Richmond has missed finals for the first time since 2016, leading some to ponder whether its dynasty of success is now over.
During the final term against Hawthorn at the MCG last Saturday, an admittedly injury-depleted Tigers outfit looked a shell of its former self, down 31 points and on the brink of a crushing defeat.
But there was still a spark in the Tigers that allowed them to pile on the final five goals in the game and secure a thrilling draw against a young but in-form Hawthorn team desperate to send legendary coach Alastair Clarkson off on a high.
This showed Richmond still has the fight and talent to compete, and the Club will only get stronger next season when key players return from injury.
Coach Damien Hardwick admitted post-game his players were exhausted after going deep into September four years in a row and would relish the extended break.
Having a period to refresh and recharge may be just the tonic the Tigers need to become serious premiership contenders again in 2022.