Boring is bad at Geelong, who are off the boil after losing three of their five games since their AFL bye.
While the Cats remain a game clear on top of the ladder and boast the best percentage by a long way, alarm bells are ringing five weeks out from the finals.
Geelong's scoring deluge has become a drought in those three losses - with eight goals in Sunday's loss to resurgent Hawthorn following on from just eight and seven in the round 14 and round 16 defeats respectively.
Retired Cats great Jimmy Bartel agrees with captain Joel Selwood, who said after Sunday's match that Geelong are becoming too safe and boring in how they play.
"Joel Selwood absolutely nailed it and it's good when you hear captains or leaders of clubs (not) talk in riddles," Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"He (said) 'we're boring' and when you think about it, that is a great way to describe what their problem is."
Bartel said that when Geelong are playing well they are much quicker with their ball use and also put heavy pressure on the opposition defence.
But a couple of Hawthorn rebound goals were crucial in Sunday's clash.
Fast play was also a feature of Geelong's game when Bartel was a key member of their three premiership teams from 2007-11.
"Because they have so much talent, to play this slow, chip-around style and try to build the ball up, it actually doesn't suit them," Bartel said.
"They've fallen into this rut of playing so slow and so defensive, it actually exposed them defensively.
"When Geelong play really well, they play a fast and quick style of footy and then their whole defence just comes marching up the ground."
Despite the form wobble, Bartel remains confident about Geelong's prospects and expects them to rally on Sunday against Sydney at the SCG.
"It's pretty hard to be in a slump when you're one game clear on top of the ladder and what's their percentage, 135?" he said.
"The wheels aren't off, they'll finish top four, and remember they have some games to come at home as well.
"Wackety-whack, they'll belt the Swans and away they go."
Australian Associated Press