Essendon failed to kick a goal in the first half as Geelong thrashed them by 69 points at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
The clash between the Bombers and the Cats was expected to be hotly contested but it was well and truly over at the main break after a nine-goal to nil first half, with Chris Scott’s side eventually winning 19.8 (122) to 7.11 (53).
It was the first time Essendon had been held goalless before half-time since round 17, 1984, and they left the field to the boos of their own fans at the main break.
The Bombers, missing injured captain Jobe Watson, saw key forward Joe Daniher miss four set shots in the first 20 minutes.
Geelong, led by forward trio Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson and Steven Motlop – who all kicked four goals each – flexed their muscle in the second quarter, kicking six goals.
And although the Bombers battled after half-time, Geelong cruised to a big victory, with Harry Taylor (33 disposals, 10 marks) particularly impressive.
James Kelly (28 disposals) and Josh Caddy (20 disposals, two goals) were also very good for Geelong.
Essendon have now lost four of their last five matches.
In Saturday night’s other match, Port Adelaide stormed home to record a 16.4 (100) to 9.8 (62) win over the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval.
The Power led by just 10 points at the final change but kicked six goals to one from there to keep their season on track.
Ollie Wines led the way for the Power, with 33 disposals and one goal, while Chad Wingard booted three goals.
Jack Macrae had 31 disposals for the Bulldogs, who trailed at every change and were never far away from the hosts.
But Port’s strong finish saw them record back-to-back wins after a three-game losing streak threatened to derail their season.
Earlier in the day, Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett kicked three goals each as the Sydney Swans were made to work hard for a 13.15 (93) to 5.11 (41) win over the Gold Coast Suns.
Adam Goodes was booed again during the game after hitting the headlines last week for his indigenous dance.
But it did not effect Sydney, who kicked nine goals to two during the first half to open up a 44-point lead at the main break.
Gold Coast, led by Kade Kolodjashnij (27 disposals), fought hard in the second half but they had no answers for a star-studded Swans outfit.
Dan Hannebery had 42 disposals for Sydney and Jarrad McVeigh added 39.