Two years ago, after the Packers' 1-2 start, Aaron Rodgers famously called for their fans to "R-E-L-A-X" in a radio interview before heading to Soldier Field and torching the Bears, 38-17.
Three weeks ago, after a fourth straight loss on national TV in D.C. (and fifth in six games, broken up only by their Thursday night win over the Bears), he stated in his postgame press conference that, after dropping to 4-6, he felt good about his team's ability to "run the table."
Relax. Run. Rodgers.
Here come the Packers, winners of three straight, back in the NFC North mix, and suddenly looking scary again after (and still finding their way through) a series of defensive injuries. They come to town after their biggest shot in the arm, a 38-10 blowout of Seattle Sunday at Lambeau Field.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
The Packers have been focusing on faster starts after getting punched in the mouth early (and sometimes often) during their slump. So there was Rodgers, on Sunday's third play from scrimmage, showing how much the Seahawks might miss Earl Thomas with a 66-yard touchdown strike to Davante Adams. But complicating matters on that play was Rodgers injuring his right calf to pair with the left hamstring he strained, and has been nursing, throughout this three-game win streak.
Up 28-3 early in the fourth quarter, head coach Mike McCarthy got Rodgers off the field and out of further physical harm.
While Jordy Nelson's return from last year's torn ACL (leading all receivers with a dozen touchdown receptions among 75 catches), the oft-criticized and injured Adams has come into his own. The 2014 second-round draft pick has already established a career-high with 63 catches, 897 yards, a 14.2-yard average and nine TD's (after just four over his first two seasons).
It may be a comparatively quiet year for Randall Cobb, but the slot weapon still has 60 catches. The rare splash in free agency by GM Ted Thompson for tight end Jared Cook has yet to pay off. He missed six games earlier in the season with an ankle injury, and is expected to play Sunday despite leaving early vs. Seattle with a chest injury. He and Richard Rodgers have combined for 43 catches and two touchdowns at the position.
Elite right guard T.J. Lang returned Sunday after needing just a month to return from a broken foot, and helped keep the gimpy "Aa-Rod" clean (just one sack allowed) vs. that Seattle D. The season-opening line is back intact, having allowed 27 sacks.
Eddie Lacy lasted just five games in his contract year before it ended, while James Starks (2.3 average) hasn't gotten back on track after mid-season knee injury. So wideout Ty Montgomery remains the main ball-carrier, and after running nine times for 60 yards against the Bears, owns a 5.2-yard average on 44 rushes, while adding 35 receptions.
Give McCarthy and company marks for ingenuity and enough balance while managing to average just under 100 yards on the ground per game. Former Seahawk Christine Michael (20-59) has yet to make an impact.
Oh. And Rodgers (Aaron, not Richard)? His 32 touchdown passes leads the NFL, while throwing just seven picks. That TD-to-INT ratio is 7/0 during the win streak, completing 74 percent of his passes with a 123.8 passer rating.
With numbers like that, they might just "Run The Table" against each division rival down the stretch. Let's see if the Bears can get in the way.