Adelaide answered the critics with a superb victory over Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
This promises to be an all-star clash between first and second on the ladder. Adelaide's Rory Sloane has recovered from his concussion last week, while Patrick Dangerfield overcame a foot injury to face his former club.
Not only did Alex Keath change attire and equipment when he returned to football, he also changed his diet.
If Gary Ablett wants to come back home next year, let it be with a developing Victorian team - not a powerhouse like Geelong.
Geelong had high hopes for local product Lachie Henderson when they prised him away from Carlton before the start of the 2016 AFL season.
Luke Hodge's farewell game is looming for the Friday night stage, with Hawthorn requesting the timeslot for the round 23 fixture against the Western Bulldogs.
Geelong coach Chris Scott estimates that superstar Patrick Dangerfield is only a 40 per cent chance of recovering from a foot injury in time for Friday night's AFL table-topping clash away to Adelaide.
Will Friday night's top-of-the-table blockbuster be a grand-final preview?
Patty Dangerfield was like Get Smart's Leadside – he was the player who could sprint but not run. The Cats' 'cunning stupidity' foiled the best plans.
Geelong coach Chris Scott will coach Australia in the home international rules Test against Ireland later this year. What's more, he'll be assisted by his brother, North Melbourne coach Brad.
Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield has avoided serious damage to his foot and could still line up against Adelaide on Friday night.
Dustin Martin's altercation with Nick Robertson should cost the Tiger star a week - and his medal chance.
Hawthorn vice-captain Isaac Smith has told of "interesting" social media discourse after his second failed game-winning shot within a year against Geelong, but says he has accepted that "not one kick decides a game of footy".
Extent of damage to Geelong star remains uncertain, but post-match signs are positive.
Geelong coach Chris Scott says Patrick Dangerfield is heading towards legend status.
Such has been the nature of Geelong and Hawthorn's meetings in recent seasons, you could swear you'd seen it all. In this instance, you had.
Alastair Clarkson has dismissed speculation he could replace Nathan Buckley at Collingwood, declaring he is intent on remaining at Hawthorn.
As the AFL clubs jostle for finals positions over the closing month-and-a-half of the home-and-away season, a compelling head-to-head race for this year's Brownlow Medal is bound to unfold.
As Andrew Mackie takes in the spectacular sight that is the Charles Brownlow stand redevelopment at Simonds Stadium, it's clear he takes pride in how the club has transformed on and off the field since he walked in as a young lad from South Australia in 2002.
Come September, high-flying Geelong will be chasing the AFL flag.