Parramatta coach Brad Arthur admits his men struggled to handle the sudden weight of premiership talk during their shock loss to Newcastle.
The Eels blew their shot at a top-four berth and had their six-game winning stream snapped by a more enthusiastic and committed Knights team at ANZ Stadium, losing 29-10.
A win would have lifted the Eels into the top four for the first time since March, only heightening expectations which have grown over their winning run.
The Eels could now end the round in seventh spot.
"Obviously we didn't handle (the hype) really well because we can only go by the results and our actions and our actions weren't great," Arthur said.
"They came here with a lot more energy and they just did everything better."
Arthur conceded his team were beaten in all the effort areas by the Knights, and suggested his side were also brought undone by complacency.
He urged his team to quickly move on before next week's clash against Gold Coast in what looms as Jarryd Hayne's first clash against his former club.
"It's not great, but we've got to move past it," Arthur said of the loss.
"All the things we done really well the last period of our games - we were out-beaten tonight, out-enthused, we didn't kick well.
"All those key words, composure, discipline, patience, we didn't have any of it. All the simple things in our game that we've been on top of, we didn't.
"Maybe we were looking for a soft win, maybe we thought we could come here and get a soft win. They just worked harder than us."
Knights coach Nathan Brown believed the Eels' forward pack held the key to whether they can contend for a title this season.
"I'm a big Corey Norman fan. I just think any team that's got Corey Norman in it and your forward pack's doing a good job, can beat anyone," Brown said.
"I think he's a sensational player and one of the competition's premier players in my opinion. If he's there and their pack are doing really well they'll give themselves a chance.
"But that's the key, their forwards are definitely tough and they come at you and try to get on top of you. Any time Parra's pack's doing well, they'll give themselves a chance."