It is not easy to take over from a Club great but Simon Goodwin was the perfect pick to replace Mark Ricciuto as captain. Goodwin and coach Neil Craig helped lift the Crows to fifth in one of the most consistent seasons by the team.
For all but two weeks, Adelaide sat in the top eight as every team chased runaway leaders Geelong. Two key blocks of form carried the Crows to the top half – six wins among Rounds 5-11 and five wins from the final six games.
That final run of form included wins over top eight sides Sydney, Western Bulldogs and ninth-placed Richmond.
Adelaide was shocked in the finals by Collingwood at AAMI Stadium, the Magpies overcame a 12-point deficit at the main break to win by 31 points thanks to 12 second-half goals. It was an abrupt end to the year after the Crows had looked well placed to challenge the top teams.
Nathan Bock led from the back line, named All-Australian and Malcolm Blight Medallist. Several favourites ended their careers, with the talented trio of Nathan Bassett, Rhett Biglands and Ken McGregor retiring.