This was a day of gruesome humiliation for Edinburgh, the scale of their embarrassment only hinted at by the scoreline at the end. They were wretched in every regard, hopeless in every department. It was a record home defeat in the Heineken Cup for the capital side, and had Saracens been just a little sharper it could have been much worse.
If Edinburgh's primary aim this season is to banish the inconsistencies that dogged them in the last campaign then at least they achieved something. They showed themselves to be as dreadful in the Heineken Cup as they have been over recent weeks in the RaboDirect PRO12, where they had lost their last three games. And if you wanted to be really perverse about it, you could probably commend the evenness of this performance as well. They were rubbish from start to finish.
Truthfully, it is hard to think how things could have got any worse for Edinburgh in this game. They started it by coughing up soft possession time and again in the first few minutes, and they just kept on coughing to the end.
They also lost Tim Visser, their top try scorer, with a leg injury that meant he failed to come back to the pitch for the second half, although the Dutch-born winger may have considered it a mercy to be spared that experience anyway.
It was staggering to think that this was largely the same team who had gone all the way to the semi-final of last season's Heineken Cup. With the possible exception of Richie Rees at scrum-half, Edinburgh were deficient in every department.
Tom Brown had some good moments, but he also made some lurid mistakes. On this display, they will do well to finsh the group stages with anything other than a big fat zero in their points column.
"It's hard to put into words," said the ashen Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley. "I don't think we could have played any worse. We didn't get out of the blocks, we were blunt in attack and our set-piece didn't go well.
"I would give credit to Sarries. They went about their business well and were calculating about where they played and how they defended that position. We had systems in place to counter that, but we didn't engage them and we handed the game to Saracens. We could have been beaten by more to be honest with you. We couldn't pass the ball from A to B today. It was pretty poor.
"We feel that we let everyone down. We have to give something back to our supporters. We have to take responsibility for this and put in a performance next week. We have quality players, but we have to perform on the pitch because that was completely unacceptable."
Stuart McInally, the No 8, was just as blunt about it. "I feel for the fans," he said. "They stuck it out to the end and I feel sorry for them having to watch that. It certainly wasn't worth the money they paid for it."
It would have been pretty poor value even if all 6543 spectators had been given free admission. From the first minute, Edinburgh were hopelessly off the pace, their English opponents looking far sharper, far keener and far more streetwise than their hosts.
It is a disservice to Saracens to dismiss them, as some do, as a one-dimensional side, but even if that charge were true they would be showing more facets than Edinburgh could find.
Most galling for Edinburgh was the way some of their biggest players failed to live up to their bilings. The best that could be said about Dave Denton was that he looked a better player in the second half than he had in the first, but he had set that bar so low he would have been struggling to be any worse without putting on a blindfold and tying his shoelaces together. Denton turned over the ball on numerous occasions in the first 20 minutes; when he wasn't losing it in contact he was simply dropping the thing on his toes.
The wonder was that Sarries only managed to collect one try in that first half. At the interval, the Hertfordshire side were 16-0 in front, a scoreline they had assembled without seeming to break sweat at any point. Edinburgh's errors and difficulties in the set-piece had dished up the chances, and Charlie Hodgson had clipped over three penalties and a conversion of Joel Tomkins' 13th-minute try.
On the scoreboard there was still hope for Edinburgh; on the pitch they were holed below the waterline and going down with all hands. Their greatest humiliation was in the minutes after Schalk Brits, the Saracens hooker, was yellow-carded early in the second half. While the Springboks forward took his rest, Edinburgh messed up one golden chance and then dished up a penalty, which Hodgson duly hammered home.
And then Saracens cut loose. Owen Farrell arrived as a replacement in the 60th minute and had a try to his name within seconds, scorching down the right touchline and exchanging passes with Chris Ashton on the way. Ashton scored one of his own a few minutes later, and Alex Goode brought up the bonus point with the fourth soon afterwards. Hodgson completed the humiliation with a fifth try three minutes from the end.
Edinburgh: T Brown; L Jones, N De Luca, M Scott,, T Visser (D Fife, 40); G Laidlaw (captain; H Leonard, 40), R Rees (C Leck, 68); J Yapp (R Hislop, 68), R Ford (A Titterrell, 62), W Nel (G Cross, 62), G Gilchrist, S Cox (R McAlpine, 77), D Denton, R Rennie (N Talei, 62), S McInally.
Saracens: A Goode; C Ashton, J Tomkins (O Farrell, 59), B Barritt, D Strettle (C Wyles, 66); C Hodgson, R Wigglesworth (N De Kock, 51); M Vunipola (R Gill, 58), S Brits (J Smit, 66), M Stevens (P Du Plessis, 66), S Borthwick (captain), M Botha (G Kruis, 58), K Brown (A Saul, 55-63), W Fraser (J Smit, 45-55; A Saul, 63), J Wray.
Referee: J Lacey (IRFU)