Manly are walking an NRL finals tightrope after they were beaten 30-16 by Canterbury on Sunday.
The Bulldogs put in their best attacking performance of the year to snap a four- game losing streak, effectively sending Manly's finals ambitions into a tailspin.
The Sea Eagles, who were third a month ago, have now lost four of their past five games to fall to eighth on the ladder.
Their only saving grace could come from both the Dragons and 10th-placed Canberra who suffered defeats this weekend, meaning one more win could still be enough to make the playoffs.
Manly face the Warriors in Auckland next Sunday before playing Penrith at Lottoland in round 26.
But they would still need to improve if they are to have any impact come September, given they have now conceded 170 points in their past five games.
They were again caught lacking in defence on their own line, while their attack didn't have the impetus it has had for most of the season.
Captain Daly Cherry-Evans battled a flu in the lead-up to the game.
It showed as the Sea Eagles' second-half points came through Lewis Brown in the final minute, despite completing at 82 per cent for the match.
In comparison, the often-clunky Bulldogs scored 30 points for the first time this season.
Will Hopoate produced the last pass for three tries, as the Bulldogs worked the same play twice for Marcelo Montoya to score a first-half double.
Brett Morris also crossed closed to half-time to get Canterbury past 10 points in the opening half for the first time this season, before he and brother Josh both scored after the break.