The Western Bulldogs and Collingwood, though much improved this season, are not rated here as among the top teams, and this weekend’s results added support to that. The Pies lost comfortably to a middle-of-the-road team in Geelong, while the Dogs lost to the lowly-ranked St. Kilda. For Collingwood, even though I suggested last week that these rankings may be underrating the Magpies a little due to their injuries last season, easy matches against Brisbane, St. Kilda, and Carlton had boosted their ladder position. The Dogs have had the more impressive wins, against the Eagles, Crows, and Swans, but their good form this season does not yet outweigh their bad form in 2014.
Talking of teams that may be slightly underrated
by these rankings, Fremantle may fall into that category if one thinks that
establishing a match-winning lead should be rated more highly. In these
rankings only the final margin matters. There have been a few games this
season, including in the Dockers’ win against the Bombers on the weekend, where
their lead has been much bigger than the eventual final margin. Based on the
final winning margin, Fremantle’s performance against Essendon was only roughly
about par. Because of these second half fadeouts the Dockers are rated here as
no more than one of the best five teams, despite being a couple of games clear
on top of the ladder. Still even if they are relatively close to their rivals
in terms of ability, a top two finish for Fremantle would give them a pretty
good chance of making the Grand Final again, based on the home ground advantage
they would gain for the finals series.