They're a common affliction of young, developing sides and, more pertinently, a cause of frustration for Hawks fans in the opening stages of the 2021 campaign.
Now seven games into the season, Hawthorn sit 16th on the ladder with a two-win, five-loss record.
But a closer look at the season to date would suggest an eradication of these slumps would quickly transform the club's fortunes.
The Hawks have conceded some horror quarters so far: an eight-goal Bombers' second quarter in Round 1, a similar eight-goal tsunami in the last against the Demons in Round 5, the Crows' 10 goals in the second term in Round 6, while against both Fremantle in Round 4 and St Kilda in Round 7 the Hawks leaked five goals in the opening term and were held goalless at the other end.
If you remove the Hawks' worst quarters in each of their seven match-ups so far, a 2-5 record becomes 4-3.
Even more telling, the current percentage of 75.3 becomes 113.02%.
Footy is a four-quarter game.
This is not to make excuses for the Hawks, but rather paint a picture of just how detrimental these patches are.
Of each of the seven matches so far, the Hawks' worst quarter has been the opening one on four occasions.
Hawthorn has been outscored by 88 points across its seven first terms, entering quarter time on top three times.
Defender Jarman Impey spoke post-game about this worrying pattern.
"It's frustrating because we are aware of it and we're trying to do everything we can to fix it," he said.
"Fixing it" doesn't necessarily mean winning all four quarters - footy is a momentum game and even the best sides have slow periods in games.
The Hawks more realistically will be aiming for greater damage control - withstanding an opposition side's dominance without allowing a scoreboard overhaul.
A work in progress.
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