Dejected Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson believes his side had too many passengers as the Crows slumped to a 27-point loss to Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.
The Crows produced one of their worst first halves for the year as they trailed by 33 points at half-time, despite Geelong losing Steve Johnson's services at the very first bounce after he was concussed by a Scott Thompson hit.
The Cats were further down on numbers when they lost Joel Corey to a hamstring injury at half-time.
And, with the Crows benefiting from a stiff breeze at their back, Adelaide kicked six of the next seven goals following the main break, closing the gap to just two points by the third minute of the final quarter.
But as a brief, intense shower swept the ground, Geelong hit back through two Andrew Mackie goals, wresting back the momentum from the Crows as they ran away with a victory which consolidates the Cats' position in the eight.
With Thompson facing time on the sidelines for his hit, the Crows will need to find another cog in their midfield over the last five games as Thompson, Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane contest the vast majority of centre bounces for their side.
Ultimately, Sanderson will be hoping for a more even spread of contributors in the games leading into the finals.
"We played some really good footy in patches but then we just couldn't string it together for quarter quarters," Sanderson said.
"So when the rain came in, we got to within two points and then they were just a bit cleaner around the footy and a bit sharper around the contest and we probably left too much to too few today.
"What we've had the majority of the season's been 22 contributors, I think probably Geelong had that today, even though they lost Corey and Johnson, but we just had maybe two or three players who were outstanding and probably not enough from the rest."
Sanderson acknowledged Mackie's two goals may have been a psychological blow to his side after they had worked hard to shrink the margin to under a goal.
"They were important goals," he said.
"I mean we were really coming at them and the momentum in that third quarter, we took it into the last got within two points and then, just when Mackie got those two goals, I think it just felt like it was going to be too tough from then.
"But we certainly fought the game out and we can't be disappointed if you play away and you just throw yourself at every contest."But we sort of just picked and choosed a bit too much today and there were times when we didn't play well and there were times we played really well, but against the good sides you have to play well for four quarters."