A resurgent Penrith have moved into the NRL top eight for the first time this season after shutting out Gold Coast 24-2 on Friday night.
The four-try rout seemingly puts another nail in the coffin of Titans coach Garth Brennan, whose side barely posed a threat at Panthers Stadium.
The lopsided defeat comes just days before Gold Coast boss Mal Meninga hands down a mid-season review to the club's board, with Brennan's fate on the agenda.
Brennan insisted he has been able to block out the speculation around his future, however was unsure whether the players are showing signs of distraction.
"I can deal with it quite easily. I don't listen to it. I don't buy into it. I can't control it, but I'm in my mid-40s," Brennan said.
"Some of these guys are in their late teens, early 20s, it may be affecting them a little bit. Probably the speculation (of), where does their future lie as well?"
Two nights after helping steer NSW to a famous State of Origin triumph, veteran James Maloney backed up to lead the Penrith to a sixth straight win.
The Blues playmaker set up two tries for winger Brian To'o, who impressed the 10,317 home crowd with his acrobatics in the corner.
Maloney was aided by electric halves partner Jarome Luai, who also delivered two on a platter for fullback Dylan Edwards in a dominant performance.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary later revealed Maloney insisted he back up in the absence of injured halfback Nathan Cleary, who is still battling an ankle injury.
"I just can't thank him enough, really. He'd actually got on the phone yesterday to me and I think he had about an hour's sleep," Cleary said.
"He said, 'Don't play, Nathan. I'll be right.' That's what you want from a senior player, and one of your best players. And he certainly backed it up."
The victory lifts Penrith over the Wests Tigers and Cronulla, who are yet to play this weekend, into eighth spot.
With halfback Ash Taylor still sidelined on personal leave, Gold Coast were desperate for a star to lead when the contest was in the grind.
At one stage in the second half, prop Jarrod Wallace sent a bomb out on the full.
Moments later, Luai, with his team holding a 12-point lead, put Edwards over to complete his brace in the 71st minute To'o followed soon after to seal the win.
Making matters worse for the Titans, halfback Ryley Jacks failed to complete the match due to a rib cartilage issue, opening the door for Taylor's possibly return.
Centre Dale Copley also missed most of the game after getting concussed.
Initially, Penrith had little to show for an imposing opening 20 minutes which yielded just a penalty goal each from either side.
It wasn't until Luai cracked the game open with some individual magic in the 29th minute, touching the ball three times in one play for Edwards' opener.
Gold Coast pushed for a response late in the half but Maloney's quick line dropout paved the way for him to set up To'o's first try.
The contest also marked the debut of second-rower Jed Cartwright, son of Panthers legend and Titans foundation coach, John.
In more good news for Penrith fans, rookie Brent Naden was rewarded for his impressive start to his career with a two-year extension before the game.