The challenge, after getting out of jail against Bristol City, was to use that point as a catalyst for the rest of the season.
Sunderland failed miserably.
Chris Coleman had made the point before the game that he did not want to be sitting after the game making the same old comments, 'we started well but as soon as we conceded...'.
This week, Sunderland didn't even manage that. Right from the first whistle they were second best, Brentford playing with a width and pace that the hosts simply couldn't handle.
The alarm bells were ringing just three minutes in, Ollie Watkins free at the back post and seeing his shot palmed wide be Lee Camp. Soon after, Florian Jozefzoon fired straight at Camp as his late run into the box went untracked.
There had been much talk of systems before the game but this was a showing that underlined Sunderland's biggest problem: an inability to produce the defensive basics.
John O'Shea and Lee Cattermole dithered on the ball near the edge of their own box thirteen minutes in and Kamo Mokotjo pounced, putting Brentford ahead with an emphatic finish.
They kept cutting Sunderland open, Ollie Watkins and Jozefzoon both going close before the second goal just before the half hour mark, Ethan Robson giving the ball away and allowing Watkins to advance down the right. His low cross was cutely backheeled into the net by Neal Maupay. Sunderland flickered only briefly, George Honeyman and Joel Asoro the two players asking genuine questions of the Brentford defence.
Honeyman rifled a half-volley off the bar just before the break, with Coleman unsurprisingly making two changes.
The impact was instant, Jonny Williams and Adam Matthews both offering some quality on the ball. Aiden McGeady curled an Asoro cross just wide of the near post as the Black Cats tried to launch another unlikely comeback.
Asoro continued to threaten from the right wing but Brentford steadied and should have had a third goal when Romaine Sawyers, unmarked in the box, headed over a cross from the left.
After that brief improvement Sunderland regressed to type, failing to pose any significant questions. Asoro continued to be their only real outlet, regularly turning the Brentford defence and pushing them towards their own goal.
Substitute Josh Maja turned a McGeady cross wide but the Black Cats never truly threatened to create a grandstand finish, leaving their prospects in this division bleaker than ever.
Brentford are a good, well balanced side but their superiority was utterly shameful.
Chris Coleman will again ponder whether he picked the right starting line up but the abject display of his team will leave him and the loyal Sunderland support scratching their heads.
This must now be considered one of the worst sides in the club's recent history and at the moment it is hard to see how they will climb out of trouble.
Sunderland XI: Camp; Jones, Browning (Matthews 45), O'Shea, Clarke-Salter; Honeyman, Cattermole, Robson (Williams, 45), McGeady; Asoro, Fletcher (Maja, 73)
Subs: Steele, McManaman, Gooch, Kone
Brentford XI: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Bjelland, Clarke; McEachran (Woods, 57), Mokotjo (Judge, 75); Watkins, Sawyers, Jozefzoon; Maupay (Marcondes, 83)
Subs: Daniels, MacLeod, Barbet, Mepham
Bookings: Jones, 35 Fletcher, 63 McGeady, 73