With the first month of the AFL season drawing to a close, narratives for all of the competition's 18 teams have begun to arise.

Whilst some are struggling and others are thriving, you can bet your bottom dollar that each of the league's list of polo shirt wearing pedagogues will still be desperate for improvement this weekend.

With this in mind, here are the key quandaries facing every AFL club ahead of Round 4.



Can they use Thursday's win as a launching pad?

Had Zac ‘The Rat King' Bailey sprayed his post siren set shot wide last Thursday, we would not be having this conversation, but as we all know, the Sherrin could not have flown truer off his right boot.

These are the fine margins of AFL football.

Having avoided a 0-3 start by the skin of the South Australian's missing incisor, the Lions are not only on the board in 2021, but are also on the launching pad. Whether or not they take off like 12-months ago is another point altogether.

Across the next month of the season, Brisbane are fixtured to face the Western Bulldogs, Essendon, Carlton and Port Adelaide – teams they had a 4-0 record against in 2020.

With the Lion's list arguably stronger – except for the loss of Cameron Rayner for the season – than last year, there is no reason why the same quadrella cannot be completed again.

Seemingly, the key to their success remains at the humongous, yet sidelined feet of Oscar McInerney. Should the 26-year-old be passed fit for Saturday afternoon's battle in Ballarat, he will face off against the man he usurped – Stefan Martin.

Against Collingwood last week, Brisbane's makeshift tap work pair of Tom Fullarton and Connor Ballenden combined for just four hitouts, but conceded 63 to Brodie Grundy and Mason Cox.

If McInerney is ruled unfit and this aforementioned duo is rolled out against Martin and Tim English, expect the Bulldog's mile deep engine room to feast. If the former Casey Scorpion is included and a rucking parity is found, the game is set to be a corker.

Brisbane's maroon painted rocket may be on the launching pad, but it is a 204cm, rookie draft selection that currently sits in its pilot's seat.