Any good news coming out of Green Bay about the Packers means trouble for their opponents, and there's double trouble this week.
Aaron Rodgers is feeling better each week about how the injury he sustained in his left knee in the opening game, and the defense is feeling good about pitching a shutout in last week's 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills.
It was the first shutout for the Packers since a 9-0 win over the Jets in Week 8 of 2010.
That doesn't necessarily mean that the Detroit Lions are catching the Packers at a particularly good time. The Packers have had some issues of their own in compiling a 2-1-1 won-loss-tied record in the first quarter of the season.
But the fact that Rodgers is getting back to full health is worrisome for any team. He injured his left knee in the opener against the Bears and played the rest of the game basically on one leg.
He engineered a heroic comeback, throwing three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead a 24-23 win.
Rodgers has worn a heavy brace since the injury and has limited practice time to take pressure off the injury. He was moving better against Buffalo but said in his conference-call interview with the Detroit media Wednesday that it doesn't mean he's at full strength.
"I didn't necessarily feel great last week going through practice on Thursday and Saturday," Rodgers said. "I felt really good on game day.
"I'm not regressing, but I'm not taking huge leaps week to week. Adrenalin kicks in on game day. I felt a little better the last couple of weeks."
He did not feel good about the way the offense performed against Buffalo, and he expressed that in strong terms after the game.
"We were terrible on offense," he told reporters after the game. "It was as bad as we've played on offense with that many yards in a long time; 423 yards looks pretty good in comparison to some of the games we've put forward the first three weeks.
"But it should have been about 45 points and 600 yards."
Head coach Mike McCarthy agreed with his quarterback's assessment, but in less strong terms.
"I didn't feel great about our offensive performance when I walked off the field myself," McCarthy said. "I think we left some opportunities on the field. What's most important is, we improved from last week to this week. That's most important going into this week."
The Packers were never really threatened by the Bills. The defense dominated its side of the game. Rodgers turned the ball over twice at midfield – on a second-quarter interception and a fourth-quarter fumble – to stop promising drives.
By Wednesday, Rodgers was moving on to his preparations for the Lions.
"That's the beauty in this league," he said. "You put things to rest on Monday after you watch the film. We're in our preparation for Detroit. It's a normal week. You kind of get back into it, move forward. We're moving forward on the same page and opening to play a little better collectively and personally moving forward."
With a 2-1-1 record after the first quarter of the season, here are four reasons why the Packers are in position to make the postseason after last year's 7-9 record ended their streak of eight seasons in the playoffs:
Quarterback: So obvious there's no need to dwell on it. The Packers were 4-1 when they went into a Week 5 NFC North showdown with the Vikings last season. Rodgers went out early with a broken collarbone. Brett Hundley finished out that loss and started nine more games. He had a 3-6 record in those nine starts. Rodgers' presence overcomes weaknesses in other areas.
Defense overall: As last week's shutout over Buffalo indicated, it's starting to adjust under new coordinator Mike Pettine.
"You're starting to see the cataloging of calls -- the ability to have success and build off the success of the calls," McCarthy said. "You get to the next level of what you're trying to get done."
Secondary, fresh legs: The Packers' first two draft picks were defensive backs Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson. Starting together as cornerback tandem for the first time last week Alexander had an interception, and Jackson had two pass breakups. Jackson also started one other game as No. 3 cornerback.
Free agents: New GM Brian Gutekunst was more aggressive in signing free agents than the previous front-office regime. The major addition was tight end Jimmy Graham. He given Rodgers a big-play threat at tight end, with 19 catches, two TDs and a 15.2-yard average per catch.