Brisbane were criticised by all and sundry after a record 58-0 finals loss to Parramatta but they did well to get that far given how dire things looked two months earlier.
Sitting 14th following 16 rounds with only six wins and the fourth-worst points-differential in the competition, it seemed the Broncos would miss the playoffs for just the third time this decade.
But five victories and a draw from their last nine games lifted the club into the post-season by the barest of margins. That resolve earned praise from new coach Anthony Seibold.
"I'm really proud of the group for sticking solid. The season could have really unravelled at stages there," Seibold said before the ill-fated week one finals clash with the Eels.
Yes, the campaign was marred by their disastrous playoffs effort and an overall inconsistency, but there were still positives to be gleaned.
Teenage talents David Fifita and Payne Haas, the latter of whom won the Dally M Rookie of the Year Award, exploded into bona fide stars, while the likes of centre Kotoni Staggs, prop Thomas Flegler and halfback Tom Dearden also came on.
Home & Away record
Home: 6-5 (one draw). Away: 7-5.
If you count the round nine Magic Round loss to Manly at Suncorp Stadium where they were technically the away team, their record on home turf was a fair reflection of Brisbane's up-and-down efforts.
The season's only draw was played out between the Broncos and Warriors at Suncorp Stadium in round 18.
Brisbane averaged 20.2 points for and 17.8 against as the home side.
On the road (including Round 9 vs Manly at Suncorp), Brisbane averaged 15.8 points for and 23 against.
The Broncos averaged the most post-contact metres per carry with 2.77m and ranked third for PCM per game (480m).
They have Payne Haas largely to thank for their dominance as the boom prop knocked Cowboys powerhouse Jason Taumalolo off his throne as the NRL's PCM king.
Haas racked up 1438 PCM (71.9m per match) in 20 games.
Fellow front-rower Matt Lodge (1055 total PCM, 50.2 per game) and winger Corey Oates (1013, 48.2) were also solid performers.
Try scoring - attacking channels
Thirty-four of the Broncos' 73 tries came down the right or centre-right channels (47 per cent). Nineteen tries were scored in the left and centre-left channels and 20 through the middle.
Left-winger Corey Oates (13) was the team's highest try-scorer, with right centre Kotoni Staggs (11) coming in next.
Tries conceded - defensive channels
Brisbane's right side was their strongest in attack but it also proved to be a defensive weakness, conceding 38 of the team's 83 tries (46 per cent).
Twenty-eight four-pointers were leaked down the left and centre-left channels (34 per cent) and 17 in the middle.
Right winger Jamayne Isaako was responsible for the most try causes with 21, while fullback turned five-eighth Darius Boyd had 20.
Tries conceded from penalties
Anthony Seibold's troops conceded the equal-least tries in the set after penalties with 20 - on par with back-to-back premiers the Roosters, Cronulla and North Queensland.
Brisbane were penalised on 145 occasions throughout the year, meaning they successfully defended the set after being pinged 86 per cent of the time.
Metres gained from offloads
The Broncos ranked sixth for metres gained in the run following an offload with 1617 in total (67.4 per match).
Back-rower Tevita Pangai jnr, who had the second-most offloads in the competition (55), was the best provider - his teammates collected 425.9 metres in the runs after he promoted the ball.
Kotoni Staggs (119.3) recorded the most metres after receiving an offload.
The Broncos booted 68 goals from 89 attempts at a success rate of 76.4 per cent. Penrith (88 per cent) were the benchmark.
Regular kicker Jamayne Isaako landed 52 goals from 66 shots at 79 per cent. St George Illawarra's Gareth Widdop (88.2 per cent) ranked first percentage-wise.
The poor goal-kicking of other sides helped Brisbane tremendously - had all 16 clubs nailed every goal attempt, the Broncos would have finished 12th.
Brisbane used 31 players last season, behind only Penrith's competition-high 33.
The club handed out seven NRL debuts and called on a further five rookies (who could have played up to four maiden NRL games in the past two years).
Attacking and defending inside 20 metres
It took Brisbane an average of 10.7 play-the-balls inside the opposition's 20-metre zone to score a try. The Roosters (8) led the way.
The Broncos lasted an average of 9.6 play-the-balls defending inside their red-zone before leaking a try - the fourth-worst rate in the competition. The Titans (6.7) ranked worst.
Squad retention vs competition points
NRL Stats data showed a correlation between the percentage of players a club retained from its 2017 squad and competition points in 2019.
The five top-performing clubs last season all had retention rates of at least 45 per cent, with minor premiers Melbourne keeping almost 60 per cent of their squad from two years prior.
Brisbane, meanwhile, had the second-lowest retention rate of just under 35 - above only Canterbury.
Players who transferred mid-season (James Roberts and Kodi Nikorima for the Broncos) were not counted as being retained.