"Probably as good as we've played this year."

Chris Fagan was full of praise for his Lions after their seven-goal belting of the Western Bulldogs at Marvel.

Coming in with a clear plan to quell the Dogs' influence in the trenches, starting with champion skipper Marcus Bontempelli, Brisbane's dominated in the territory battle early, and didn't look back.

"We have the greatest of respect for their midfield," Fagan remarked post-match.

Chris Fagan during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

The midfield battle read 50-32 in Brisbane's favour, a mauling at the source that the Dogs couldn't negate.

On top of that, their dominance around the ground gave them the up in essentially all phases, controlling the footy with 118 marks to 84 and surging the footy forward at will.

With Harris Andrews swallowing intercepts in the defensive half all night long, star mids Lachie Neale, Hugh McCluggage and Josh Dunkley dominating all four quarters around the footy, the added cherry of Eric Hipwood booting six in front of the sticks makes the Lions a serious threat in any given match.

It sends an ominous warning to the competition that, at Round 13, sitting less than two wins outside the eight, the Lions are far from dead in season 2024.

"Our profile's really healthy other than accuracy. So what I pointed out to the players in the break was just that - 'you're doing a lot of things right boys'," Fagan said.

"Looking at the stats at the bye; we concede the least number of shots on goal, we're fifth for shots for, we're number one for inside 50 differential.

"It's not the profile of a team that's sitting 13th or 14th."

They may also have a weapon at their disposal who is growing evermore valuable in a competition littered with stars, Jarrod Berry.

Jarrod Berry during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Sent straight to Marcus Bontempelli from the first bounce, Berry didn't give him an inch, in the first quarter especially.

The move allowed Brisbane to gain early ascendancy in the stoppage battle and the Dogs had no response.

As champions do, Bontempelli shifted forward to inflict as does damage per touch as possible, finishing the match with three goals from 19 disposals, but the impact inside was too much.

"He seems to like the challenge of the tag," Fagan said of his of his influential star-stopper.

"It might be something we do a little bit more of."

Berry's 2nd half clamping of Clayton Oliver in the 2022 semi-final was a major turning point in Brisbane's upset win and preliminary final berth that year.

In a league stacked with champions requiring attention, the ability to immobilise a Nick Daicos, Isaac Heeney, Christian Petracca or Marcus Bontempelli goes a long way in deciding matches, removing the oppositions' trump card.

The Lions look primed to sneak up on the pack and stake their claim in the top eight relatively soon.

Home clashes with St Kilda, Adelaide and an away meeting with 16th-placed West Coast should provide three wins out of their next five as they look to hit form in the second half of the season.

Brisbane WON BY 20 POINTS

A late season surge like this is not unprecedented in the competition today. In fact, it is quite precedented actually.

Carlton's run to a preliminary final last year came after being placed 15th on the ladder at this time last year.

Sydney's run to the finals after their 0-6 start in 2017 is the most stunning example.

It leaves fans pondering which teams are bound to fall out of the finals race and who remains a just chance to squeeze back in.

Collingwood, Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane all sit outside the eight with a strong argument for clawing their way back in soon.