AFL 2020: Essendon – Midseason Report Card

After nine games, like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get from the Bombers in 2020.

Like many teams in this most fascinating of seasons, Essendon have been a mixed bag so far in 2020. From beating Collingwood at their best to kicking just three goals against the Lions John Worsfold’s Ben Rutten’s John Worsfold’s team are a little like Forrest Gumps’s box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

What’s gone right

That they remain in the premiership race despite some of their performances this year is the biggest thing to have gone right for the Bombers this year. The development of Jordan Ridley has also been a big plus too. In the space of nine games, doubling his career tally, he has become one of the teams most reliable defenders. His intercept play and clean disposal seeing him averaging 17.3 disposals and 6.5 marks a game, and play every game to date in 2020.

If there is one thing that gladdens the heart of Essendon fans the most, it is beating Collingwood. Which makes their Round Five victory over their old foes especially pleasing. Rivalry aside, it was a quality win too with the Bombers ruthlessly pressuring the previous high flying Magpies completely out of the contest.

What’s gone wrong

While their best is exhilarating, their worst is abysmal. Just two weeks after announcing themselves with their victory over the Magpies, they were completely outplayed by the Western Bulldogs. Two weeks later again and they could manage just three goals against the Brisbane Lions.

Injuries have not been helpful. Bombers fans would no doubt be thinking that some of their consistency issues could be solved if key players like Dyson Heppell, Joe Daniher and Jake Stringer spent more time on the paddock than in the grandstand.

Then there was the small matter of their game against Melbourne being postponed due to Connor McKenna testing positive to COVID-19 on the eve of a match. This was then followed by the Irishman and fellow defender James Stewart being required to serve a two-week quarantine period.

Standout player

Andrew McGrath

In a season in which injuries have caused continuity problems in Essendon’s midfield, Andrew McGrath has been the one constant. The unassuming Bomber has had a consistent campaign and leads the club in disposals, tackles, clearances and contested possessions.

Run home

Rd 11Gold CoastMetricon Stadium
Rd 12St KildaThe Gabba
Rd 13RichmondTIO Stadium
?Port Adelaide?
?West Coast?

It’s a pretty tricky run home for the Bombers with five games against current Top Eight opposition. They will need to be at their best if they are to overcome this and qualify for another finals series.

Final Grade


They sit just outside the eight with a game in hand but their percentage paints a truer picture of their season to date than the win-loss column.

Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

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