Melbourne coach Paul Roos hailed Jack Watts after his side showed how much they could improve in the space of a week by beating Collingwood by 37 points.
Smarting from a defeat to St Kilda by the same margin last time out, the Demons drew some inspiration from seeing Richmond cause a surprise on Friday.
The Tigers' win over a Hawthorn side bidding for a third straight premiership was significant for Roos' team, as they beat Richmond by 32 points earlier in the year.
Ahead of their game against the Magpies, Roos drew his players' attention to that fact. "It might have sparked some of them to make them think, 'gee, we did beat them a few weeks ago and they're arguably playing the best footy in the comp at the moment'," he said.
The response he got from the Demons was exactly what he was looking for, as they picked up their sixth win of the campaign - they only managed 10 across the previous three seasons.
One of the players to stand out for Roos was utility Jack Watts, who the coach believes has found his ideal role as a half-forward/wingman.
Watts finished with 26 possessions at the MCG, his 11 contested possessions being his highest total in three years.
"(He) played a really, really good game," Roos said. "I'm so pleased that he's played so well and he's had a really consistent six or seven weeks of footy.
"I think today, if it's not his best game he's ever played, certainly the way he played was really important.
"He set the scene when he started forward, crashed in, got some balls on the lead (and) made things happen, and that continued all day."
Melbourne had to withstand a couple of rallies from the Magpies before pulling away, keeping the opposition goalless in the final term.
The Demons are 27/100 to win their next game against North Melbourne, who are 2/7.