The NRL's free-wheeling finals threaten to put the competition's best teams under threat with history showing they become more vulnerable in high-scoring series.
The NRL will have two teams from outside the top four play in the preliminary finals for the first time since 2009, the year Parramatta made their great run.
This year's finals are easily the highest scoring in NRL history, with the average match total of 56 points surpassing the 49 from 2001.
But the bad news for Melbourne and Penrith is that it doesn't bode well for teams who have dominated the season, with underdogs catching fire in unpredictable high-scoring games.
Of the four finals series to have an average match total of 44 or above, three times the winner has come from outside the top two.
In comparison, of the 10 series during the NRL era to have had an average total of 39 points or less, one of the top two have won eight times.
The high-scoring series include the two highest-scoring affairs of 2001 and 2005, where Parramatta dominated both seasons but didn't lift the trophy.
All reason for the Panthers to be on high alert in Saturday's clash with South Sydney, who have shades of the 2005 Wests Tigers about them.
"Obviously their attack is just electric," Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary said.
"When they get the momentum they're very hard to stop.
"They've got superstars across the field, so we'll definitely need to be defending well."
On the three occasions in 2001, 2009 and 2014 that the finals has been higher scoring than the regular season, the winner has come from outside the top two.
That is again the case this year, with the 2020 regular season averaging 41.76 points per game even with the new rules.
Which begs the question: Will this year be the first time since the Tigers 15 years ago that a team wins the title without being among the best defenders all year?
"It's a hard one to answer because we've never gone through something like this before," Api Koroisau, whose Panthers are ranked first for defence this year, said.
"The game has changed so much. This is probably the first year the game's been so heavily focused on attack.
"At the same time when the shit hits the fan people rely back on their defence. It's a muscle memory thing."
Souths and Canberra can see the upside, with both Damien Cook and George Williams saying in the past week the up-tempo football plays into their hands.
"Yeah, it is (something that suits us)," Raiders half Williams said in the lead-up to their clash with Melbourne.
"Everyone's just playing the best attacking rugby league they can at the back end of the year. The games have been mad."
NRL'S HIGH-SCORING FINALS (Premiers position after home-and-away season)
2020: 56.17 points per game
2001: 49.22 points per game, Premiers - 3rd
2005: 44.77 points per game, Premiers - 4th
2014: 44.55 points per game, Premiers - 3rd
2002: 44.44 points per game, Premiers - 1st