Lots of jostling for minor placings this week as the teams from positions 8 through 15 participated in four games of pairwise leapfrog. The Gold Coast, meantime, shed a further 4.5 Ratings Points to put them just one decent shellacking away from emphatically claiming the title of lowest MARS rated team of all-time, an honour currently lumped upon the St Kilda team of 2001, which finished that season with a MARS Rating of 947.21.
The Ratings gap between the teams in 4th and 14th diminished marginally this week, down 3.4 Ratings Points to 62.4, but the gap between 4th and 8th grew to 32.5 Ratings Points, setting a season-record for the third straight week.
Only 8 teams are now left with a MARS Rating over 1,000.
Over the past 5 rounds, the Suns have dropped almost 8 Ratings Points in their dive for the bottom, but they've not been the team to suffer the greatest fall.
In fact, two other teams have recorded bigger drops: Melbourne, down by an amazing 15 Ratings Points, and the Western Bulldogs, down by over 9 Ratings Points, a drop that has seen them slip from a ranking of 6th to a ranking of 9th.
Other teams to register sizeable Ratings Point declines in this period include Port Adelaide, down 7.4 Ratings Points (and from playing in only 4 of the rounds), and Fremantle, down 7.3 Ratings Points.
Six teams have racked up significant Ratings Point gains over these 5 rounds, with Carlton the best of them, snagging over 12 Ratings Points, ahead of the Hawks, who've accumulated 10 additional Ratings Points from just 4 games.
The Cats, Eagles, Saints and Pies can be considered the other "in-form" teams, each adding at least 6 Ratings Points to their season tallies.
Interestingly, the teams occupying the top 6 spots on the competition ladder are the same 6 teams to have accumulated the greatest number of Ratings Points over the last 5 rounds. That's perhaps the only positive sign that this year's finals won't become a race in two with only a single likely winner.
These same 6 teams also occupy the top 6 spots on the Colley, Massey and MARS Rating Systems, with only some minor quibbling amongst these systems as to the rightful owners of positions 5 and 6.
Outside the top 6 the MARS and Massey Systems differ in their rankings for the remaining teams by no more than 2 places for any team except Essendon, which Massey ranks 7th and MARS 10th.
MARS and Colley differ by more than 2 places on team rankings for just four teams: Essendon, which Colley, as Massey, ranks 7th to MARS' 10th; the Roos, which Colley ranks 11th and MARS 8th; Melbourne, which Colley ranks 10th and MARS 13th; and the Dogs, which Colley ranks 12th and MARS 9th.