There's something not quite right deep within the soul of the All Blacks at the moment.
No one knows what they are going to get from them in any given test and that's the problem.
A legacy that has been built on certainty of offering has suddenly become unpredictable as if the contents of the can have been shaken and anything could spray out when it is opened.
In 100-plus years the All Blacks have established they don't do erratic. They mostly win but they always, or nearly always, turn up with an internal sense of fear driving them into collisions harder than their opponents.
They have a defined sense of attitude, a consistency of application which is what others fear: which is what the whole legacy is built on – this pre-ordained conviction that when the All Blacks come to town there's going to be blood on the carpet when they leave.
But a line that was once flat, or close to it, is now punctuated with spikes – the veritable bar of Toblerone.
A team that has been unfailingly consistent in terms of its intensity and passion has witnessed quite alarming peaks and troughs in the last year and that's what hints at their being something fundamentally not right at the emotional epicentre of the team.
The All Blacks took a knife to the gun-fight which was the World Cup semifinal; they started a new era this year against their oldest foe as if they thought it might be impolite or bad form to be hostile in their welcome and then they capitulated against the relentless ferocity of the Pumas.
Argentina's miraculous performance was proof that every dog will have its day but at the risk of being dismissive of the Pumas' supreme determination and bravery, the All Blacks did their bit in making the fairytale happen.
The All Blacks were once again nowhere near the top of their emotional dial and that, rather than the actual loss, is the real source of concern.
Losing is part of professional life even for the All Blacks. Defeats are splattered all over their history so the current win ratio is not of itself reason to believe there is something soft and pulpy at their core.
It's this, now, endemic fluctuation in their attitude and application that says something is wrong.
High performance cultures are not always easy to get right. There has to be a level of discomfort for the athletes – an uneasy feeling somewhere in their gut that continually makes them conscious of their need to perform to expectation. They have to fear the consequences of not delivering but not so much that it overwhelms them.
Losing can't be soul crushing, but nor can it be readily accepted and judging by the way the All Blacks have fluctuated from being flat and passive as they were in Yokohama to energised and alert in Sydney a few weeks ago, they are struggling to find their mental sweet spot.
And this problem won't necessarily be proven to have been fixed even should they, as they most likely will, exact their revenge on the Pumas next week.
Victory in their final game will be welcome but not definitive proof of anything other than this All Blacks team can get in the right head space when they are desperate enough.
But that won't be enough to believe that they have fixed their issues. Desperation is not a sustainable source of emotional energy or indeed a state in which the All Blacks can regularly find themselves.
Desperation is induced by a consistent run of poor performances and the All Blacks have taken their place in history by being one of the few, if not the only team, to have found a way to play with desperation even in the midst of being wildly successful.
Former players have clearly been wondering in recent weeks why it is that the current team don't seem to understand that being an All Black comes with an inherent desperation – it's not something that has to be learned or developed.
So it is going to take some time to believe in this current team. It is going to take a whole season, if not more, for the evidence to be considered conclusive that they have the hard edge required to ensure that win, lose or draw, they always play at least with the expected hunger, ferocity and commitment.