Perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers is not his usual self and/or he's just not capable of fixing all Green Bay's problems. This has happened before, with Rodgers coining the phrase "R-E-L-A-X" back in 2014 after Green Bay fell to 1-2 early in the season.
The team is in a similar position now, and Rodgers has coined a new phrase of sorts, telling reporters on Wednesday the team doesn't care what people on the outside think. Because you don't know.
"We're not going back and, you know, worried and having sleepless nights worried about what you guys are saying about our offense," Rodgers said. "Because you don't know what plays we're running, you don't know where the execution is, you don't know where the flaws in the execution lie. You're looking at whatever you guys are looking at to break down the performances. I don't know if you guys are doing the Pro Football Focus type stuff or whatnot -- even that stuff we're not worried about those opinions."
It's dumb to look too deep into the psyche of Rodgers, although this is certainly a more agitated state of being than the "R-E-L-A-X" guy we saw two years ago. Maybe Rodgers is pressing because of the Packers' increased sense of urgency in 2016. Maybe his best receiver isn't healthy. Maybe the coaching isn't quite there yet.
Maybe he just needs to play better -- simple as ball bearings.
Rodgers expanded on that snippet too, saying he has to "lead by example" and take blame even if he's not the one messing up.
"I have to lead by example. As a leader, you have to take the blame when it's necessary, and even sometimes when it's not your fault," Rodgers said. "I think it's important to let those guys know that you're going to stick your body on the line, but also you're going to stand up for them when you need to in the locker room, the meeting room and the media, and take your responsibility for the way you played.
"I didn't play as well as I wanted to last week, and I turned the ball over twice, and I can't do that if we're going to win the game. So I've got to play better, and I've got to play more efficiently on offense."
The Packers, despite their struggles, are still a 7.5-point favorite over the division rival Lions this week. It's an interesting game, too, because there's a real chance for it to be a "Get Right" game. Green Bay beat the Bears 38-17 following the "R-E-L-A-X" quote and went on to lose only two more games. Packers fans have to be thinking that this is the time when Rodgers and the team respond in angry, offensive fashion by posting some points on a beat-up defense.
But there's also potential for a major tap of the brakes and serious introspection. Lose at home to Detroit and the spotlight in Green Bay is going to get real bright real quick.