Missing the NRL finals for the second time in 21 years might yet be the best thing that could have happened to Brisbane, coach Anthony Griffin says.
The Broncos' mentor admitted he had heard the critics "singing like canaries" ahead of Thursday night's Suncorp Stadium clash with the finals-bound Canterbury ended the worst season in the club's history.
But Griffin said earning a last-gasp finals berth this year could have papered over problems the club had to address to become a 2014 title threat.
Instead of pats on the back for scraping into the top eight, Griffin said the club would benefit more from facing some hard off-season truths.
"Everyone will want to see mass changes but it is important we don't throw the baby out with the bath water," said Griffin.
"The fact we are in this position gives us a real chance to analyse ourselves.
"If we had snuck in and made the semis, maybe we would not have analysed ourselves as hard."
Brisbane are 13th on the ladder with a 9-1-13 record.
Their previous worst season was an 11-win effort in 2010 - a tally that resulted in then coach Ivan Henjak being sacked.
But Griffin - who will miss the finals for the first time since taking the Broncos reins in 2011 - wanted critics to keep their results in perspective.
"If we had won a couple of close games that we had this year, we would all be sitting here talking about finals next week," he said.
"We will cop whatever we have to cop at the moment.
"But then it's a matter of having a clear head and sitting down and analysing where we want to go."
Still, Brisbane copped a fresh spray on Wednesday when ex-Broncos captain Gorden Tallis called for a "massive shake up" at the club.
But Griffin wouldn't bite on Wednesday.
"We are fair game at the moment. That was always going to happen," he said.
"Everyone is singing like canaries so we will just let them go."
Griffin said he was more focused on acknowledging Scott Prince (300th and final game), Peter Wallace (returning to Penrith) and David Stagg (200th game) with a win on Thursday night.
It will be an emotional night for ex-Queensland Origin half Prince, 33, who will draw the curtain on his impressive 16-season career.
But it remains to be seen whether emotion alone helps Brisbane snap a two-game losing run and down the fifth-placed Bulldogs.
A shock loss won't have a massive finals impact on Canterbury - if they finish fifth or sixth, they will still host a knockout playoff next week.
However, after watching the Bulldogs steamroll Penrith 34-14 last round, few will back against them improving on their impressive recent record against Brisbane.
The Bulldogs have won four of their past five clashes.