Alarming stat behind Bombers’ belting
TAKE the pressure down.
As they fight to cement a spot in the top eight, the Bombers' pressure rating in their 59-point loss to the Power at Marvel Stadium last Saturday was the second-lowest recorded by any team this year.
The Bombers earned themselves an unwanted place among the top five worst pressure games of the season with their pressure rating of 149 against Port.
According to Champion Data, only Greater Western Sydney's Round 2 effort against the West Coast Eagles of 145.3 was worse on the pressure scale. The Giants lost that game by 52 points.
Essendon young gun Andrew McGrath said the Bombers had failed at their "core business" of putting pressure on the ball against Port Adelaide.
"They beat us around the contest, they beat us transitioning forward and back and we just couldn't really slow them down at all. It made it really tough for us," McGrath said.
"We come back to our core business and a lot of that is our pressure on the ball and our ability to defend hard.
"We find that our offence really takes care of itself after we put pressure on the opposition and make them make rushed decisions and feel like they're under more pressure than they might actually be.
"We find that when we bring that aspect of our game, our offensive flair and our ability to score comes off the back."
It had been a steep deviation on the pressure index for the yoyo Bombers.
In the previous round they had a pressure rating of 187.7 in their 10-point win over the Gold Coast Suns, which ranked them seventh in the league.
Essendon's previous worst pressure match was against Hawthorn in Round 13 (157.6). But they won that game by 19 points.
Overall this year, the Dons rank 10th in the competition with their pressure rating of 181.5.
Without singling out the team's pressure, Essendon coach John Worsfold said the Bombers had not been able to "execute" the game they normally played against the Power.
"We didn't play as well as we (would have) liked," Worsfold said.
"Second half we were well off. We've tried to assess why from the way that we played the game and what went wrong for us there, but there is a lot of other factors that are hard to measure.
"Fair to say we didn't execute the way that we wanted to play as well as we would have liked in the second half. That was down on our normal level and it's our focus to get it back up."