Newcastle's late season slump of six straight losses has not only seen them relinquish their grip on a finals berth, it has left them vulnerable to finishing the season with a worse record than 2018.
And with only some minor roster tinkering to come for 2020, where does that leave the club's prospects for next year?
With four rounds remaining and matches against the Cowboys, Wests Tigers, Gold Coast Titans and Penrith to come, the Knights will need to win all four and hope other results go their way to sneak into the top eight.
As coach Nathan Brown conceded after Saturday night's loss to Parramatta, "It's going to be hard from the point of view we're probably not going to control our own destiny now."
So dramatic has been the fall from grace, the Knights find themselves still needing to win two of their remaining games just to eclipse what they achieved last season with an inferior squad and a greater injury toll.
They finished in 11th position on 20 points in 2018 despite skipper Mitchell Pearce missing nine matches through injury and several others including fullback Kalyn Ponga sidelined at various stages.
The addition of Test prop David Klemmer, experienced Maroons Origin forward Tim Glasby and rising centre Jesse Ramien to the roster was expected to be the catalyst for a real finals tilt and right up until the Origin period after a shaky opening six weeks, the Knights were right on track. Few at the time saw the wheels falling off to the extent they have.
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While a glimmer of hope remains this season, the Knights need to rebound strongly over the next four weeks for their own credibility. More of the same effort and commitment and some better execution will be required to finish the season off in a positive fashion.
They have Sharks hooker Jayden Brailey and possibly teammate Kurt Capewell arriving next season as their only new recruits but they have lost Ramien and will lose Herman Ese'ese and most likely Danny Levi, along with Jamie Buhrer.
At the very least, Knights players owe their fans a strong final month to get rid of the bad taste the last six weeks has left.