Four rounds in, we’ve had some fantastic close games.
Seven of the nine matches in Round Four we’re decided by less than 15 points, including three by less than a goal.
Take a look at the Gold Coast Suns, their aggregate winning margin from three wins is just 10 points.
St Kilda aren’t far off either, their total winning margin sits at just 17 points.
It makes for terrific viewing for people who don’t support either of the teams playing.
I think we’re almost becoming like the NBA, the last four minutes are really intriguing for them, and for us it’s the final quarter
The pick for close games this round has to be Richmond and Port Adelaide, at Adelaide Oval.
The Tigers were without Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt but still managed to get the win.
But as good as close games are, they’re hiding a massive issue within our game: low scoring and poor quality.
Round Four, 2019 is the first time since Round 20, 1968 that not a single team has been averaging at least 100 points a game for a season.
I think the close margins are masking the standard of footy, which has been well down.
With plenty on the line for both sides, it was only natural this match was decided by less than a kick.
— AFL (@AFL) April 14, 2019
All of the new rules were designed to have higher scoring games, but we haven’t been getting that… That’s the crux of the problem.
It raises a tough question: Would you rather see a close game? Or a high-scoring game?
For teams, it’s always best to lose by a smaller margin. But I don’t want to see me team kick seven goals and get rocked by a solid defensive unit.
As good as the tight ones are, if my team is going to lose, I want to make sure we’re having a real crack.
Worst of all, I feel like the close games are being decided by howlers more than acts of brilliance.
Dale Lewis is the co-host of Triple M’s The Rush Hour with Jars & Louie, weekdays from 3-4pm and 6-7pm.
Lewis played 182 games for the Sydney Swans between 1990 and 2001.