Answers, like offense in the second half Sunday at Heinz Field, proved to be elusive in the Steelers' locker room.
Then again, it is hard to explain how an offense that had seemingly hit its stride suddenly went into the fetal position.
"It's frustrating, because my expectations for this offense are so high," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after the Steelers held off the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-13.
That frustration is understandable and shared by more than Roethlisberger.
The Steelers' offense is brimming with talented skill players, and it entered 2011 with lofty expectations. Yet six games into the season the unit remains something of a puzzle.
The Steelers rank 22nd in the NFL in scoring (19.8 points per game), even though they compare favorably in several other statistical categories.
They are fifth in the NFL in third-down conversions (48.7 percent) and 10th in total offense (373.0 yards per game). Since the season-opening debacle in Baltimore, the Steelers have averaged just one giveaway a game.
Roethlisberger has thrown for at least 200 yards every game, and the Steelers haven't abandoned the run despite a slow start by starting running back Rashard Mendenhall.
The Steelers, in fact, ran the ball 58 percent of the time Sunday, when Mendenhall rushed for 146 yards.
Yet they barely hung on to beat the struggling Jaguars after a second half in which Roethlisberger's legs produced as many first downs (one) as his right arm.
"We have the players," wide receiver Mike Wallace said after the Steelers managed 55 yards in the final two quarters against Jacksonville. "We just have to put it all together."
That is something the Steelers will have to pay more than lip service to if they want make a run at another Super Bowl title.
The defense has been good — it is ranked No. 1 in yards allowed (270.5 per game) — but it has not shown that it can carry the Steelers.
That may be too much to ask of any defense, with the way some of the top teams can spread the field and let their quarterback play pitch-and-catch.
The Steelers face one of those teams in two weeks when New England visits Heinz Field.
They will need their defense to play well. They will need their offense to be even better if they want keep up with quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots.
That means a unit that is as talented as any since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007 has to start playing in more than just spurts.
Or, in the case of Sunday's game, more than just halves.
"We are not doing it on a consistent level yet," wide receiver Hines Ward said, "But we're getting there."