Coming off five wins in succession since their first defeat of the year in round two against West Coast at AAMI Stadium, the Crows didn't help their cause with an inaccurate display up forward.
As well as choking up the visitors any time they went forward and taking their time to set up their own attacking thrusts, perhaps the most critical aspect of the Tigers' win was their ferocious attack on the ball and the man.
In a measure of Richmond coach Terry Wallace's desire to deny Adelaide the ball, his team set a new league record in marks taken with a whopping 181 and touched the ball 358 times.
Joel Bowden took an amazing 20 marks to go with his 34 possessions in his 200th game, while Andrew Kellaway (23 disposals) and Kayne Pettifer (22 touches) pulled down 15 marks each, Pettifer putting in his nomination for mark of the year.
Young Andrew Raines was given the daunting task of minding Adelaide captain Mark Ricciuto - who was played predominantly out of the goal square - and he did a superb job keeping the Crow to just four disposals while gathering 20 of his own.
Tyson Edwards was Adelaide's best with 30 possessions and a goal and All-Australian full-back Ben Rutten did a good job on Matthew Richardson, keeping the Tiger spearhead goalless.
Richmond's win breaks an eight-game losing streak against the Crows and marks the first time it has beaten Adelaide at Telstra Dome.
According to all and sundry the Tigers were supposed to get a toweling from Adelaide, but Wallace forgot to give his players the script as Richmond slammed through the first three goals of the game.
Troy Simmonds was instrumental in the good start with 11 disposals and a goal in the first quarter, but the Crows soon organised themselves and stemmed the flow.
A 50-metre set shot from Marty Mattner was Adelaide's first and when Edwards let fly from just inside the arc, the margin was back to two points.
That was the deficit at the first break, but that wasn't the only bad news for the Crows with Ben Hart leaving the field late in the term to take no further part in the match with a suspected broken arm.
Adelaide went ahead for the first time in the match when Graham Johncock goaled soon after the restart and perhaps, the Crows thought they had seen off the challenge from the young Tiges, but they were sorely mistaken.
Wallace's instructions were clear as the quarter progressed with the Tigers continually going short to an umarked target to deny the Crows the ball. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective as Richmond painstakingly plotted a way toward goal on three separate occasions with Pettifer's first giving his side a 15-point lead at the half.
Those hoping the game would open up after the main break were left disappointed as the Tigers continued to frustrate the Crows by simply denying them time with the ball.
The sides were able to score just one goal each for the entire term - with both of those coming in the opening five minutes - as the game as a spectacle plunged to new depths. Pettifer provided a rare highlight when he climbed over a pack to take a towering mark inside defensive 50.
Richmond led by 17 points going into the final term and in what was perhaps a vindication of Wallace's game plan, Adelaide came right back into the contest when the game opened up and returned to some sort of normality.
The Crows kicked five goals to the Tigers' three to come roaring back into calculations, but time was against the visitors as the siren sounded to give Richmond a well-planned and well-executed three-point win.
Crows coach Neil Craig felt his side failed to adequately adapt to the strategy employed against it and thought the number of skill errors committed by his players didn't help their cause.
"It was a good tactic and it certainly took the pace out of the whole game, we've done that to opposition teams, so we understand that," he said. "It's part of our learning experience."
"There's another strategy that an opposition side has put against us and we've put against opposition sides - not for that length of time - but that gives us another thing to look at to try and add to our game, so that we can handle all situations that can happen to you."
"Clearly we didn't handle it as well as we would like to think. Now in the future we'd want to be able to do better than that."
Wallace said the win over Adelaide was a remarkable turnaround from last round's 118-point loss to Sydney at Telstra Dome.
"I sat in this room a week ago, exactly a week ago, coming off the worst-ever loss that I'd ever had as a senior coach, coaching at AFL level," Wallace said.
"So to come in against a side that had been written up all week as being invincible and that was lengths above anyone else … to be able to do that with young boys going around (in the side) was very satisfying."
RICHMOND: 3.0 6.3 7.7 10.9 (69)
ADELAIDE: 2.4 3.6 4.8 9.12 (66)
GOALS - Richmond: Simmonds 2, Coughlan, Deledio, Krakouer, Newman, Pattison, Pettifer, Tambling, Tuck
Adelaide: Burton 2, Hentschel 2, Edwards, Johncock, Mattner, McLeod, Ricciuto
BEST - Richmond: J.Bowden, Krakouer, Simmonds, Kellaway, Raines, Pettifer
Adelaide: Edwards, McLeod, Goodwin, Doughty, Hentschel, Rutten
INJURIES - Richmond:
Adelaide: Hart (broken left forearm)
CHANGES - Richmond: Nil
UMPIRES - Donlon, Quigley, McInerney
CROWD - 24,461 at Telstra Dome