Melbourne made a huge statement in Alice Springs, announcing themselves as genuine premiership contenders with a ruthless 91-point demolition of Adelaide.
The Demons racked up their fifth consecutive win with a 23.8 (146) to 8.7 (55) victory over last season's beaten grand finalists.
In doing so they extended their streak of winning quarters to 18, won five games in a row for the first time since 2006 and inflicted the Crows' heaviest loss under Don Pyke.
The nature of the win sent a very clear message to the rest of the competition about Melbourne's premiership credentials.
But coach Simon Goodwin, quite understandably, wasn't buying into that sort of talk.
"It was an important game against a really strong footy club ... to put on a performance like that was really pleasing," Goodwin said.
"(But) we understand this game is about small margins. To be in form, but also to be out of form ... it wasn't that long ago we were struggling and we had to find a way to get into form.
"I certainly wasn't thinking this was the be all and end all as a game."
West Coast stayed top of the ladder but they had to fight in a see-sawing encounter against Hawthorn on Sunday before prevailing 11.9 (75) to 9.6 (60) at Etihad Stadium.
It was the Eagles' ninth consecutive win and their first over Hawthorn in Melbourne since 2006, taking them a game clear of reigning premiers Richmond.
In Sunday's other game, North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein kicked the sealer in a 12.14 (86) to 8.10 (58) win in over Fremantle at Optus Stadium.
Richmond got back on the winners' list with a 15.15 (105) to 12.5 (77) victory over St Kilda at the MCG.
Josh Caddy was superb for the Tigers with six goals and skipper Trent Cotchin (32 disposals, nine clearances) was also important.
Jack Riewoldt sat out the second half with a concussion and Bachar Houli suffered a groin strain.
Geelong celebrated Gary Ablett's Kardinia Park homecoming with a hard-fought 28-point win over Carlton.
In his first game for the Cats at the venue since departing for a seven-season stint at Gold Coast, Ablett was influential in a dour 11.7 (73) to 5.15 (45) win on Saturday night.
But the win was marred by an ugly broken leg to exciting Cats youngster Esava Ratugolea.
Essendon's Devon Smith enjoyed a happy homecoming at Spotless Stadium, starring in a 35-point victory that handed former side Greater Western Sydney their fourth straight AFL loss.
Smith laid 13 tackles on Saturday night as Essendon triumphed 14.11 (95) to 8.12 (60).
Brisbane gave Sydney a scare but the Swans held on for an 10.7 (67) to 6.13 (49) victory at a wet Gabba.
Dayne Beams (38 touches) was inspirational for the Lions, just days after stepping down from the captaincy due to personal issues.
On Friday night, Collingwood overcame a sluggish start to sweep to a comfortable 13.12 (90) to 8.7 (55) win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.