Compounding the Crows’ defeat, Paul Seedsman was carted off the field in the closing minutes after his left knee hyper-extended when he landed awkwardly on the outer side.
Adelaide were undisciplined early and conceded three 50m penalties in the first term, at the end of which Geelong led by 14 points.
The Cats’ defence was desperate and organised while their second-quarter charge was piloted by Geelong-raised third-gamer Miers who slotted the Cats’ only two goals for the term – threading the needle from the pocket, then snapping truly.
Adelaide were fortunate Geelong, Miers aside, were errant in front of the sticks, giving the hosts a sniff at half-time, which they took advantage of through co-captain Rory Sloane and the Crouch brothers, Brad and Matt.
Walker finally got on the board midway through the third quarter during which the Crows had 19-7 inside 50s and stormed back into the contest.
The Crows kept pace with Geelong early in the final period but the Cats steadied and lifted.
Gary Ablett nailed a superb long goal, then turned playmaker, dishing to Miers for his third, before Gary Rohan kicked truly to blow the margin out.
Brownlow Medal favourite Patrick Dangerfield’s odds of claiming the prized award for the second time in his career shortened after Thursday’s masterclass.
Dangerfield applied the heat with game-highs of 20 possessions and seven clearances at half-time, almost certainly securing three votes to create space between himself and Nat Fyfe and Patrick Cripps atop the leaderboard in the early stages.
Unsurprisingly, Dangerfield lifts whenever confronted by his old team, averaging 30.3 touches and 8.8 tackles against Adelaide, against overall career averages of 24.0 and 3.9. In tonight’s game he racked up 32 possessions, 10 clearances, 12 inside 50s, seven tackles (all team-highs) and one goal.
Last year Luke Dahlhaus was uncontracted, unhappy and, according to former Western Bulldogs great Bob Murphy, unmotivated.
A change of scenery as done him the world of good.
Since switching from the Dogs to Geelong as an unrestricted free agent, Dahlhaus hasn’t put a foot wrong, piecing together three energetic, two-way running performances in the Cats’ opening three wins.
It wasn’t a great night to be an Adelaide forward.
Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts were kept under wraps all evening by Harry Taylor and Jake Kolodjashnij respectfully while Josh Jenkins produced the blooper of the match.
Ambling slowly and bouncing twice on the north-eastern flank, Jenkins tamely, and comically, handballed over the boundary line, epitomising Adelaide’s horror night in attack.
3.6 4.9 9.12 10.15 (75)
6.2 8.8 10.9 14.15 (99)
GOALS – Adelaide: Lynch 2, Atkins, Knight, Jenkins, Sloane, B.Crouch, M.Crouch, Murphy, Walker.
Geelong: Miers 3, Hawkins 2, Rohan 2, Taylor, Menegola, Atkins, Clark, Constable, Dangerfield, Ablett.
BEST – Adelaide: Sloane, B. Crouch, M. Crouch, Milera, Gibbs, Lynch.
Geelong: Dangerfield, Dahlhaus, Kelly, Stewart, Duncan, Taylor.
INJURIES – Adelaide: Paul Seedsman (suspected ACL)
UMPIRES: Rosebury, Stephens, Hosking
CROWD: 45,631 at Adelaide Oval
Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) 9
Rory Sloane (Adelaide) 8
Luke Dahlhaus (Geelong) 8
Brad Crouch (Adelaide) 7
Tim Kelly (Geelong) 7