points against, and yet we’re talking about them being a contender,” Montagna said.

“The problem, though, is that turnovers are the biggest: they’re No. 1, but No. 17 in scoring against on stops. It’s a big problem, when they’ve lost, they’ve given up huge scores on stops, as we saw against the Giants.

“And his ball movement is still a work in progress.”

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Meanwhile, there are concerns for Craig McRae’s Magpies, including a recent slump that saw them fall out of the top eight.

That decline in form is reflected in the profile of the current prime ministers, who occupy the bottom eight spots in every key category.

“This is a profile that cannot win a title this year; it gives you an idea of ​​where they are,” Montagna said.

“We know that offensively they can be inconsistent, be on fire and score goals, but these statistics are usually related to the defensive aspect of football.

“The 50% defense to 50% interior is important. You have to move the ball because you are going to play against good defenses.”

Despite defeating Collingwood last week to consolidate their place in the top four, the statistics are not in the Bombers’ favour either.

Includes Brad Scott’s team ranking in the bottom six in points against, points against off turnovers and point differential off turnovers.

“This is a surprise, many people are wondering if they are legitimate or not.

“Their turnover game is really mediocre… it’s a profile that’s not going to play out in finals against the top teams. That’s why there are still question marks over Essendon, even though they knocked out Collingwood.”

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While the numbers bode well for Sydney, which sits in the top four in all areas, Montagna said the rankings leaders have “a couple of little asterisks” amid a slump over the past six weeks, a period in which it has suffered two of its three losses.

Since Round 12, the Swans rank fifth in points against and 13th in points against off turnovers, a sign that they are “starting to figure themselves out a bit”, according to the St Kilda great.

“I think teams have studied Sydney and realised that they are a team that has no rivals and they are trying to take that away from them. They know that Sydney doesn’t want to kick long to compete,” Montagna continued.

“Since round 11 they are ninth in the competition for time in the lead. It’s not like they are flying like they were at the beginning of the year when in every category they were No. 1 and miles ahead.

“They are starting to be scrutinised a little more… their profile is going down a little bit, but they are still elite.”

INVENTORY OF CONTENDERS

Brisbane Lions

-Cons (4th)

-Points against for losing the ball (3rd)

-Points for rotation differential (4th)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (1st)

-Inner differential 50 (1st)

Carlton

-Points against (15th)

-Points against for losing the ball (1st)

-Points for rotation differential (2nd)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (14th)

-Inner differential 50 (10º)

Collingwood

-Points against (12th)

-Points against due to loss of ball (13th)

-Points for rotation differential (11th)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (12th)

-Inner differential 50 (11th)

Essendon

-Points against (13th)

-Points against for losing the ball (15th)

-Points for rotation differential (15º)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (8th)

-Inner differential 50 (4th)

Fremantle

-Cons (2nd)

-Points against for losing the ball (2nd)

-Points for rotation differential (5th)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (7th)

-Inner differential 50 (7th)

Geelong Cats

-Points against (14th)

-Points against for losing the ball (7th)

-Points for rotation differential (3rd)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (15th)

-Inner differential 50 (9th)

GWS Giants

-Points against (9th)

-Points against for losing the ball (10th)

-Points for rotation differential (6th)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (11th)

-Inner differential 50 (12th)

Port Adelaide

-Points against (8th)

-Points against for losing the ball (6th)

-Points for rotation differential (12th)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (3rd)

-Inner differential 50 (6th)

Sydney Swans

-Cons (1st)

-Points against for losing the ball (4th)

-Points for rotation differential (1st)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (4th)

-Inner differential 50 (2nd)

Western Bulldogs

-Cons (6th)

-Points against due to loss of ball (11th)

-Points for billing differential (10th)

-50 defensive to 50 interior (2nd)

-Inner differential 50 (3rd)

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