THE REST of the AFL should be aware and afraid of a wild Brisbane Lions in 2020.
Chris Fagan's Lion cubs captured the imagination of the football world in 2019 only for their finals run to end in straight sets.
Fast forward nine months and they are again the talk of the AFL but it should be as genuine premiership contenders.
The Lions sit second on the ladder coming off a four-game winning streak since the resumption of the season and there is no sign this impressive form will slip.
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After its round one hiccup against Hawthorn, Brisbane has well and truly returned to the top of the premiership conversation.
The next two weeks in Sydney will be challenging against third-placed Geelong before facing a resurgent Greater Western Sydney Giants.
But they showed how adaptable their game-plan is against Port Adelaide and how they use their strengths and balance across the ground to give themselves the best chance of securing four points against anyone.
Fagan has ditched a slow, methodical game style for a more daring and attacking one and the Lions haven't lost their title as one of the league's best-performed and most well-loved clubs.
The Lions were ranked 18th in the competition for corridor usage (12.4 per cent) in 2019. Their sudden climb up the ladder last season was a mesmerising story but their ball movement wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing.
This season is vastly different, rising to second in the league for corridor usage (22.5 per cent).
The change in the way they use the ball is also benefiting their scoring and efficiency inside 50.
Since the restart and the beginning of their winning run, Brisbane is ranked number one for scoring, kicking 80.75 points a game.
This season they're averaging 77 points a game and conceding just 59.4. They are also winning comfortably with an average margin of 29.
The Lions' inside 50 efficiency this season is 52 per cent, meaning they are scoring from half of their entries every match.
Combine that with the impressive form of a number of their players, who aren't showing no signs of slowing down, and it's shaping up as a good recipe for success.
Star midfielder Lachie Neale's outstanding form - averaging 29 disposals and one goal a game - has been pivotal. Captain Dayne Zorko is also a chance to return this week.
Engine room mates Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Lyons are playing handy cameos to the Brownlow Medal favourite while star ruck Stefan Martin, who has recently returned to the team, is giving them first use.
Full-back Harris Andrews continues to show why he is the number one defender in the game. His defender buddies in Daniel Rich, Darcy Gardiner and Ryan Lester have also been in good form.
Up forward livewires Charlie Cameron and Lincoln McCarthy are threats opposition teams need to consider shutting down.
Recruits such as Hawthorn premiership star Grant Birchall, former Crow Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Gold Coast's Callum Ah Chee have boosted the depth of the Lions' list.
What is also phenomenal about the Lions is they have an average age of 23 and just 57 games.
Their injury list is also one of the best in the AFL with only defender Marcus Adams (foot - 6-8 weeks), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (calf - 1-2 weeks) and Connor McFadyen (ACL - season) in rehab.
If the Lions keep this form up there is no reason why they shouldn't be firm flag favourites.
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