For the 2023 season, the Edge of the Crowd writers keep tabs on the best performances in every AFL match to predict who will win the Brownlow medal; Round Eighteen was no different.
Sydney 78 d Western Bulldogs 76
3. Marcus Bontempelli
2. Errol Gulden
1. Oliver Florent
With just a few rounds to go in the season, it's hard to see the Swans getting into the top eight, but a close win will at least be a confidence booster. Bontempelli gets the three votes despite the loss after having 31 touches, kicking a couple of goals and gaining almost 650 metres for the Dogs.
Gulden picks up two votes after gaining more than 750 metres, setting up a goal and having 30 disposals. The final vote goes to Oliver Florent after he kicked a couple of goals and having 23 touches with three clearances.
Melbourne 105 d Brisbane 104
3. Max Gawn
2. Christian Petracca
1. Joe Daniher
In the match of the round, the Demons were incredible to come back after being down early. The Melbourne captain asserted his dominance as the premier ruckman after having 29 touches through the middle, getting ten clearances and kicking a goal while up forward.
Petracca played plenty of time up forward and, for the second week in a row, kicked four goals while having seven clearances. Joe Daniher is the lone vote-getter for the Lions; he kicked a couple of goals and had 24 touches while roaming up the ground.
Collingwood 113 d Fremantle 67
3. Nick Daicos
2. Taylor Adams
1. Jaeger O'Meara
The Pies are now clear on top of the ladder after another easy win at home, while the Dockers are lagging in the bottom four. Daicos is in the votes again after having 36 touches through the middle, kicking a goal, and setting up a couple more while having seven clearances.
Adams gets two votes for his 23 touches and two goals while also getting seven clearances. The final vote goes the way of the Freo midfielder after he had 30 touches and kicked a goal amongst ten clearances.
Gold Coast 77 d St Kilda 55
3. Rory Atkins
2. Sam Flanders
1. Touk Miller
The Gold Coast showed their skills in the week after losing their coach, while St Kilda continued to slide down the ladder. Atkins had 32 touches and kicked two goals while gaining more than 700 metres.
Flanders was very good through the middle having 33 touches with five clearances and seven marks. Miller continues establishing his dominance with 25 touches, six clearances, and two goal assists.
Carlton 122 d Port Adelaide 72
3. Jack Silvagni
2. Patrick Cripps
1. Dan Houston
The Blues are back in finals contention after a good month of football culminating in this upset win. Port will be fine, having cemented their top-four finish. Silvagni deserves the three votes after kicking four goals, having 19 touches with ten hitouts when helping in the ruck.
The Blues' captain kicked a goal, had 24 touches and provided ten clearances for his club. Houston was the best for Port with 41 touches from the halfback line; it's almost a guaranteed All-Australian for Houston now.
Geelong 122 d Essendon 45
3. Tom Hawkins
2. Tom Atkins
1. Max Holmes
After their slow start, the Cats are now encroaching on the top four after a big win against a disappointing Essendon. Perhaps the hour's drive was just too far for the precious Bombers. Hawkins is back in the votes after kicking five goals and taking eight marks.
Tom Atkins gets a couple of votes after his 28 touches and 12 tackles, and nine clearances. The final vote goes to Max Holmes, who had 33 touches through the middle while setting up a couple of goals.
Adelaide 57 def by GWS 71
3. Josh Kelly
2. Toby Greene
1. Rory Laird
The Giants are building something pretty special under Adam Kingsley, while the fast start to the season for Adelaide is clearly slowing down. Kelly had 28 touches and kicked a goal while having nine clearances through the middle.
Toby Greene kicked three goals up forward while having 20 touches with a couple of clearances. Rory Laird picks up a single vote for the Crows after having 33 touches, kicking a goal and laying 11 tackles.
North Melbourne 40 def by Hawthorn 88
3. James Worpel
2. Luke Davies-Uniacke
1. Jai Newcombe
In the battle of two of the bottom sides, the Hawks were clearly the better side. North will welcome back Clarkson this week, though, so that should lift spirits. Worpel picks up three votes, having had 32 touches, kicking a goal and having seven clearances with more than 700 metres gained.
Davies-Uniacke picks up two votes with his 26 touches, six clearances and a goal. Newcombe is the match's final vote-getter, having had 33 touches and seven clearances.
West Coast 60 def by Richmond 98
3. Shai Bolton
2. Tim Taranto
1. Ivan Suldo
The final match of the round saw the Tigers get an easy win over the last-placed West Coast. Shai Bolton was clearly the best of Richmond with his two goals, 23 touches and almost 400 metres gained.
Taranto continues to build a great season with his 27 disposals, eight clearances and eight tackles. The final vote of the weekend goes to Ivan Soldo, who had 11 disposals, kicked a goal, but, most impressively, had 41 hit outs in the ruck.
1. Nick Daicos (32)
2. Jordan Dawson (25)
3. Christian Petracca (24)
4. Tim Taranto (21)
5. Lachie Neale (19)