Essendon lost its fourth straight game on Saturday night, this time to Brisbane by 42 points, but coach Brad Scott said it's not all doom and gloom.

The Bombers led by 10 points at half-time, stifling the Lions' attacking weapons, but eventually weight of numbers got them in the second half as the home team stormed to victory on the back of 69 inside 50s to 38.

Scott had a clear plan with his heavily undermanned team, one that included playing a spare man in defence and hoping to transition the ball from end-to-end to score.

It worked for two quarters, keeping the Lions to two goals from 32 entries in the first half before things went sideways.

Essendon's coach was philosophical after the defeat.

"Brisbane have got a lot of firepower all over the ground and are clearly at a different stage to what we are, but we're clear with the players that's irrelevant," Scott said.

"We came here to win, and we gave ourselves a good chance in the second half.

"It's hard to hold up 22 inside 50s to five in the third quarter and they overwhelmed us in the end.

"To the players' credit they're not making excuses."

Losing Jordan Ridley and Jake Kelly, both to concussion, along with Darcy Parish (calf) from an already depleted team, Essendon had little option but to turn to its youth.

Andy McGrath totally blanketed Charlie Cameron, keeping the Lions star goalless, while Kaine Baldwin battled in defence and Jye Caldwell and Will Setterfield were part of a midfield group that edged Brisbane in the clearance count.

Ben Hobbs, playing in just his second season, finished with an equal career-high 22 disposals.

"There was still a bit to like in what was a disappointing night for us," Scott said.

"As I said to the players, we're disappointed but not disheartened."

Scott said Ridley would be back for next Saturday's Dreamtime at the 'G game against Richmond, while Dylan Shiel (ankle) was fine after leaving the field briefly during the third quarter.

"We need to find out about a lot of players and we already have, and to be honest most of it has been really positive."

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan was delighted with his team's ability to overturn a frustrating first half, where they dominated many key statistics, but not the scoreboard.

Fagan said he was calm at half-time, decided to equalise Essendon's spare man and instructed his team to kick the ball longer to the height advantage shared by six-goal hero Joe Daniher and sidekick Eric Hipwood."The players were able to adapt at half-time to the instructions we gave them, so that's a good sign," he said.

"It felt a little bit like the Bulldogs game in round three. It had that feel about it, it was just a grind. I wondered at half-time how we'd respond."

Daniher was magnificent against his former club, continuing a fine season in which he's now kicked 24 goals through nine games.

"Since the Dogs' game when all the world caved in on him about his performance, he hasn't played too badly," Fagan said.