With just four rounds left of home and away action in 2022, things are heating up in the race for finals.
The Cats have announced themselves as the front runners after an impressive run of form, while Melbourne's loss to the Bulldogs sees movement among the top four.
Heading into Round 20, here's how Zero Hanger's Power Rankings is shaping up.
1. Geelong (-)
With just four rounds remaining and very winnable matches scheduled against the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, Gold Coast and West Coast, it's hard to see the Cats relinquishing their hold on the top spot.
2. Brisbane (+2)
In one of the more competitive Q Clash's from recent years, the Lions managed to solidify their title as looming September threats with a 17-point win over Gold Coast.
A relatively close win over the Suns may not seem like reason enough for the Lions to overtake two rivals, but with Melbourne's drop in form and Freo's draw presenting ample opportunity to stake their claim on a top four spot, Brisbane did exactly that.
3. Melbourne (-1)
The Demons have found themselves in a slump as we approach the end of the season, having lost two of their last four games. Saturday night's 10-point loss to the Bulldogs didn't produce bad footy by any means, but the reigning premiers just didn't have enough to stop the Dogs.
Melbourne still sit second on the AFL ladder, but are being chased by Brisbane and Collingwood who sit behind them on percentage alone. Have a big test against Fremantle on Friday night to keep their spot on the ladder.
4. Fremantle (-1)
Fremantle played out the first draw of the season against Richmond on Friday night, heading back to Western Australia with just two points. The Dockers remain well in contention for a top-four finish despite the slip, and will be eyeing a full four-point result on Friday night against the Demons.
5. Collingwood (-)
Unlucky not to climb given their recent form. Now on a nine-game win streak after Jamie Elliot's after-the-siren heroics, the Pies are heading into September with some serious momentum.
The Pies face Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Carlon to close out the home and away season, and look likely to extend that winning streak to at least ten games. Will be one of, if not the, team to watch over the next month.
6. Sydney (-)
The Swans looked deadly in the first term against Adelaide, piling on nine goals before the quarter-time siren had sounded. Surprisingly though, the Crows managed to outscore the Swans for the following three terms, with Sydney still managing to run out 33-point winners.
Based on their first quarter form alone, the Swans should be climbing the table, but one stellar quarter isn't quite enough to solidify the Swans as finals heavyweights. Face their cross-town rivals GWS next in what is an excellent opportunity to prove their mettle.
7. Carlton (-)
The Blues took care of GWS to the tune of 36 points, doing just about what was expected of them. Michael Voss' men are now sitting two games inside the top eight and seem to have bounced back well from Round 18's loss to Geelong.
Games to come against Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Collingwood are all vital in shaping the Blues' September campaign, with the club still a slim chance to obtain that elusive double chance.
8. Western Bulldogs (-)
While there's no making amends for a grand final loss, the Bulldogs' 10-point win over Melbourne should at least give the side plenty of confidence heading into the final month of the season.
Currently in the eight, but ahead of the Saints on percentage alone, the Dogs are now tasked with backing up their win over the reigning premiers with a clash against the Cats in Geelong. Win that and it's almost time to cancel September plans.
9. Richmond (-)
Two points in the bank is better than none, but for the Tigers, Friday night's draw was a big dent in their finals chances. Richmond had ample opportunity to win the game, but like recent weeks, squandered each of them.
Can't fall a spot for losing a game they were one kick away from winning, but can't gain one for losing a game they were one kick away from winning. Need to improve against Brisbane or become comfortable in ninth spot.
10. St Kilda (-)
The Saints did enough to grind out a win against the Eagles, but like most of their performances after the bye, it didn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in a side who many thought would be featuring in finals.
11. Port Adelaide (-)
The Power are stiff not to find themselves trending upwards after pushing Geelong right to the final siren. The two sides played electrifying footy, with the Cats eventually running out 12-point victors.
Port have been competitive against Melbourne and Geelong over the last two weeks and have opportunities to improve their standing with winnable matches against Essendon and Adelaide to come in the final two rounds, but those wins will have very little impact on the competition's standings as a whole.
12. Hawthorn (+1)
The Hawks have officially won three matches in a row, with their latest 46-point victory coming at the expense of the Kangaroos.
Sam Mitchell's men has quite a day down in Tasmania, kicking 19 goals in a high-scoring affair. The rebuild is showing plenty of promise, with games against St Kilda, Gold Coast, Richmond and the Western Bulldogs providing plenty of opportunities for the Hawks to head into 2023 with some momentum.
13. Gold Coast (-1)
The Suns are very stiff to lose a place after a competitive showing in the Q Clash against the Lions, but as the final siren sounded to leave the club without the four points, it also stripped away that slim chance they had at a maiden finals appearance.
There's still been genuine improvement among Stuart Dew's men in 2022 and plenty of light at the end of the tunnel, it's just not a road they will travel this year.
14. Essendon (-)
The Bombers were one kick away from ending Collingwood's impressive run of form in front of a boisterous crowd at the MCG, but fell short as the final siren sounded.
Early on it looked like Essendon were in for an afternoon of pain, but turned the tide in the second term. After three wins in a row prior to Round 19, the Bombers are at least giving their fans something to cheer about after a disappointing opening to the season, but the last minute against the Pies may be something to forget.
15. GWS (-)
The side looked up for the fight early on, but struggled when Carlton flexed their muscles in the second half, the final siren sounding with a 36-point deficit on the board after the Blues led by just three at half-time.
The Giants have a tough run home, with a Round 21 clash against Essendon looming as the last rendition of the Big, Big Sound for the rest of the year.
16. Adelaide (-)
Adelaide's first quarter against the Swans left plenty to be desired, letting their opposition pile on 9.3 in the first term alone. The Crows managed to cut the deficit throughout the match, but the damage was done.
Now winless for the entire month of July, things at West Lakes look dim, but with matches to come against West Coast and North Melbourne, the Crows could find themselves back on the winners board soon.
17. West Coast (+1)
The Eagles have found themselves off the bottom of the table after a spirited performance against the Saints, falling short of claiming the four points by 28-points.
Despite the Saints kicking away in the fourth term, the match was a close encounter for the opening three, with the accurate Eagles kicking 10.2 to keep themselves in it.
18. North Melbourne (-1)
After an impressive performance over Richmond the week prior, the Kangaroos failed to back up their lively form against Hawthorn.
Facing another rebuilding side, the Kangaroos failed to put up a fight in the Apple Isle and now find themselves in a familiar spot on the bottom of the rankings table. Matches against Essendon, Sydney, Adelaide and Gold Coast are still to come, giving North some opportunity to claim a third win for the season.