It was a fourth-straight AFL loss for Adelaide on Sunday but coach Matthew Nicks could at least argue there was some fight and a peak at their potential at the Gabba.
The Crows were beaten 10.23 (83) to 7.4 (46) by Brisbane, who could have put the winless visitors to the sword if dominant midfielders Lachie Neale and Hugh McCluggage (a combined 1.11) had been more accurate in general play.
Down by 40 at halftime, the Crows kicked four unanswered goals in a third term that brought brief respite after a fortnight of pain in brutal losses to Port Adelaide and Gold Coast.
Taylor Walker, under pressure to keep his spot this week, kicked two of those and had a hand in another as the 2017 finalists briefly looked like their old selves.
Nicks said it was a step in the right direction as they prepare to play Fremantle, the competition's only other winless side, next Sunday.
"There were some positive signs; I thought we started well, matched with Brisbane's intensity, they were just quicker to the ball," the coach said.
"We were in the fight and managed to shift the mindset slightly and saw what footy we're about.
"Hopefully our supporters took some faith out of what they saw."
He said former captain Walker had shown his true value in the third term.
"Tex is very much a product of the way we're moving the ball and as we saw in that third, when we get our contest right and game plan where it should be all of a sudden Tex is super valuable," he said.
"He's very good in front of goal, is smart, got experience, unfortunate we're asking him to compete in areas that are very tough to over and over."