Based on the four quarters of action from Carrara, the Lions are legitimate contenders, Essendon are not.
The Bombers are now 5-3 with a game in hand, but face GWS, the Suns on the Gold Coast and the in-form St Kilda during the next three rounds.
The emphatic win over Collingwood in Round 5 seems a long time ago for the injury-hit Bombers who – apart from Andrew McGrath – were too haphazard in disposal, with too many passengers to mount a serious challenge to the rampant Lions.
With the ink on his new contract with Brisbane still drying, Charlie Cameron booted four goals as Mitch Robinson also celebrated his 200th match with a win while Lachie Neale had a 33-disposal outing.
The victory capped off a red-letter day for the Lions who formally announced a four-year contract extension for Cameron an hour before the first bounce that will keep the 26-year-old at the Gabba until the end of 2025.
He has now kicked 93 goals in 44 games for Brisbane since arriving at the Lions after four seasons at the Crows.
Mischievous media reports speculated that Cameron may leave the Queensland club, but the 2019 All-Australian said he wanted to stay to achieve the ultimate success .
“I’m looking to win a premiership. It’s a young group coming through … I’ve enjoyed my time here at the footy club,’’ he said.
“I’m really excited to have committed my future to the Lions. I love the club and have a great bunch of teammates.”
Bomber Devon Smith kicked the only goal of the horribly scrappy and sloppy second term when both sides were guilty of butchering the ball on an all-too-regular basis.
The eyesore mercifully finished with the Lions holding a 20-point lead at the main break – a buffer built largely during a dominant opening quarter.
Brisbane had nine more contested possessions, 11 more tackles and seven less turnovers than the Bombers.
Cameron had two goals and a behind to his name from four kicks while Neale had eight touches and two goals in the first quarter when Brisbane enjoyed a 9-1 advantage with inside 50 entries, before the Bombers somewhat stemmed the considerable flow.
Brisbane led 21 to blot in the first term with goals to Lincoln McCarthy, Cameron and Neale getting the Lions off to flyer.
Goals to Sam Skinner – in his second senior game after three knee reconstructions – and McCarthy extended Brisbane’s cushion to 32 points, when Bombers debutant Sam Draper took a spectacular mark on centre wing.
A towering Eric Hipwood snap and a goal on debut for Lions bigman Connor Ballenden with a lovely set shot put Brisbane 45 points up to all but end the contest before the last change.
BREAKING THE RULES
The holding the ball rule is an absolute lottery. The free kick paid against Essendon’s Andrew McGrath early in the third term that gifted a goal to Brisbane hardnut Jarryd Lyons was laughable after they wrestled for the ball and had half a Sherrin each.
For a side that relies on small forward superstar Charlie Cameron for most of their goals, Brisbane need to convert more of their set shots when others chime in. The Lions had five behinds on the scoreboard at halftime (to go with five goals), all gettable shots too. It kept Essendon in the contest (very briefly) but much better teams will make them pay later this year.
BRISBANE LIONS 5.3 5.5 10.6 14.7 (91)
ESSENDON 1.3 2.3 3.4 3.10 (28)
GOALS – Brisbane Lions: Cameron 4, Neale 2, Zorko, Rayner, McCarthy, Hipwood, Lyons, Skinner, Ellis-Yolmen, Ballenden.
Essendon: Smith 2, Parish.
BEST – Brisbane Lions: Neale, Witherden, Berry, Lyons, Answerth, Cameron.
Essendon: McGrath, Hurley, Smith, Ridley, Snelling, Merrett.
UMPIRES: Donlon, Stephens, Wallace.
CROWD: 4863 at Metricon Stadium.