Broncos coach Anthony Griffin believes his team can still be a top four outfit this season despite Monday night's 35-34 heartbreaker in Penrith leaving them without a win in a month.
Faced with a 34-18 deficit midway through the second half, Brisbane had all the momentum when they levelled the game on Corey Parker conversion of a Corey Oates' 78th minute try.
But any thought of a miracle comeback immediately turned into heartbreak when prop Josh Maguire coughed up the ball from the kickoff, paving the way for Panthers fullback Matt Moylan to slot the game-winning field goal three players later.
"We fought back, but we should never have been in that position," Griffin said post-game.
"We're better than that, and we're going to be better than that. Whether Maguire drops the ball with a minute to go, we should never have been in that position."
It was the second game in a row Griffin could apply the same description to his team's performance, having given up a 22-0 lead at home against Cronulla two weeks.
In fact, the 34 points was a club record for the most points scored in a loss.
And while last night's defeat left the six-time premiers clinging onto their spot in the eight on for-and-against, Griffin hadn't given up hope of his side joining the rugby league elite.
"We still could be a top four side. It's not the last game of the year," he said.
"But that just wasn't where we needed to be tonight. It was very disappointing to be that loose in defence and scramble away at a game like that."
Another major concern for the fourth-year coach was his side's slow start in both halves.
The visitors were shell-shocked after conceding two tries in the first six minutes of the game and, although they fought back to lead 18-12 midway through the first half, they let in three more in the first 20 minutes of the second.
"12-0 in the first half and 16-0 in the second, we were just chasing our tail all night," Griffin said.
"When possession was with us, we had heaps of momentum. When it wasn't with us, we weren't prepared to work at all.
"We just leaked too many soft tries. That was the story of the night. It was just a really loose game and we contributed to that."
Having enjoyed last weekend off with the bye, Brisbane have now lost three straight, setting up an important home clash against an in-form Warriors side on Friday night.
Second-rower Matt Gillett is expected to return after missing the game with a slight ankle injury he picked up late in Queensland's win over New South Wales in Origin III.