There were 57 experts across Fox Sports, the Herald Sun, The Age and AFL Media that were asked to submit their predicted top eights in March.
Zero had Essendon playing finals.
They were not alone. The Bombers themselves did not believe September action was a realistic possibility after a tumultuous 2020.
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But on Sunday Essendon’s destiny is in its own hands. And if things go to plan, the next task will be ending the AFL’s longest streak without a finals victory the following weekend.
More than 6,100 days have elapsed since the Dons last won a final, but it’s the past 300 days that warrant closest inspection.
How does a club, after winning six of 17 games and losing four key players in their prime, propel itself up the ladder with such…