Collingwood's 31-point defeat to West Coast at Etihad Stadium meant they have lost four in a row for the first time in nine years.
Nathan Buckley's team have faced a particularly tough run of games against the clubs that now occupy the top three places, and while they only narrowly lost to Fremantle and Hawthorn they were fortunate only to lose by 31 points to the Eagles.
Collingwood now need to get back on track to secure a finals spot, though they will face sixth-placed Western Bulldogs next weekend without power forward Travis Cloke.
Buckley admits he faces personnel challenges after Cloke suffered a suspected torn calf midway through the first term.
"Just talking to Trav a moment ago, he felt a bit of a pop, so it's likely to be a calf tear," said Buckley, who will have fingers crossed ahead of results of his player's scan.
The Magpies coach said his team were "just a little bit off at the moment," adding: "We've got a lot of growth in us but there's no guarantee we're going to find it; we've got to make it happen.
"As far as our football goes, some of it in the last month has been better than anything that we displayed in the first half of the year. So we're not going to get carried away with a run of losses."
Collingwood are 1.58 to win their next game against Western Bulldogs, who are 2.40.
The Eagles beat Collingwood in Melbourne for the first time since 2003, and did so comfortably despite their inaccurate kicking - they converted only 11 of their 32 scoring shots.
Adam Simpson's side, who are 6.50 to win the premiership, had injury issues of their own, losing key defender Jeremy McGovern to a hamstring problem.
Mark LeCras and Josh Kennedy both kicked three goals, Kennedy's majors meaning he has a nine-goal lead at the top of the Coleman Medal standings.