The Bombers started in rampant fashion but were overrun by the Lions in Saturday's 22-point loss at Marvel Stadium.
Here are some of the key stats to emerge from the defeat.
1. Dons regain contested hunger
Prior to Essendon’s clash with Brisbane, forwards coach Dale Tapping told of the desire for the Bombers to regain their hunger around the ball after losing contested possessions by 41 to Geelong in round one.
The Dons did just that against the Lions, edging out one of the more fancied midfields 138-133 in contested possessions.
Darcy Parish led the way with a team-high 15, while Jye Caldwell (14) and Jake Stringer (10) did their bit to win the ascendancy.
2. Inaccuracy costs dearly
Despite the Dons having three more scoring shots than the Lions, inaccurate kicking proved to be the difference in the 22-point loss.
A quarter-time lead of 22 points may have been greater if Essendon converted more of its nine scoring chances, but a less than 50 per cent conversion rate left the score of 4.5 (29) to 1.1 (7).
From there, the Dons kicked six more goals and 10 behinds throughout the game, while Brisbane piled on 14 goals in response.
3. Parish’s possessions
Darcy Parish has continued his stellar 2021 All-Australian form into this season, registering a team-high 35 disposals.
The performance comes as Parish backed up his 34-disposal effort against Geelong in round one.
Parish will become an even more pivotal cog in Essendon’s engine room now that fellow inside-midfielder Zach Merrett will miss the next six to eight weeks with a syndesmosis injury.
4. Wright’s contested marks
Peter Wright made his presence felt in Essendon’s forward line after a commanding aerial display.
Wright took 11 marks in round two, including a game-high four contested marks.
We can't wait to see more of this from 2MP 🙌 pic.twitter.com/nH5EIXgejo— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) March 28, 2022
It’s hopefully a sign Wright has found his groove as the Dons’ main key forward, as he looks to better his 29 goals from 2021.