Melbourne won't just need to win over the next two weeks - they'll need to win big if they want to avoid giving their fans another dose of heartbreak.
The Demons appeared set for a top-four finish last month after a six-game winning streak improved their record to 8-3.
The hot run even prompted chatter about possible premiership success.
But three losses on the trot, including a shock two-point defeat to St Kilda last week, have left the Demons (8-6) with one hell of a fight just to make the finals.
The tight nature of the ladder means Melbourne might need to win five of their remaining eight matches to end their 12-year finals drought.
That won't be an easy feat with games against flag contenders Geelong (away), Adelaide (away), Sydney (home), West Coast (away) and GWS (home) still to come.
That tough run home makes the upcoming two weeks all the more important.
Melbourne will start as strong favourites in Saturday night's clash with Fremantle in Darwin and they will fancy their chances against the Bulldogs next week.
With percentage looming as a possible tiebreaker for some sides this year, the Demons will be looking to cash in over the next fortnight.
Fremantle enter Saturday's clash a wounded outfit.
Not only did they get smacked to the tune of 55 points by lowly Brisbane last week, they also lost their two best players.
Nat Fyfe will miss up to five weeks with a hamstring injury while Aaron Sandilands has been ruled out for three games with a calf strain.
Veteran goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (ankle) has also succumbed to injury.
Demons coach Simon Goodwin has swung the axe following his team's poor display against the Saints, dropping Harrison Petty, Mitch Hannan, Sam Weideman and Dom Tyson.
Charlie Spargo, Sam Frost, Billy Stretch, and Jeff Garlett have been recalled.
Young Dockers ruckman Sean Darcy will fill the void left by Sandilands while premiership wingman Brad Hill returns after recovering from a knee injury and serving his one-match club-imposed AFL ban.
The ruck duel between Darcy and Max Gawn looms as crucial to the outcome.
Demons star Gawn is on track for another All-Australian jersey after producing a campaign where he has averaged 47 hit-outs and 17 possessions per game.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is backing Darcy and Michael Apeness to limit the influence of Gawn.
"It's certainly a challenge but when I look in their eyes they're both fierce competitors," Lyon said of his ruck duo.