How much will Nic Nat’s absence hurt the Eagles?

This year, West Coast are dominating the league in average hit outs per game. The Eagles have managed to rack up 52.8 hit outs each game in 2016, compared to a league average of 40. Melbourne are the league’s second-placed team for hit outs, thanks to the amply-bearded Max Gawn, but even they lag behind the Eagles by nearly 6 hit outs per game. West Coast’s ruck dominance will almost definitely wane a little over the next couple of months, as Nic Naitanui spends 6-8 weeks on the sidelines recovering from Achilles surgery. But how much can we expect the Eagles’ performance to slide? This is a difficult question to answer, as quantifying the contribution of any one player to a team’s performance is messy and inexact. But we can try to get a feel for how the Eagles might perform without Nic Nat by comparing the team’s performance in games with and without him over the past few years. When we

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The Eagles’ worst quarters of all time

The Eagles didn’t manage to record a score in their final quarter against Adelaide in Round 12, notching up their first scoreless quarter at home in the club’s history. The Crows scored 41 points in the final term, so the score differential for the Eagles was -41. That doesn’t manage to crack the top 20 worst ever quarters for the Eagles, measured by score differential. Measured by score differential, the fourth quarter against the Crows was only the Eagles’ 37th worst quarter ever. There, Eagles fans, that’s not so bad! Although it was the eighth worst final quarter in the club’s history, but we won’t mention that.