Injury rather than fatigue is to blame for Brisbane's season-threatening form slump, captain Corey Parker says.
The Broncos have lost six of their past eight matches to drop to seventh on the NRL ladder, succumbing to a record 48-6 loss to Melbourne on Friday night.
It's the second consecutive time the side has conceded 40 points or more, losing heavily to Canterbury the week previous.
Critics have pointed to a flat defensive line and an attack lacking firepower, and Parker believes the side's injury list is the culprit, rather than the usual Origin-period fatigue.
"It's just a tough period for us," Parker told Sky Sports Radio.
"We've been hit pretty hard with injuries in the outside back area."
Brisbane lost star winger Corey Oates in the 18th minute when the Queensland representative came off second best with try-bound Storm centre Ryan Morgan.
It was a cruel blow for a 17 already missing backs Jordan Kahu, Jack Reed, Greg Eden and Tom Opacic to injury, meaning bench player Kodi Nikorima had to fill in on the wing.
The diminutive utility was easy aerial pickings for Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu, who bagged a hat-trick.
"Five tries off kicks - there's 30 points right there," Parker said
Parker said the side can expect a few inclusions for its next match following the bye against the struggling South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.
He said confidence isn't completely shot at Red Hill despite their troubling recent results.
"We were going into that game not worrying about a result but more worrying about some performances in certain areas," he said.
"At times, we were in front from the week before."