Great post from Hurling People Now. https://hurlingpeoplenow.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/port-adelaide-have-made-liars-of-us/
The post deals with the old “flat track bullies” tag. Normally that label is one of the flimsiest, David King-esque, pieces of analysis around. Teams that belt bottom 4 teams are usually just good teams. It’s unreasonable to expect them to belt other good teams to the same level. Dishing out beatings is usually a really good predictor of a team’s top 4 chances. Sides such as Richmond that eke out consistent low-margin victories are very rare indeed (and they finally broke this pattern by torching the Dockers on the weekend). West Coast 2015 are the classic case study here, persistently underrated all year due to that tag, yet clearly the 2nd best team that season.
Port Adelaide, however, are the exception. Even adjusting for team strength (i.e., you should perform better vs crap teams), they perform 23.4 better on average vs bottom 9 teams.
Essendon, however, perform better vs top 9 teams (the only by the barest of margins), one of only 5 sides to do so. Essington might be a statistically verifiable phenomenon.
Tl:dr - we should REALLY hope we play the Power in the finals, and Essington is real.