Round 16 losses by the Geelong Cats and the Greater Western Sydney Giants to the Sydney Swans and the Collingwood Magpies, respectively, have dramatically affected the complexion of the 2016 AFL season home run.
Geelong’s loss to the Swans was not completely unpredicted, after all, as the Swans have been near the top all season, but the Giants losing to the Pies was along the lines of a considerable upset.
The Swans can show they are legitimate flag contenders when they start Round 17 off on Thursday night against the Hawks. A win there would boost their prospects immeasurably.
The latest predictions place the Hawks at the top of the pecking order and their home run features just three opponents from the top eight.
The Swans have just two top-eight games remaining, but they have had some offensive issues that could haunt them in the finals.
Like the Swans, the Adelaide Crows’ remaining schedule has only two top-eight teams left. If they can get past the Cats in Round 18, they only cloud on the horizon would be the Round 23 matchup with the West Coast Eagles. That assumes, of course, that they do not allow the Pies to do to them what the Pies did to the Giants.