IF, as they say, a week is a long time in football, then six weeks is an eternity.
Just ask Knights coach Nathan Brown.
After Newcastle's first six games of the season, which delivered a win and five consecutive defeats, speculation was mounting that Brown was a dead man walking.
Some media commentators even went so far as to declare he was as good as gone.
Six weeks later, with half-a-dozen wins in the bank, Brown surely rates as favourite for the Dally M coach-of-the-year award.
There is a long way to go, admittedly, and still half a season that has to be negotiated. But is there any team in the competition who have improved as much, and as quickly, as Newcastle?
Canberra and Manly, who like the fifth-placed Knights both have seven wins in their kitbags, have also made impressive progress.
Manly were a rabble last year, finishing second-last, but have re-emerged after the return of Des Hasler.
Ricky Stuart's Raiders are making winning a habit, having earned an unwanted reputation in the previous two seasons for losing close games.
But the transformation of the Knights has been nothing short of remarkable.
Newcastle finished 11th last season, with nine wins. For most fans that would be nothing to celebrate, but after three successive wooden spoons, the Novocastrian faithful were grateful to have finally climbed out of the cellar.
It did not require a forensic examination of Newcastle's statistics, however, to realise there was still a long, steep road ahead.
The Knights conceded the second-most points (607) in the NRL last season, and scored the third fewest (414).
On a per-game basis, their average scoreline was 17.2 (Newcastle) to 25.3 (opposition).
Fast-forward to the halfway point of 2019. In 12 games the Knights have scored 271 points (fourth best) and conceded 196 (third best). Their average scoreline has been 22.6 (Newcastle) to 16.3 (opposition).
In other words, they are 5.4 points better per game in attack, and nine points better in defence. In the space of half a season, they have improved more than 14 points each game.
Obviously Brown has a stronger roster at his disposal this season, so better results were expected. But the way in which the Knights have rebounded, just when they appeared in danger of imploding, speaks volumes for the synergy between the coach and his players.
Already they have shattered a host of hoodoos, with wins against the Roosters, Rabbitohs and in Auckland.
Now they are chasing another prized scalp - the Storm in Melbourne - which would give them seven wins in a row for the first time since 2002.
In Newcastle's past two games, Brown has outpointed Trent Robinson and Wayne Bennett. Craig Bellamy would complete a pretty handy hat-trick.