After seven Rounds, the average points gap per game between winners and losers is:
Top Four and Bottom Four
The top four teams’ performance against their 2013 Ranking and points scored per quarter are:
The bottom four teams’ performance against their 2013 Ranking and points scored per quarter are:
I visualise performance against ranking with this legend.
I anticipate that highly ranked teams from 2013 will be predominantly green if they are performing to their ranking. Lowly ranked teams who continue with their previous season’s form will be predominantly blue.
If a team can beat a higher ranked opponent then this has important consequences for progression. To date at the top of the Ladder, Collingwood has beaten two higher ranked opponents (Sydney and Richmond), Geelong defeated Hawthorn and Port Adelaide defeated Geelong.
At the bottom, Brisbane’s loss to the Gold Coast in Round 3 was an early alert to the threat the team faced during the season. Melbourne’s loss to GWS in Round 3 has been lessened by wins over Carlton (Round 4) and Adelaide (Round 7). Carlton’s season faced difficulties after successive defeats in Round 3 (Essendon) and Round 4 (Melbourne). Western Bulldog’s season has followed the 2013 season Ranking with the exception of a victory over Richmond in Round 3.
The Giants’ win was particularly noteworthy as they were the only team in Round 1 to overturn an end of Third Quarter deficit (3 points).
Winning and Losing
Round 1 performances give a first opportunity to look at how the eighteen Football Departments in the AFL have worked to transform (or build on) 2013 performances.
The average winning and losing profile by Quarter for Round 1 was:
The average gap between winners and losers in Round 1 was 40 points. There was a substantial difference in performance in the Fourth Quarter. Winners averaged 36 points and losers 17.
Round 1 in 2013 was a different kind of Round to its 2014 counterpart. Six teams outperformed their 2012 end of season ranking position. The average gap between winners and losers was 31 points. Losers were much more competitive in the Fourth Quarter of these games. Winners averaged 29 and losers 22.
The average winning and losing profile was:
The Gold Coast Suns won their 2013 and 2014 Round 1 games. The Greater Western Sydney Giants recorded one win in their 2013 season (Round 19 at home v Melbourne).
It will be interesting to see how both of the newest teams in the AFL progress this season. In my observation system, the Giants’ defeat of Sydney is particularly worthy of attention. There was a great disparity in ranking and the Giants overcame an end of Third Quarter deficit. Their ability to do this at home has very important implications for its supporters. It was a local derby win too.