From the outside at least, the tendency is to write-off this defeat for the All Blacks. As far as mitigating factors go they don't come much more influential than being one man down for 55 minutes.
One less player means more space to cover. More tackles to make. More energy expended.
The All Blacks, though, will look much deeper. No-one judges harsher than the team itself.
Credit must be given for the way the All Blacks scrapped. Had they got out of this situation it would have to rank as one of the gutsiest test performances in history. And for a long, long time it seemed as though they would do just that.
By taking Jerome Kaino off and adopting a seven-man pack the All Blacks were forced to completely overhaul their game-plan; largely play a tight style in an effort to deny the Lions the chance to capatlise on their one-man advantage. Possession became gold.
But when footage is compressed into clips and critical analysis delivered to the players, there are several areas the All Blacks will target improvement in this week's decider.
Steve Hansen made the point that the All Blacks started poorly. As is frequently the case following an empathic performance, they did not have the same edge that was so obvious at Eden Park. It happens subconsciously; the nature of dropping a notch or two when you have made such a statement the previous week. And at this level it makes the world of difference.
No more was this evident than in defence where, at times, the All Blacks were guilty of letting the Lions big ball carriers come to them, rather than getting off the line and regularly knocking them over. Sam Cane put in one huge hit but it was largely in isolation, as focus shifted to scrambling.
Lions prop Tadhg Furlong had one beast-mode charge that stands out. Overall, the All Blacks only had to make 65 tackles to the Lions' 122 which reflects the way their tactics changed. The All Blacks missed 12 tackles - not a bad effort considering the time Sonny Bill Williams was absent. But they will be disappointed to be caught napping around the fringes for Conor Murray's soft try.
From a pure physical intent perspective, the Lions, not that it was a fair fight, will probably feel they won that battle after being embarrassed there at Eden Park. Now, expect a response from the All Blacks. They will be hurting.
Another aspect was the breakdown. The All Blacks knew the Lions would change their approach here to commit more numbers after being exposed by the direct approach last week. With Sam Warburton and Sean O'Brien paired together, they were always going to be more disruptive. And so it proved.
Seven against eight, the All Blacks failed to deliver Aaron Smith the desired ruck ball. Their cleanouts were either not quick or effective enough to clear bodies. Blaming interpretations or conditions is not an out.
The Lions found success by slowing the All Blacks' ball however possible and adjustments need to be made for the decider. Last week the Lions were left exasperated by the pace of them game. This one suited them much more, with the ball only in play for 22.24 minutes. In this year's Six Nations, the ball was in play for an average of 39.19 minutes.
Speed is the All Blacks' friend.
Tactically, on the whole, the All Blacks kicking game struggled. They were guilty of squandering possession and, on a wet night, could have looked to use the grubber in behind more. Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett both were both inaccurate at times - Cruden scolding himself on one occasion late in the second half.
Barrett will also be frustrated to miss three penalties - two he would expect to bang over. After effortlessly slotting six shots in Auckland, these concerns seemed behind him.
Being forced to keep it tight with one man down was a major factor but the All Blacks will also want more fluidity from their attack. It was a bit rich for Warren Gatland to suggest the All Blacks haven't stretched the Lions in the first two tests. The All Blacks outscored the Lions three tries to two at Eden Park - Codie Taylor's opening strike in the corner clear evidence of being stretched on the outside. But in Wellington the Lions made six clean breaks to one.
Whether it was a lack of experience in the backline or scoreboard pressure, panic appeared to creep into the All Blacks, particularly in the closing stages. We're so used to seeing composure from this tea. So often over the past five years they have worked their way out of seemingly impossible pressure-filled situations which is why it was odd to see elements of apprehension cloud decision-making.
No need to fret, though. Keep 15 men on the park and make some minor adjustments, more mentally than anything else, and the All Blacks will back themselves to prove exactly why they remain the world's best.
This team loves a challenge.