Momentum can be a powerful thing in team sport, and it's fair to say that for different reasons both Carlton coach Michael Voss and his Gold Coast counterpart Stuart Dew might have been thinking exactly that after last Sunday's clash at the MCG. Indeed, Dew, once he'd finished gnashing his teeth at the Suns' insipid showing against the Blues, might have been able to offer Voss a few tips on what not to do this week as Carlton deals with a bye in Round 15. Why? Because the Suns, coming off their own week's break, had just turned in one of their worst performances of recent years at the worst possible time, with finals a realistic proposition and coming off two great back-to-back wins in Darwin against Western Bulldogs and Adelaide. Now Carlton, having smashed Gold Coast by 59 points to break a six-game losing streak, might well be privately cursing the timing of its own break while thankful for the Suns' coming when it did. After weeks of uninspiring, pedestrian play, the Blues turned it on with a slashing nine-goal second term to finish with 18 goals, as many as they'd managed in the previous three games combined. Midfield stars Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh rediscovered some form and confidence, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow found the target, and Carlton generally had an energy it hadn't displayed for months. "We're able to go into the bye with a smile on our face and four points in the pocket and get our rest - because 14 weeks is a long time without a rest," an upbeat Voss said after the win. But surely right now, he'd want nothing more than simply to roll straight into another four quarters of the same. That's a little like Gold Coast and Dew must have felt after getting the best of the Bulldogs then Crows in Darwin, even allowing for a draining week-long road trip which predicated the timing of the Suns' bye. Last Sunday's game was a big moment for the Suns, for whom victory would have meant six wins from their past eight games, a fifth win on the road this season, and sitting outside the top eight on percentage only. Those two big wins in the lead-up should have had them beautifully prepared. Instead, the extra wait left them flat as a tack. Not for the first time, the Suns fluffed their lines. But they're far from the only ones to do so after having enjoyed the so-called benefit of having a week off mid-season. So far this season, we've had six teams fronting up after a week's break. Five of them - Brisbane, Fremantle, Geelong, Gold Coast and Sydney - have lost first-up, and the winning exception, St Kilda, was playing a side in Sydney which had also had a week off. It's not just the defeats as much as the manner of them which might be sounding alarm bells for coaching panels, too. Like Brisbane's failure to put away Hawthorn a couple of weeks back, for example, when the Lions were fourth on the ladder coming up against a team 16th which had just been thrashed by nine goals. Or Fremantle's stumble at home against Richmond after having won its previous four games. But the post-bye blues appear to be a competition-wide problem. Heading into this season's bye rounds, AFL media reported that over the past 10 seasons, just four clubs had won more often than lost coming out of the bye, and even those clubs' records were only 6-4. It's been a serial issue for a side even as consistently good as Geelong, which until 2020 lost seven post-bye games on the trot. And Gold Coast's horror show against Carlton last weekend might not have surprised as much as it did were more people aware the Suns were a woeful 2-8 coming out of the bye before the game against the Blues. All of which this week is hardly going to be music to the ears of Adelaide, Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn, Melbourne and West Coast, all of whom had a spell during Round 14, and four of whom will be taking on opponents who played last weekend. At least the Crows and Pies, who face off at the MCG on Sunday, know they're taking on an opponent in the same boat. The others, however, might be a little more anxious, Melbourne facing an already-tough assignment at Geelong's GMHBA Stadium, Essendon in Perth to play Fremantle, and West Coast and Hawthorn away against Sydney and Gold Coast respectively. In the context of a six-month long season, the bye might well prove handy indeed for all of them. But right now? Well, I'm tipping that long-term view won't be getting much airtime should last week's rested teams also come to grief this weekend.