In the wake of the Warriors' catastrophic 70-10 defeat in Melbourne on Monday night, there is really only one question that needs to be asked.
What does it mean?
The club record loss, with 13 tries conceded, is either evidence of an impending malaise at the Auckland club, with something clearly wrong at the core of the squad.
Or it is a horrific one-off event, on a night when nothing went right, against one of the best attacking teams in premiership history.
That can only be assessed in the coming weeks and months, though coach Nathan Brown is not at risk of a 'don't come Monday' type phone call.
Not yet anyway.
The club have invested heavily in Brown and his player targets and the Herald understands that unless things go seriously bad from here, his job is safe.
The club hierarchy believe that Brown deserves a chance to show his wares from their Mt Smart base in a non-Covid campaign, so 2023 would become the make or break season.
But the AAMI park massacre was a seismic shock, especially after all the confidence and belief emanating from the camp over the last month.
As well as being the Warriors' worst defeat, exceeding the 62-6 thrashing at Penrith in 2013, there were other unwanted marks, according to Kiwi league historian Will Evans.
Only four teams in the modern era have conceded more points, while only one club (Cronulla in 2003, versus Parramatta) have shipped more tries (14) in the past 44 years.
And the 54 points after halftime is believed to be the worst second half concession since the 1930's.
It could have been worse too, as the Storm only converted seven of their 13 tries.
But believe it or not, it wasn't all bad.
Given the opposition, the first half was probably the Warriors best 40 minutes of the season as they matched the Storm in the grind, defended superbly and scored two impressive tries.
It was still a tight contest immediately after halftime, shown by Melbourne's decision to take a penalty shot at 16-10, though the absence of starting props Addin Fonua-Blake and Matt Lodge blunted their forward momentum.
Everything changed in the 48th minute.
Not only did the Storm jag a try from a Nelson Asofa-Solomona bomb (just the third kick of his NRL career), but wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was knocked out in a sickening collision, before being stretchered off.
Reece Walsh then sent the ensuing kick-off dead, for the second successive week, and 65 seconds later Storm wing Nick Meaney was over in the corner.
From there the white flag went up, with a staggering eight tries conceded in the last 28 minutes.
Few Warriors emerged with credit, though the likes of Euan Aitken, Wayde Egan, Jazz Tevaga and Matt Lodge never stopped trying.
The Storm are a brutally efficient machine, and the new rules have made it much more difficult to arrest momentum, but some of the effort was inexcusable.
Brown is usually diplomatic but accused some players of taking the "easiest option" and essentially not trying.
"Sometimes fatigue causes people to make bad decisions, but we had some people that made bad decisions, not so much because of fatigue and that's what is disappointing," said Brown.
While Storm coach Craig Bellamy was sympathetic, saying the loss of Watene-Zelezniak and Josh Curran had changed the equation, Brown was less conciliatory.
"We were right in that contest, we were competing well and there wasn't a great deal in the game," said Brown.
"[But] when we picked up a couple of injuries, we certainly didn't respond well. We had some players who were a bit below their best at that stage and when it got harder and harder, thought the easiest option was to look for the easiest option and unfortunately for our middle forwards, who worked really hard and did a great job for us, not having the ball under fatigue made it extremely difficult at the end of the game."
It was an out of character performance, given the grit and defensive desperation in recent weeks, and Brown will be hopeful the team can bounce back on Saturday against the Canberra Raiders.
But the coach will also need to face the mirror.
Even with the injuries, the bench equation was again puzzling, with Eliesa Katoa's power and size definitely needed against the Storm.
And what is missing from the environment and the preparation that allows individual and collective meltdowns of such a scale?
Only time will offer answers but the scale of the mountain in 2022 just got a whole lot greater.