The Sydney Swans have snapped a two-game losing streak and ended their run of slow starts, with a 58-point victory over Essendon at the SCG.
Chad Warner had a career-high 32 disposals with 12 score involvements while Mills rivalled him for best afield with 29 touches, including 12 contested possessions, seven clearances and a game-high 13 tackles, earning praise from Sydney coach John Longmire.
"When a leader sets himself on being the highest-pressure player and goes on the hunt it sets a good tone for the team," Longmire said.
"I thought that's as good as I've seen him scramble and put pressure on around the ball. If senior players are going to do that, it makes a real difference."
The Swans arrested their first-quarter woes, getting the jump on the Bombers with a five-goal opening term to lead by 20 points at the first change.
Sydney, who lost to Gold Coast and Brisbane in their previous two games, had only won two of their eight first quarters this season coming into the game.
"We got it right tonight," Longmire said.
"It comes on the back of some pretty simple stuff. Our players played with real energy tonight from the first bounce. They were able to put on enormous pressure and that makes a big difference.
Consistency of pressure, having 25 more tackles than the opposition and having that many scoring shots, that's always a good sign. We won the contest."